Hello Ryan, what have you been up to today?
Nothing much, just been on my guitar like most days.
Are you from Nottingham originally?
I certainly am.
When did you realise that you had a talent for writing songs?
Well I first started writing songs at about 15, but they were pretty terrible to say the least. About just over a year ago was when I started writing anything any good.
Which song that you’ve written are you most proud of and why?
Down That Road (listen below) is probably my favourite one of mine. Sound wise I try to do a blend of blues and folk and I think that one does that really well. It probably has some of my best guitar playing on it.
You have a bluesy, Americana sound; what attracts you to this type of music?
I’m attracted to how real it is, all the old blues guys are singing about things that actually happened to them, they play with such emotion. You don’t have to be the best guitarist or have the best voice to do it either and I love that. You only need three chords, but it’s all about how you play them.
When was the first time you ever played live and what was it like?
I can remember the first time I ever played on my own live, as I say just over a year ago when I started writing all this bluesy stuff. It was at my local folk club and it was absolutely terrifying. But I went down well and I’ve just carried on from there.
What has been your favourite gig to play so far in Nottingham?
Couple of weeks ago I did a set at The Navigation for Oxjam. The audience were silent all the way through and then gave me the best reception I’ve ever had when I finished.
How does it feel to be playing Branch Out Festival?
It’s certainly something good to be a part of. It’s nice to know I’m playing the same event as some of Nottingham’s biggest talent.
Why should we come and see your set at the festival?
If you like your old blues music and want something a bit different and raw, with some slide guitar and a bit of harmonica, you definitely should come and have a listen.
Will you be checking anyone else out at the festival?
I’m liking the look of who’s on at Malt Cross so I’ll be heading there at some point. I’ve not seen a proper Frazer Lowrie set yet so that should be good. There’s also Georgie Rose at Antenna as well.
You came to our attention when Chris McDonald mentioned you in an interview. What other Nottingham music makers do you like at the moment?
Well there’s the ones above, but I’ll say a couple more who aren’t on at Branch Out like Leah Sanderson and Daniel Cliffe.
How have you found trying to get gigs and getting your name out and around in Nottingham?
It was hard at first, mainly just doing all the open mics and that. But I got a gig with Acoustickle and then I just got more and more from there. Also, Nusic have played me on the podcast quite a bit and I’ve got a lot of gigs from that. Also did a session with them which you can check out (see video above). Things gradually keep picking up.
We recently reviewed your current EP. Do you have plans to record and release any more music in the near future?
Cheers, yeah hopefully. I’ve got quite a lot of new material I’d like to record so it’ll be sooner rather than later.
What do you like to do in Nottingham when you are not playing music?
If I’m not out playing in Nottingham, I’m out watching Notts County.
Who are you non-musical influences?
I’d say pretty much all my influences are musical, the only person I can think of is David Attenborough. He was my hero as a kid.
How can people find out more about you?
I’m on the internet with Facebook, Soundcloud and Reverb Nation with all my music on and where I’ll be gigging next. The best way to get what I’m about is to probably come and see me play.
Any final words for the LeftLion readers?
Just if some of them do come to Branch Out and see me I hope they enjoy it, I’m looking forward to it.
Ryan Thomas plays in Broadway Café Bar as part of the Branch Out Festival on Sunday 28 October 2012