We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what do you attribute your success to?
Success, for me, doesn’t involve thinking about the word “brand” ever. “Brand” feels like a corporation’s idea of individuality. It’s metallic and lifeless and calculated and tied directly to profit, which is not synonymous with success. The world wants creative people to believe that success is tied to instagram followers or Spotify listens or earnings, and there’s just no version of that reality that will ever leave me feeling fulfilled or the slightest bit happy at the end of the day. There is, however, a profound sense of fulfillment in my life and it lies simply in making sounds with people, in front of other people. Everyone in DOTS has other jobs to pay the bills, we’re often riddled with self-doubt, and the world is looking less and less sustainable for musicians and artists. BUT I make things that I like with people that I like, and I don’t need anything else. It’s can be a hard life to explain and justify, but I’m quite happy with it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think are live shows are quite fun and animated when we’re all clicking. We realized pretty early on that a musical performance is not just about sounds. The room has to have a reason to look at you and not at their phone, and a phone is a very hard thing to compete with. We put a lot of meticulous energy into the way our lights compliment the sounds we’re making and, at our best live moments, we can be true and confident to the songs we write. Also, the UK label, Rose Parade is releasing our EP entitled, Diptyc on Wednesday (21st), which will be available on Spotify.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t find a ton of solace in bars and restaurants. The “best-time-ever” for me is different than what it was when I was in my early/mid twenties. Live music things are normally where I like to be with friends, so hopefully that’ll be something that happens soon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I guess my biggest shoutout is to the other three in DOTS: Joe, Garrett, and Blake. Aside from that, we’ve worked and recorded with countless people I feel lucky to know.