Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low. So, tell us about yourselves…
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
My name is Ryan. I’m the talented, good looking one in Bitrok (at least my mum thinks so). Me and Ollie nerd out on laptops in the studio and press buttons when doing live sets as it’s much easier than playing real instruments.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parent’s record collection and why?
Hmm, I literally have in my possession from my dad’s record collection: Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album and Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” single off the top of my head amongst many others I pinched from him.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
SBTRKT, Hermitude, Black Keys, Bonobo, Foo Fighters, Fat Freddys Drop, Richard Cheese (anyone that hasn’t listened to Richard Cheese needs to rectify that ASAP.)
‘Home taping is killing the music business was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
Well, no one used to have a billion friends and access to all of their music collections, all the time. Its just on such a larger scale now and so much easier to do these days. I think it has placed more importance on making a quality all round package, though, in order to get people to pay money for something that they could get for free if they wanted to. There are always going to be people around that want to have a physical copy of the music they love, so it will always be around in some form which is a great thing.
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
Luckily it was Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre with Regurgitator supporting, it was the One Hot Minute tour and I don’t care what anyone says about Dave Navarro’s time with the band, that is still an awesome album and was a great concert!
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
Beatport, Soundcloud and iTunes would be the most frequent ones, some we pay for, some are giveaways but sure we hit up some blogs and grab music for free on occasions. You can find plenty of our releases on all of those places and we try to put up as much free content up on our Soundcloud as possible so make sure you check it out.
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Well, I could never sing very well so drums is what I chose and pretty much Dave Grohl’s opening fill on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” made me want to pick up the sticks and hit them as hard as I possibly could.
Have you ever been arrested?
No, but came close one Saturday night when I found myself in a cab alone with no wallet or keys pulling up to my apartment and no idea how I got there. The cabby promptly took me straight to the police station without a second thought and then I had to wait around for my flatmate to come and pay the fare.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
We love a shot of Jager just before we start. (Any promoters reading that’s a hint.)
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
Nothing outrageous, sorry. We never ask for much, just some working equipment, that rider isn’t always met but it’s nice when it is. Also, a few free drinks never go astray!
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
Well, we managed to tick off a few on this album but would love to work on something with Richie from Tumbleweed or Ian from Karnivool/BOT, but I could fill up a page with the Aussie artists we love and would like to collaborate with.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next.
Well, our debut album would probably be cool for the lights down low, you might need a couple of lasers though. The final track with Georgia Potter on vocals would definitely be a cool one for the lights down low and no special effects lighting required.
You can next catch us playing live at Playground Weekender here in Sydney March 2/3/4 and the album’s out Feb 10!