The Thrills - Daniel Ryan - Interview

23 November 2004

The Thrills

The Thrills - Daniel Ryan - Interview

Daniel Ryan, The Thrills
Friday 12th November, Carling Apollo Manchester

When Jemma met Daniel…again

It had been almost a year to the day since I last caught up with The Thrills and since then there’s been America, a new album and Razorlight…here’s what our favourite Irish bassist, Daniel Ryan, had to say about all three.

You’re almost at the end of yet another tour, how is it going?

The Thrills - Daniel Ryan - Interview

It’s great, really good, the last show was at Birmingham academy which was really good probably the best so far, hopefully now tonight will be even better. We were just at Reading then Folkestone. But we’ve just come back from America, we were on tour with The Pixies for like six weeks.

So, ‘Let’s Bottle Bohemia’, can you tell me a bit about it?

It’s produced by Dave Sardy and I think it sounds really cool, it’s better than the last album. I think there’s a lot more depth to it, I don’t think it’s as quick to grow on you as the last album, I think if you live with it, it will live with you longer. A bit of a slow burner, I think it’s some of the best songs we’ve done so far. I think the Curse of Comfort is a really great song, The Irish Keep Gatecrashing I think is a great song because we actually had the opportunity to do that song when we were on the NME Brats tour about two years ago and we just kept working on it and working on it. I think we were in Sheffield one day and it just kind of came together one day.

The album was written on the road but you’ve managed to avoid that nomadic feeling spectacularly…

Yeah it was written in dressing rooms and places like this, but erm it’s better that was because if you take time off then you kind of feel like you have to do something but it’s quite a natural thing on the road.

You haven’t had time off now for a long time and have been on the road for a year maybe more…

Yeah maybe more, err I don’t really mind, some of my family are here today so it’s fine…

You chose America to record the album yet again, why?

I mean both producers that we worked with were there and don’t like to come over here to cold, dreary England in the Winter. I like LA, I really like it there and I think when you’re recording an album you should be comfortable where you are. The next album I would say we might even do it at home or go over to Germany or somewhere completely different. It’s always hard to resist the temptation of the weather and California you know, seven weeks in the sun.

Do you find you miss it?

Yeah I do, there’s things I love about it and things I don’t love about it but when I’m there I just have a really good time.

So how do you think the release of Corey Haim went?

Well it probably wasn’t the most obviously choice.

Your original live version does sound really different from what you put down on the album…

Yeah it does, but we kind of wanted to release what we wanted to release. I mean we could’ve gone and released Not for all the Love in the World or something release obvious if we’d wanted to.

It probably worked against us like but I know we’ve so much ahead of us. There are so many records we wanna make, so much we wanna do so…I think it’s a good song, I love the strings arrangement on it.

Does it surprise you that a lot of people still don’t know who he is?

Yeah I was surprised, I was surprised that in this day and age when people are obsessed with celebrity culture that people didn’t know who he was, you know people will watch anything these days.

So we’re never going to see you on the cover of Heat then?

I don’t see what the attraction to any of it is. I just don’t know how anyone…if I see people on planes reading those magazines I get depressed. You could buy a book or….you can buy good books for a pound…that whole thing is just beyond me.


Not for all the Love in the World is out on Monday 15th November, what’s it about?

It’s actually about erm, it’s a character in a movie called Magnolia, it’s a Paul Abbott Sanderson movie and William H Macey is the actor who is sitting at the bar in the movie and he’s obsessed with the bar man, he really fancies him and he gets braces put on his teeth and he kind of falls in love with him and it’s about when you get to that stage when you don’t really care anymore and you just let your feelings known, that’s what the song is about so… I think it’s cool that it’s about a freak like him.

He’s a great actor as well, we’re big movie fans, we watch a lot of movies.

Do you find that a lot of songs don’t necessarily come from personal experiences then?

Yeah you know, some people say who are your influences, but a lot of people’s influences don’t necessarily show up on the music and you know there are other things that are kind of obvious. I mean you can be influenced by things you do or movies you watch. The clash are a band that I like, I love their attitude and that kind of thing and then The Beach Boys I love their songs and they didn’t really have an attitude.

That’s what I love about music, every band is different even if it’s a band that I don’t particularly like or respect what they do, unless it’s someone like Robbie Williams…I just don’t have the time for that kind of thing.

You have been criticised in the past for sounding too much like an American band, how do you deal with the criticism?

I don’t it just goes over my head, I don’t see why where you come from should influence your music, I mean I don’t particularly think U2 sound Irish I meanif we were to sound Irish we’d be playng traditional music, and then people wouldn’t be asking us any questions because they wouldn’t wanna talk to us so…

Do you think people use the cliché of being Irish to sell records?

Yeah, but more so in America than I Britain, I mean Van Morrisson doesn’t sound Irish, Think Lizzy, Ash, there’s not really an Irish sound, I’m not even too sure there’s a Manchester sound or a Liverpool sound. There’s a lot of great bands but people just come up with this idea that there part of the scene but you know it doesn’t really bother me.

So you’re supported by the Dead 60s, they’ve released a couple of singles now, obviously you have a soft spot for them?

They’re like one of my favourite bands I heard them about 18months ago on a cd that their record company gave me. We played with them a bit on their last tour but their guitar play got sick and they came and played some shows in Ireland at Christmas but they were kind of having their first proper break in the UK at the time. I would’ve liked to have had them play on the whole tour but..

They’re such an amazing band I mean there are so many bands out there at the moment that I just don’t buy into. You want your band to connect with people and I think they do because you believe in what they’re doing and see where they’re coming from.

So what else are you into at the moment?

Err, Rufus Wainwright, The Pixies and I always listen to Bruce Springstein err the Stills from Canada, who else?

The Killers are playing in Manchester tonight too, how do you rate them?

Yeah I like them, we did a show with them somewhere in America, they’re really good yeah. I think there’s a lot of bands that are, and I’m not saying this about The Killers, but there’s a lot of bands that are really over-hyped at the moment like Razorlight, they’ve got a couple of great songs but I don’t think they have a great album.

They weren’t too complimentary about you guys after the NME tour…

Oh yeah, yeah, I mean I don’t slag off other bands because it’s pathetic, you know then I think there are some bands, I mean the Sleepy Jacks are a great band and if you meet those guys, you really wanna buy into what they’re doing. I just think it’s a shame that bands like that aren’t on the cover of the NME every week.

How do you feel about being associated with a radio 2 audience?

I don’t live in England so I don’t listen to the radio here or at home so don’t really know. You know, I really love Bruce Springstein and he’s sold millions and millions of records and I could sit here and pretend to be cool but I don’t care, I want us to be a huge band. We love REM, we love so many huge bands and there are just so many huge bands that every other arty band loves but they mightn’t admit to it, we put a lot of work in and we want to be successful and you look at a band like U2 who are from the same place as are whether you like them or not what they’ve achieved is incredible. When you get that big you’ve got to look yourself in the eye and say ok, we can’t be the coolest band in the world anymore.

And is that what you want?

We wanna be a big band but you know if I said we don’t like having a radio 2 audience it would be kind of pathetic for me to be saying that.

So I’ve stolen some quick fire questions from Smash Hits magazine and added a couple of my own, are you ready?


Burger or fries?

Day or night?

Hot or cold?

Tea or coffee?
Neither, I hate hot drinks

Inside or outside?

Top or bottom?
Top, always…

Coke, diet or full fat?
Oh no, I can’t…diet coke is disgusting, it’s always full fat.

Finally, what is your favourite sense? I have a feeling I know what you’re going to say...
Listening, but I like looking at things, I like movies and art as well and going to art galleries.

When you’re touring do you ever get the chance to get out and check the cities out?
Oh no not really, I got here and I did some radio stuff, radio 2, (laughs) and then I went for lunch and then I came back here.

Does it ever get boring?
No, not really because 3,500 people are coming to see us tonight. And I’d prefer to have it that way than working in a factory somewhere.

Well Daniel, have a good one tonight and thanks for your time.
Ok, cool, thanks very much, enjoy yourself.


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