Posted On 07 Nov 2017
RYAN SIMS is an Arizona-based singer, songwriter and country-rock-americana musician. On November 17th, he will release a new seven-track EP MY SIDE OF THE STORY on HIGH 4 RECORDINGS. The album’s rocking lead single “Get Away” premiered yesterday (10/12) on TheDailyCountry.com, with Tara Joan raving, “…the instantly infectious ‘Get Away’ is built on a dynamic backbeat and driving guitars that, alongside Sims’ distinctly weathered vocals, encourage hitting that open road, escaping life’s struggles, and expanding your horizons.” The just-released music video, directed by Mike Rhodes. has already received over 19,000 plays. Click here to watch the video.
Pre-order is available now for MY SIDE OF THE STORY via iTunes here.
MY SIDE OF THE STORY showcases SIMS’ natural ability to translate heartbreak and the human experience into song with a warm sound pulling from country, Americana and southern rock. The EP springs directly from a particular love gone bad, outlined in standout cuts such as “Get Away,” “Black and Blue,” “Red Head” and “Tragedy.” Recorded with an all-star band–Jason “Slim” Gambill (Lady Antebellum, guitars), Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones, bass), Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, drums) and Kim Bullard (Elton John, keyboards)–the collection of songs is without glitz or guile, just rough-edged and hard-hitting, fed by a volatile blend of pain and ecstasy, anger and regret.
“This EP shows a vulnerable side to me I’ve never really exposed before,” SIMS admits. “Every one of these songs is true. Every story they tell actually happened. I even questioned whether I should record some of them because they were so personal. But I did it because ultimately it’s not me but it’s the music that’s important.”
From the first notes he strummed, sang and wrote, SIMS has seen music as inseparable from emotion. He grew up in Indiana and Minnesota, one of three children raised by a single mother. Young RYAN began looking around for something to keep his spirits afloat. He found it when he was about three-years-old. “I began to feel this strong urge to make music,” he recalls. “I can still remember listening to and understanding music even as a really small child. I understood chord changes and melody at some deep intuitive level. I never dreamed about being a policeman or a fireman or anything other than a musician.”
SIMS didn’t act on that urge until age 10, when his mother remarried. Her new husband introduced RYAN to the guitar. When the family moved to Arizona, RYAN held even more tightly to his lifeline. That summer, as a high school junior in a wildly unfamiliar place, he found solace in writing. He performed in local coffee houses; he began booking them shortly after he turned 17. Midway through his senior year he gave up his spot on the football team to sing the lead role in the school musical. Most important, he remembers, “I realized pretty quickly that being able to play guitar was a fantastic way to meet girls.”
Thoroughly enamored with music and these residual benefits, SIMS plunged into performing right after graduation. At 21 he co-founded the band EastonAshe. Their debut album Can I Drive It dropped in 2006 and quickly sold 10,000 copies without any label affiliation. The Los Angeles Music Awards singled it out as Independent Rock Album Of The Year. The group took first place in the LA Music/Hollywood Fame Awards’ Performer Of The Year category in 2007 and ’08. As the band’s lead singer, SIMS earned the Phoenix Music Awards’ Singer/Songwriter Of The Year honors in 2009. His following exploded in 2011 when he was invited to participate in the FOX television show “The X Factor.”
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Learn more about Ryan Sims in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time for another All Access today! Where does this interview find you? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood? What is a song you are loving these days?
Right now I am hanging out in my hotel room in Spokane WA with Pawn Stars playing in the back ground. These days I am loving The Struts. These dudes are such a great British rock band. I feel like rock ‘n’ roll has been missing from the American diet for a long time, and these guys are a breath of fresh air for me. Their song merry-go-round is one that I would recommend to anybody who wants to get to know that band.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
I cannot think of one point in my life that I did not want to be a musician. I always had an understanding of music that I cannot explain. Even as far back as three years old I can remember listening to music and experiencing it on a much deeper level than a kid should.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year? How has 2017 been treating you and your career? What are you most excited about for in 2018?
2017 has been an unbelievable year for me musically. My approach to music did not change, but the amount of people I have been able to reach has grown exponentially. I think it’s safe to say the 2017 has been my lucky break. For the first time in my life I can actually say that the sky is the limit for next year 2018.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected you and your music today?
Cave Creek, Arizona is this little mining town 20 miles north of Phoenix. You wouldn’t think much of it driving through it, but if you stay for a little while you will come to understand that the talent living in this town is phenomenal. Cave creek has more than his fair share of current and retired rock stars. Luckily for me all of these world-class musicians were more than happy to show me the ropes.
Let’s talk about your EP, “My Side Of The Story” that you will be releasing spon. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process? How long did it take?
Everything about my side of the story was a surprise. The original song is slated to be recorded were all tossed aside because after sitting down to write with Justin gray I quickly realized there was something very special between the two of us. The stars all aligned, and it just so happened that the most prolific. Of my life coincided with the recording of this EP. Not only that but I got to make this record with some of my biggest heroes. This project included the likes of Kenny Arnoff, Darrel Jones, Jason slim Gamble, and Kim Ballard. This would be considered a supergroup if these dudes got together outside of this project. The entire EP took about two months to record, and I can easily say that was the best two months of my life thus far.
I read that you said that this EP shows a vulnerable side to you that you’ve never really exposed before. Can you elaborate on that?
I’ve never had a problem with sharing my emotions and my songs, but I’ve also never had a motions the strong. This very easily could’ve been the darkest moment of my life. Instead I was able take all of that darkness and channel it into something beautiful and cathartic for me.
What was it like working with all the incredible musicians found on the EP? How did you about deciding who to work with on it? How do you think they influenced the overall sound your EP?
Like I said, I got to record this beautiful piece of work with an honest to God supergroup. My producer Justin Gray put Kenny Arnoff and Kim Ballard on the project from the get go. Then we got Jason Gamble and Darrell Jones through industry friends in Los Angeles. The smartest move we made on this was not giving the players any real direction. We figured that if you’re going to hire the best players in the world you should probably just let them do their thing. That turned out to be the right call. Every time one of the players would send us his tracks we would just sit back and listen with our eyes wide open in astonishment. Each of these players most definitely left their mark on my project.
How do you think your already released single, “Get Away” prepares listeners for the rest of the EP? What was the inspiration for that track? What other songs on the EP are you excited to share with the world?
“Get away” was a song that almost didn’t happen. We were going to record a song that I had already recorded in the past called hurricane. Justin gray and I had two weeks earlier worked on a chord progression that we both liked, but we could not find her work tapes when it came time to finish the song. That day the air conditioning went out in the studio and Justin had to excuse himself for about 20 minutes. In that small amount of time I was able to pen two verses and a chorus of get away. When Justin came back into the room the song just happened kind of like a sneeze. I think that get away happened so quickly because it is so honest. It was the perfect song to release first because it sets the listeners up for the rest of the EP. it truly is the beginning of my side of the story.
With the summer over now, what was something fun or new that you tried this summer?
The only thing new I tried this summer was online dating, and it wasn’t that exciting!
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Being a musician is truly one of the only things that brings me joy in life aside from family and friends. This world is incredibly messed up right now. I know that every generation can safely say that the current times a live-in are worse than those of their parents, but these times feel truly ominous. There is most definitely something evil in the air. I have no doubt that the music created during these times will reflect that. However I also have no doubt that some of the music created in these times will help to deflect all of this tragedy and create joy.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I will always be a sucker for The Beatles, James Taylor, Dave Matthews, and Metallica. If I had a chance to work with any of them I think I would need to be recessitated first.
What do you hope fans take away from your music? Do you think there is a message to a lot of your songs?
I just hope that my songs are relateable. I don’t think that I go through anything that everyone else doesn’t also go through. I hope when someone here’s one of my songs that it sums up everything they felt when going through a similar situation.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
I have always been a huge proponent of letting talented kids share my stage. There have been so many great musicians in my childhood that let me get up and play a couple songs during their shows, and that’s what gave me the buzz to be a professional musician. If a kid wants to do this for a living and then I say go for it.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself, your music or the show?
If you come out to see one of my shows please don’t be afraid to pull me aside and chat for a bit. If people didn’t show up then I would not have a job. I will always make time for my fans.