Interview: Carrie Ryan

Interplaying bittersweet folk and captivating, sparse piano-pop, Carrie Ryan made her debut at 18 with the coming-of-age tales on her debut, This Road. A creative writer at heart, she took her scribe to task by honing her storytelling into the release of a succession of EPs and singles over the past two years.  Ryan has since spent 2013 opening for national touring acts such as Shakey Graves, Marmalakes and Wild Child.

Carrie Ryan plays the Classic Mini Stage @ Market Ave. Wine Bar at 6 p.m. — View the entire Brite Winter lineup and schedule here.

Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book along with CD samplers of  Brite artists given as a reward to Kickstarter backers. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte

“There’s something super exciting, but intimidating, about playing up on a stage where my favorite bands have played.” — Carrie Ryan

carrieryan2What’s been one of your favorite places to play live?

The Grog Shop has been my favorite place to play. There’s something super exciting, but intimidating, about playing up on a stage where my favorite bands have played. That was the first gig I’ve been nervous about in a long time, and I think that was why. There’s such a high caliber of talent that comes through the Grog, and it was humbling to be invited to play.

What’s your favorite material to play live?

I’m a sucker for covers. A part of me prefers them over playing original songs. It’s fun to reconstruct someone else’s music and make it your own. My favorite cover I’ve done is Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You”.

If you could play one place – your dream gig — where would it be?

I’m hell-bent on SXSW. For me, that will prove that I’ve “made it” as a musician.

What do you listen to that always seems to make its way back into rotation?

I couldn’t choose just one album.

Brandi Carlile’s “Bear Creek”, Manchester Orchestra’s “Mean Everything to Nothing”, Cloud Cult’s “Feel Good Ghosts”, Kevin Devine’s “Put Your Ghost to Rest”, Paul Simon’s “Graceland”.

Can you tell us more about your songwriting process?

My songwriting process varies. Typically it’s autobiographical. Sometimes I’m able to sit down, write a song and be completely happy with it. Lately, it’s gotten a bit strange and dramatic. I’m always at the wrong place at the wrong time whenever some clever lyric pops into my head. Sometimes it’s in the shower, but usually it’s at, like, 4 a.m. I carry my phone everywhere so that I can write down the lyric. And then from there, I try to piece them together or else build a song around them. I’m also into writing short stories and poetic prose, so I’ve pulled a couple songs from those pieces.

What’s your dream collaboration?

Kevin Devine or Brandi Carlile. I think they’re both brilliant lyricists.

Visit Carrie at her official website, keep up with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.