We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Holmes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Well, our business is a band. And music has been a part of my family for generations. Great-grand father, aunts, uncles, my mother, cousins, all singers and musicians. As a kid, my mother, who traveled and sang with groups in and around Western North Carolina would sing these sad, melancholy folk songs like “Black Jack Davey” that just pulled at my heart. In her VW Bus, we’d all sing along at the top of our lungs to Beatles, Three Dog Night, Paul McCartney and Wings on 8 track. My sister had a record player and we wore out The White Album, Kiss Comes Alive.
Life in general has always seemed in a little better order, made more sense to me when music is involved. I started singing in bands out of high school. Bounced around a bit. Took a vocal class or two at Palomar. I was the youngest guy in the first band that I played an actual show. The gig was a party in an industrial building in Vista. “Quasimodo” was our name and we offered free beer. The place was packed. I believe we had five bands on the bill that night. That was over thirty years ago now. I’m not the youngest guy in the band anymore.
I guess I’ve pretty much been writing and playing music my entire life. And I’ve never wanted to be the guy that says, “I used to be in a band.” Music is just stupid fun. Why wouldn’t you do that?! So, the business side of music came along as part of the journey.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Was it easy?? Hahahaha, no I don’t think that’s how it works. I think you keep your mind on what you want to do, and stay at it. Come what may. Sometimes that includes watching a crowd of thousands walk away from you and your band as you start your set, on what is, to date, the biggest moment of your career because Green Day is hitting the Main Stage on the other side of the parking lot.
We used to jam three nights a week, from about 11:00 until 2:00 am because at that time, our rhythm guitarist worked nights as a waiter. The jam space was in Miramar, and the rooms were small with no A/C. Another two to three nights a week, my wife and I would be at shows, either helping load in, running sound, lining up gigs, or just being there with our friends. The “day job” had to have as much or more attention, so sleep was minimal.
There were label folks to talk to, flyers to pass out, more gigs to work on, recording sessions, books to study, a never ending catalog of song ideas, band members walking away, a long list of reasons why we can’t tour, new band names, promotions and more cold left overs than the law ought to allow.
Play a show at the Electric Ballroom in Tempe, AZ Sunday night and be back at the office (day job) in Poway Monday morning 7:00 am. Yep. Keep going. That’s the answer. Keep going.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a country guy, so we’d be up in mountains and if it’s a group thing, motorcycles would be best. Stop at Janet’s in Alpine or Descanso Junction for some breakfast, twist the throttle over Cuyamaca, down to Scissors Crossing, back up to Josie’s for a burger and a beverage, out through Pala and down to Oceanside for the sunset. Stop in at the Kraken, if we’re lucky there’s blues on the menu.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, none of this happens without my wife Amber, our kids Emily and Jack and my Mom, Rev. Jean Holmes. We’ve just released our first album, “Turn Out the Lights”. Born to Rise needs to thank, Drums: Michael Ellison, Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals: Richard Ryan Ducharme, Guitar: Dan Hayden, Engineer/Mixer/Producer: Fred Archambault and generally “Fredifying” everything, Tracking/Engineer/Preproduction: Justin Peacock, Mastering: Howie Weinberg, Will Borza, Artwork: Jamie Ellison, Logo: Michael McCullen
BTR would like to thank:
Javier “Hobbs” Salazar, for stepping in on Rhythm Guitar, and Ryan Little for joining us on Drums, our wives, kids, mom’s and dad’s, the best friends, and fans the music world has ever known, Jaime Ellison, Alice Stinnett, Fred Archambault, Mike “the sac” Fasano, Roy Silverstein, Kellogg Boynton, Hunter Levy, Left Coast, everyone who’s rented us rehearsal space, Brick by Brick, Cane’s Bar & Grill, The Hobby Shop, The Cat Club, Fitgerald’s, The Jumping Turtle, Mike Causey, and I’m sure we’ve failed to mention
Javier “Hobbs” Salazar, Jaime Ellison, Michael McCullen, Emily Holmes