Q&A with Ryan Young of Off With Their Heads: "I Want to Finally Do Something Cool for Myself"
Now more than ever, it seems like music is all about instant gratification. With streaming services and the ability to purchase an artist's entire discography at our fingertips, waiting over a year for new music feels like eternity. It forces artists to constantly release content, whether they're proud of it or not, but Off With Their Heads' Ryan Young won't fall victim to that. Although their most recent acoustic album Won't Be Missed came out over a year ago, Young insists on taking his time when it comes to writing and recording more new music in order to create something he's truly proud of.
In the meantime, Off With Their Heads aren't taking things slow on the road, with a few shows left of 2017 (including a show at the Hi-Dive in Denver on December 29th) and tour dates planned throughout January and February of next year. Check out upcoming tour dates HERE, purchase tickets to the band's upcoming show in Denver HERE and read more about what they've been up to below.
You guys currently finishing out the year with tour dates alongside Iron Chic and Mobina Galore. With a lot of these shows under your belt, what has been the highlight of tour so far?
This has really been a good one. Chic and myself specifically picked all the bands that played on this tour. We wanted to make sure that every show was fun for us. So that was really a highlight. How every show was great. I couldn’t even pick a favorite.
You kicked off these dates with a few acoustic shows earlier in November - how does the energy of those shows compare to your full band shows? Could fans expect more acoustic dates in the future?
The acoustic shows tend to almost just be a comedy act. We joke around between the sad songs. The first batch of acoustic shows on this tour were with Tim Barry. He is a great presence. We also seem to have the same vibe. Fuck with each other in all the right ways. I am doing one more stretch of acoustic dates in January with Stacey Dee from Bad Cop / Bad Cop and Seth Anderson. That’s going down the east coast to Florida, over to Texas and back up to Chicago. It’s the last bit of US turf we haven’t played acoustic. Then I’ll probably only do acoustic stuff here and there. I’ve got other shit to take care of.
These tour dates are in support of your acoustic album, Won’t Be Missed, which came out last year. Now that you’ve had some time to play those songs acoustically out on the road, what are some of your favorite things about the album?
These dates are more in support of the 3 OWTH LPs that I reissued on my own label. The acoustic record is old news as far as I’m concerned. I really did like how it turned out though. It kinda strips away the chaos and noise and puts the lyrics in the spotlight. It’s uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is a good thing.
When stepping into the studio to rework and record those songs, did you have any major goals in mind?
Not really. We didn’t want to add too much to it. Just capture genuine vibes. I don’t think we did more than 2 vocal takes per song.
What were some of the most rewarding moments of working on Won’t Be Missed?
It took us about 8 hours to record it. Then I did all the art with my limited knowledge of photoshop and released it on my own label. I like doing everything myself, so it was a pretty cool feeling to take care of it all.
Your upcoming tour dates will take you through Denver to end the year. What can Colorado fans expect from the upcoming show?
A Denver party. As always!
With 2018 quickly approaching, do you have plans to continue touring or get into the studio to start working on some more new music in the new year?
I’m writing songs. It’s just been so long since we made a record that I’m in no rush. I want to finally do something cool for myself. I’ve never really liked anything I’ve released. So that’s my goal for this one.
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