…the feel of the desert and created a wall of sound with a melody and added some heavy bottom end to paint a perfect picture.
Hello my fellow kilSters! As stated in yesterday’s piece celebrating the 20th anniversary of Local H’s debut album, Ham Fisted, the band is set to release their 8th studio album, Hey, killer with new basher, Ryan Harding. Who is Ryan Harding? What’s behind that well groomed beard? Wonder no longer! Facebook’s Local H die hards group, The Cold Manor has you covered with the first in-depth interview with Mr. Harding! Get to know him now, won’t you?
Do you think that coming from Minnesota has helped you meld well with Scott and the whole feeling of being from the Midwest?
• Yes, I think that it does. Something about the air in these parts I guess…
Who are your main influences in both music writing and drumming? Also the obligatory: Which sticks do you use and why aren’t they Vaters?
• There are so many things and people that influence my playing. I would have to say a few from the beginning would be Jimmy Page, Trent Reznor, and Josh Homme. Jimmy for his take on the blues and seemingly effortless guitar playing among other things. Trent is a great composer and has an innovative ear. Josh has been a favorite since the Kyuss days, he took the feel of the desert and created a wall of sound with a melody and added some heavy bottom end to paint a perfect picture. I really enjoy the things he has done with Queens of the Stone Age too. I like the fact that there is always something new to learn from playing with so many different musicians.
I like a lot of different drummers, some main ones who helped shape my playing have been John Bonham, Ben Gillies, Dale Crover, Abe Cunningham, Jon Theodore and Nat Damm. The jazz, blues, rock combination of styles really opened doors for me when I first started drumming. There is so much music out there, I feel like there is always something old or new and inspiring to be found.
I use Vic Firth American Classic Rock sticks. I have tried a lot of different kinds over the years and these just feel right for the job.
One thing is for sure, we will be playing a lot more shows and there won’t be 4 years between records.
Do you collect anything? Records, comics, toys, instruments, etc.
• I’ve always wanted to collect enough instruments and amps to have a full band and a small recording set up.
Favorite songs to play live in concerts so far?
• “Taxi Cabs“, “Back in the Day“, “Rock and Roll Professionals“, “Saw What You Did“, “Heavy Metal Bakesale“.
What has been the hardest song to learn?
“(Baby Wants To) Tame Me” and “Strict-9” were probably the toughest at first. Sticking to the groove is key in those songs.
Lots of songs have had their little tricks, both Joe and Brian have different styles. Joe had a quick foot, he was more of a basher. His hi-hat and kick patterns always stuck out to me. I try to keep that momentum with his songs. I think Pack Up The Cats has his best work.
Brian has a great technical style, his snare and tom work is more complex. My first taste of his playing was on the Triple Fast Action “Cattlemen Don’t” record. I played along to that album a lot when I first started. It was interesting to hear how his style translated when he joined Local H. I really enjoyed the things he did over the years. Some of my favorite stuff he did is on “P.J. Soles“. It was great to tour with him and learn things from watching him play every night.
Do you ever practice “Hello, Everyone” or “Payback Is A Mother” because we want to hear those songs live? Would you ever consider playing older outtakes?
• I have not practiced those songs…yet. I would consider playing any older outtakes. The last one I worked on was “Stick To What You Know“.
As the third drummer to be part of the band, do you ever feel like you’re comparing yourself or your style to your predecessors? Do you aim to play the songs with technical similarity to Brian and Joe, or do you aim to add your own imprint on how you play them?
• Sometimes. You want to keep that same hard hitting feel but also put your own touch on things. I want to serve the songs as best I can. I try to stick to the album with the older songs, if I feel like throwing something in, I will. I’m not Brian, just like he was not Joe, each guy is going to bring something different to the table. They are both really great drummers, I understand that I won’t please everyone but I am going to give my best effort. One thing is for sure, we will be playing a lot more shows and there won’t be 4 years between records.
What was the audition process like and if there was immediate chemistry between you and Scott. Drum specs would be rad too?
I was pretty surprised to get that phone call. We practiced a few times and then did some shows down South as a trial by fire. There was a good energy from the beginning. Scott and I have know each other for a while. Playing in bands that toured with Local H and playing with Brian and Scott on the 6 Angry Records tour gave us a taste of how compatible our musical taste actually were.
My drums are made by Valerio Independent Percussion. The snare is an old Tama 7”x14” modeled after the Black Beauty. 14”x14” rack tom 18”x18” floor tom and a 26”x20” Kick. I use 15” A Custom Zildjian Hi-Hats, 20” A Zildjian Medium Ride, 22” A Zildjian Medium Ride, 24” A Zildjian Medium Ride. Aquarian Force Ten drum heads. DW5000 dual chain kick pedal. Yamaha and DW hardware.
Trying to be a solid player and challenging myself every time we play. You can always get better.
Do you and Scott interact outside of Local H? Do you have any common interests away from the band?
• We hang. We do movies, pizzas, shows.
If you had a 12 song Local H setlist… what would it be and why?
• I think that my favorite set lists are going to be played this year. We have a whole new batch of songs to throw in with the old ones. I am also still learning songs from the older records and some B-Sides as well. We have a busy year planned, so there will be plenty of different songs added to the setlist.
What was the first Local H song you practiced with Scott?
— “Deep Cut”
How much influence do you have on the setlist or tracking on the album thus far?
• Scott and I make a new set every show, I share my ideas. Recording this new record has been a fun process. This is a new era, things are going to sound a little different. We basically shaped this album in two freezing cold November weeks, from jams and ideas we had on the road and at the practice space over the last year. It’s just the to two of us bouncing ideas back and forth, it makes writing and recording a lot easier.
What is your favorite thing about being in Local H?
• Trying to be a solid player and challenging myself every time we play. You can always get better. Traveling the country and playing to such dedicated fans is great too.
Can you explain the difference in the creative process between BRÜDER & Local H?
• Brüder is a noisy experiment of riffs and rhythms. It’s shorter songs, with varying times. Local H has a more focused approach to songwriting. I play drums in band called Ghost Towns of the West as well. Each have their own style and degree’s of difficulty, I enjoy pushing the creative limits of each band.
Explain your first experience hearing or seeing Local H before you were a member? Were you a fan?
• I saw them on Brian’s first tour. They played First Avenue Mainroom in Minneapolis. I went with some friends I was in a band with at the time, they were the ones that introduced me to Local H. I was expecting Joe, then Scott introduced Brian before the first song. They played a great show, Brian was a perfect replacement for the job.
What are your 3 favorite TV shows and 3 favorite films of all-time?
I like Netflix and HBO Go shows.
TV: “Olive Kitteridge“, “Breaking Bad“, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Movies: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?“, “Mystic River“, and “Caddyshack“.
… Well, there you have it folks! A big THANK YOU to Ryan for taking the time out to allow us to get to know him a little bit. You can look for Scott and Ryan as they gear up for their upcoming tour which starts on February 5th and lest we forget, this April, Local H will be releasing their 8th studio album, Hey, killer, so why not get better acquainted with Ryan’s brand of bad ass bashing as he puts his stamp on this killer new record when it’s released? I think you should. Lastly, I have to again thank Dewey Cole & The Cold Manor Facebook Group for conducting this interview with Ryan and for allowing kilScene to run it.
Want to know when Local H is coming to your town, well then, do yourselves a favor and check LocalH.com periodically.
Photos • John Oakes