Q&A with singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham
The singer/songwriter discusses releasing his latest album, returning to CoMo and winning a freaking ton of awards.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Blue Note
Call it country or call it rock, but either way, Ryan Bingham’s unique fusion of genres has served him well. The Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning artist, best known for writing and performing the theme song "The Weary Kind" for the hit movie "Crazy Heart," takes his latest record Tomorrowland to the road this spring.
[MOVE]: How was the first leg of your tour?
[Ryan Bingham]: It was great. I had been off for about a year or so. Getting it all together and getting back into the swing of things, it takes a few weeks to get the momentum going and get in the groove. We sure had a good time and had a lot of great shows.
[M]: What’s the best part about being on the road?
[RB]: I guess it’s playing the shows. It’s funny because 10 percent of the time, you’re playing music, and 90 percent of it, you’re just on the road getting from place to place. The best part is when you actually get to play some music.
[M]: Around this time two years ago, you played in Columbia as Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses. What differences can fans expect this time around?
[RB]: It’s still rock 'n' roll. The guys that I’ve got playing now on this tour are some local guys that I met here in Los Angeles. There will be a lot of stuff from the new record and a lot of stuff from the old record as well. It might have a little bit different feel, but it’s still very much in the same groove as it always has been.
[M]: This tour supports your most recent release, Tomorrowland. Can you tell us about the record and the message behind it?
[RB]: This record has a lot more electric guitar. Over the past year, I’d been playing a lot more electric guitar and experimenting with that. I wrote a lot of the songs on the electric guitar. The tempos are faster, and it has a bigger sound and things like that. I have a lot of fun playing these songs live and taking them on the road. I really do like playing the acoustic songs and ballads and things like that, but I really wanted to do a lot more electric guitar.
[M]: What has been the proudest moment in your music career?
[RB]: That’s a tough one. There’s been a bunch of them! There’s always a surprise around the corner. I’ve always been into adventure and things like that. Definitely getting to travel, see the world and meet people has been one of the biggest things.
[M]: Dipping into the past a bit, you won some big awards for “The Weary Kind." What was it like winning at three of Hollywood’s biggest awards shows?
[RB]: To be a part of that, it was very humbling and surreal. It was an experience I won’t ever forget.
[M]: Is there a special place you keep all your trophies/awards?
[RB]: I’ve got them scattered around. I think I have a few at my grandparents' house. They all aren’t really in one place.
[M]: Have you done any more writing for movies since "Crazy Heart"?
[RB]: I have a little bit. I’ve written some stuff for some TV shows and some films and things like that but nothing fully developed yet.
[M]: I read that your wife, Anna Axster, directs some of your music videos. What's it like working so closely with her?
[RB]: Yeah, she directs music videos and does a lot of photography for the album covers. It’s great. There’s nobody I trust more than her. We get to spend a lot of time together as well so it really works out great for us.
[M]: Where do you see your music going this year?
[RB]: The music business is a funny thing. You never know what’s going to happen with it. You have to concentrate and try to stay focused on writing songs and making the music. I always like getting out on the road and playing for people who want to hear it. That’s all you can do is go out there and try, play and let the music take care of itself and take care of you.