As you’ve probably noticed, things have been kind of quiet in the Ryanhood camp for the past couple of years. We come bearing good news: the quiet is ending. But before the big reveal, we feel like we owe you all an explanation for our absence. So, here’s the rest of the story…
It was 2009. We’d been going hard as a band for about 6 years, doing a ton of college touring behind our record Forward, doing some dates with Jason Mraz, and we were poised to make the leap to bigger and broader audiences. And by the looks of things, it was going to happen. We were finally about to release The World Awaits, after three long years shuttling back and forth between LA and Tucson working with a grammy-winning producer. We won a contest to open for Kelly Clarkson and Jay-Z at Arizona STADIUM, in front of a projected audience of 17,000 people! For fun, we wrote a song for Ellen, and she heard it, and sent out a tweet, which led to her staff calling us about appearing on the show! We reached out to some major artist management firms and they were impressed with our track record and momentum and agreed to meet with us to discuss management!
Then, piece by piece, the house of cards fell. Some unexpected developments led to our having to go $10,000 in debt at the last minute to release our CD. At the stadium gig, we started our set on time, but the doors opened late, and we only ended up playing to a few hundred people (we’d beefed up our merchandise for what we thought would be an audience of 17,000 and as a result, went another $6,000 into merchandise debt). The Ellen Show replaced most of their staff during a filming break, and when we followed up with them at the appointed time, no one on her staff knew who we were. We travelled the country and met with all of those management firms, presenting our “business plan”, trying to convince them we were worth believing in. One by one, they each passed on us.
It was really depressing. Not what we expected. It seemed as if everything we’d been working for was for nothing. We wrote an album about it called After Night Came Sun, and many would call it our darkest. About life falling apart, losing the meaning, dreams burning down. We thought the album was a sign of our re-emergence, but really it was more of a last gasp. In heavy debt, unable to land a manager or a booking agent, feeling like no one believed in us, we essentially stopped believing in ourselves. We took a rare gig here or there, primarily to pay down our debt, but mostly, we sat in silence, grieving our dreams, feeling like maybe we didn’t really have much of value to offer.
What we were too foolish or maybe selfish to see was that there were people out there who did believe in us, who did find meaning or joy in what we do… and if you’ve read this far, you might possibly be one of those people. And for that we THANK YOU so truly. Forgive us for taking you for granted.
But most significantly, we feel we learned something critical about who we are. We learned that we are artists who make art, singers who sing. That we are only fully alive when we are writing and singing and creating. Whatever comes as the result of the art we make is not up to us. Our purpose is just to be who we are and play what we play, to anyone who wants to look and listen.
It’s now the 10 year anniversary of our very first album, Sad and Happiness. 10 years since we played on the streets of Boston. 10 years since we walked home in the rain and talked about our dreams.
So. Here we are. Getting back up. Starting over again. But with a new sense of gratitude for every ear that will listen.
We proudly present to you, our newest album, Start Somewhere.
Please buy it, and share it. We are singing to you.