You Need to Meet this Dude: Ryan Clackner Part 1
[zephyr_dropcaps style="withbg" firstcolor="#333333" bgcolor=""]Today I'm excited to introduce you guys to one of my favorite guitar players as well as best friends. When I was studying music at William Paterson University in NJ, Ryan was one of the dudes who not only inspired me, but always challenged me and lit a fire under my ass! Between the two of us, we have so many ridiculous stories from those days we should probably write a book. He is also one of the most musically diverse and just plain fascinating people that I've been delighted to know in my life. Here's part one of a two part interview that serves as a "Clackner Primer". I also get to grill him on what's currently going on in his life. [/zephyr_dropcaps] Tell us a brief intro to you in your own words.
Ryan Clackner, 31,Live in Nashville. Guitarist/songwriter/kinda-
What is your current musical project?
Current project is called Stump Tail Dolly. We're planning the videos now, photos, website design etc. We've recorded one song that we'll use soon as a teaser/pitch for a crowdfunding campaign. Lucy (my girlfriend) is playing fiddle and singing too, but I've written everything or at least arranged it all (the track we recorded recently is an old bluegrass tune but i made a bit of a monstrosity out of it).
You've been back and forth to Nashville for extended periods.What draws you to that city? What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of it?
I really love TN. I'm pretty back n' forth on how I feel about the city of Nashville. I'm pretty mortified with regards to current "country" "music" but in terms of cities, Nashville is still kinda laid back and crime is pretty low. We don't have earthquakes etc. There are some great mexican restaurants, and there is some really cool Greek architecture downtown. Before it became "music city", Nashville was called the Athens of the South which is interesting. Great parks too...
How does Nashville compare to living on the East Coast/NYC area?
Nashville has tons of musicians, but they tend to be mercenaries and not interested in playing in bands unless they know they'll make $250 a night. I don't blame them but it gets discouraging at times. The drummer we're working with is from Cincinnati lol. Makes for a long commute just to rehearse. The upside is that you can go see good music easily pretty much whenever you want, from all genres. There's pretty much no limits to the kind of music you can find here, though there is more indie rock and "country" than anything else. In truth though, I don't go out, and if I do, it's cuz I know the person. I love the parks. They're all over the place and there is a great book store called McKays and several others. It's pretty green and the traffic still isn't too bad. It's a lot cheaper than some cities too. Way more mellow than northeast cities...
What are you currently listening to?
I'm currently listening to my own music, my friend JD Wilkes' music with a KY fiddler named Charlie Stamper, some McCoy Tyner (of course), Alan Jackson, and metal bands like Yautja (local), Pig Destroyer and Gorguts.
What are some of your favorite artists of all time that you can never get tired of?
My favorites (in no particular order) are: Mccoy, Jason Moran, Russian period Stravinsky, Debussy, Black Sabbath, Coltrane, Mastadon, Pantera, Ralph Stanley, and Black Sabbath (did I say that already?)
Stay tuned for next week's part two where I delve more into Clackner's biggest inspirations, challenges, and advice to other musicians. In the meantime, you can check him out at his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reverbnation.