The TVD Interview: Ryan Mahon

With music going in the direction that it is these days, it’s always nice to hear an artist create sound that takes us back a few decades. Luckily, we’ve found one nestled into the sandy beaches of Miami. Ryan Mahon is an old soul in a young body who creates an unnameable genre of music with influences ranging from Thin Lizzy to The Strokes. We dug his music and decided to reach out for an interview to hear what he had to say.

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you break into music?

My father is a musician. Growing up, he taught me the basic things and allowed me to get my own sort of “feel” on the music. As I got older I tried getting into any musical outlet I could. I played in the high school band… guitar of course. As for my own music, I started writing when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. It was just normal teenage kid stuff.

Who are some of your inspirations for your music now?

Definitely The Strokes. Julian Casablancas is a major hero of mine. He’s incredible. Also, I think John Lennon and Thin Lizzy to name a few more. I like the way they are able to make worlds with their music.

Ryan Mahon | Last Day in Paradise

Would you say that your music is a reflection of these artists? It’s very hard to place a genre to your sound.

Yeah, I’ve been told that. It’s got an old sound to it. I would say it’s sort of a Jimi Hendrix and Strokes-type vibe with more of the Thin Lizzy songwriting style, if that makes sense. It’s kind of all over the place, but I want to move forward to sound more and more like them in a way.

Since you’re based out of Miami, would you say that the music scene there and the overall vibe have had an effect on your music as well?

Oh definitely. Since moving to Miami, I’ve gotten into Flamenco music, and whether I make it conscious or not, it makes its way into my music. People tell me that when I play a lot now. Generally though, I just describe my music’s “genre” as rock and roll. No more added words needed. It doesn’t need adjectives. It’s all just rock and roll.

Where do you get your inspiration lyrically?

Most lyrics come from own life. They represent how I feel and how I think people are feeling. Some are not necessarily about myself, but more like people I met and the frustrations of human life in general.

The thing about music is that no matter what message people think they are sending with music, it will be interpreted many different ways. That’s kind of the awesome thing about music. I can tell you what my songs are about, but someone else who has heard it might relate to it in a completely different way. That’s what makes it art.

I think the reason I love Julian Casablancas so much is for that reason. He’s my inspiration instrumentally and lyrically. He is impressionistic. It’s like the lyrics he creates are not about the story, but rather how they make you feel in reference to your own life. He’s a voice to our generation musically. As I learn more, I’ll get towards it. I’m just not a big fan of over-autobiographical lyrics.

Ryan Mahon | About All I Have to Say

What are your plans for the future with regards to your music?

Right now I’m just working towards put out music that I like. I want to feel the waters. I’ll be living and working out of Miami for a few years building a stronger fan base for a while. I don’t have any plans for a full-length album release just yet. I love Miami, but the thing is that there’s not a huge rock scene. It’s hard to make it as a musician in this city. I think much later down the road, I would love to get out and explore the East coast with my music. Also, I would probably need to get a band set in stone. Right now, I’m sort of working as a one-man act. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.

Do you have any last comments about your music you want to share?

Obviously, I want as many people as possible to hear it. Hopefully they like it, but I can’t always predict that. It’s important to get it out. I don’t care about being famous… really. I know every artist says that, but it’s true. I think the most important thing as an artist is throwing your seeds into the wind. You know what I mean? They need to plant into the brains of as many listeners as they can get. Our generation is very confused about who we are and finding our way, so my music needs to fill that kind of movement.

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