A POSITIVE MESSAGE WITH RYAN DART
Ryan Dart's music encompasses the worlds that he lives in. You can't sing about needing rain, unless you really know what it means to need rain. As a grandson of the dust bowl and a steward of the land, Dart’s unique blend of modern knowledge and continual search for forgotten truths has led to this most recent collection Edge of the Wild. Dart sings scenes from underneath a Roman Colosseum to frame standout lines like, “Trying to tell myself the truth / Looking for the same in you” or longing for a return to the road with the album’s opening track “Ready for the Road”. Dart showcases his significant lyrical evolution since his first release a decade ago with pandemic- and quarantine-inspired tracks like “Loves Gone Outta Style” and “Right or Wrong.”
“In a world where it’s increasingly difficult to find something real to connect with, Ryan Dart and his music do just that,” says Daniel Sproul (Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham, Hard Working Americans). “Theres no mistaking the soul and authenticity that he brings with his lyrics and tunes. Edge of the Wild gives you all of that and more.” The new album, “Edge Of The Wild”, was released April 22, 2022!
Please describe to our audience how you came about on the music scene and what is the biggest difference between your first piece of music to your latest!
Well, I got started in music working in the studio as an engineer and producer. Then I moved into touring as a live sound engineer and Tour Manager. Through the years I’ve been all over the world with music from small tours in the van to bigger tours on buses to arenas and huge festivals like Hyde Park Calling and Bonnaroo. All that time I was working on my own music- writing and learning through the artists I was working with and others they were opening for or performing with. All those artists and travels have had a huge impact on my songwriting and approach to this business of creative expression. The biggest difference between my first songs and the last song I wrote is probably two main things: First, I used to just surrender to the muse and if it came out a certain way in the writing process I just assumed that was how it was meant to be. Now I fine tune and put more intention into how a song makes me feel when I get into the editing process and final arrangements. Sometimes it just flows out and it doesn’t need that editing time but I learned to be more discerning in this stage after working with Pat Pattison earlier this year.
Second, these days I’m attempting to simplify aspects of my songs and leave more room for the listener to assign their own meaning to them. I don’t always achieve this and can still write songs that are much too long for the average listener, but I'm working on a balance in this area.
What are you doing to push a positive message as the year comes to an end and there is a new beginning coming up with this new year? As this new year begins I’m trying to push a positive message by writing more upbeat songs- even if they are about sad themes like heartbreak, depression, divorce, loss, etc.
Are there any rituals you have developed over the years that are helpful for any upcoming changes happening?
My main ritual that has never wavered over all these years is to continue writing! Every chance I get. Everything I feel inspired by.
Sad as hell? Write. High and happy? Write. Deeply in love? Write. Alone and heartbroken? Write. I think it’s great therapy and it keeps my songwriting muscles strong. As writers we are lucky that 10% of what we write is good enough to share with others so I believe the more you write the more you increase your chances to reach someone emotionally and that’s really the goal with art.
Could you talk about a success that happened this year that you would attribute to all your hard work?
A few successes I’ve had this year aside from releasing the latest album (“Edge of the Wild”) have been live show opportunities. I played two sets at a festival in Alaska this summer, headlined Vail Oktoberfest with the full band, and got to play an hour set for a radio station here in Colorado that was broadcast and filmed. All of those were very different experiences musically but they all had some beautiful moments that will not escape my memory.
Could you talk about an obstacle that you persevered through?
I could talk at length about obstacles that I’ve persevered through but so could each and every one of you! No one gets a pass on experiencing obstacles these days. The biggest one in my life this past year is going through a divorce and all the emotions that come with that and not letting that keep me from my dream. There were some nights that playing a live show helped me escape myself in a healing way but there were also some nights where it was hard to set down that heartache and pour myself into the performance. I just remember that art is a reflection of life and I’ve had people tell me how much they needed to hear a particular song that night. Those times when I can help those folks make the hard work and perseverance worth it every time!
How do you think these experiences have helped you shape your career and approach your music?
Connection! Being able to experience high highs and low lows in my own life helps me be able to write about and feel it deeply onstage. Without that personal experience you can’t dive as deep into those emotions and connect with others who are feeling things in a personal and visceral way. It’s really uncomfortable when we go through hard times, but there's a lot of compassion and gratitude born out of those times. How do you continue to develop your community of fans over the years? People like you are helping spread the word! Playing live every chance I get helps a lot. I’m in more of a grassroots kind of world since I’m not supported by a big record label or distribution company. I stay connected through social media as well.
Thank you for sharing all your music with us! Can you give us any exclusive on more music coming up?
Of course! Thanks for your help getting the word out. I’m not in a place to break any news at the moment but I’m actively working on songs for the new album so let’s reconnect before that gets released!
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