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Ryan Fisherman Unveils Debut Album 'Vibe' + Interview

Ryan Fisherman Unveils Debut Album 'Vibe' + Interview

A.K. / Interview by Brooke Singer / Photo credit: Eithne Whitteker / Friday 15th May, 2020 1:49PM

The debut solo album from Ryan Fisherman aka Ryan Chin has landed in all its country-folk beauty, galloping into earshot from the Ōtautahi plains. Having played with some of New Zealand's stellar songwriters as Doprah, Mousey, Nakey and many others, Fisherman is stepping into the spotlight with a sterling collection of his own charming, melancholy songs. Vibe has been brought to life by a long list of Christchurch contributors, from producer Ben Edwards, to former Doprah bandmates Indira Force and Symon Palmer, and what sounds an awful lot like Marlon Williams backing vocals on 'Old Man In Me', further confirmed by a cryptic 'thank yous' list with mentions of Mar, Woodsy, Bedwards, J Shanks and other puzzling code names.

Brooke Singer of French For Rabbits spent some time in email conversation with Fisherman, getting to the bottom of what vibe is Vibe, the story behind 'How Cool', and the Ōtautahi music scene. Sink into the lush debut from Ryan Fisherman, and get to know the multi-talented brain behind the music as you do...

Brooke Singer: Firstly, congratulations on the release of your album Vibe! What would you say this 'vibe' is that you've created on your new record?

Ryan Fisherman: Thank you! The vibe is a mix bag of sounds. Much like a dollar mixture. I spent a while trying to figure out the vibe of the album after my producer asked me "Ryan... what's the vibe?". But if I had to pick one vibe I would say alt-country vibes haha!

The latest single 'How Cool' is very simmering - like looking out past the horizon, and you're glaring a bit because the sun is in your eyes. What was this song about? And who decided you should shave all your hair off for the video you've just released?

Haha, it is one of the moodier songs off the album. I wrote it about people with big egos who love to talk the talk. People with no awareness for others. I have always wanted to shave my head. So I figured why not turn it into a music video! Luckily I had Martin (Sagadin) to direct the video and help create a better narrative than me just getting a hair cut.

What is your favourite lyric on the record? (and why?)

Favourite lyrics are "Loosen the load again, you only get one chance to die" on 'Observation'. Which may sound grim but it's just a reminder that we only live once. So take the time to enjoy it.

You've been making some notable appearances recently on other people's records as a producer and session musician. How do you find the music community down in Christchurch? And does everyone in Lyttelton inevitably make a country/folk influenced record?

It's a relatively small scene in Christchurch, much like the rest of NZ I guess. This means you get to work with a lot of other like-minded people and be part of multiple projects. I am very lucky to work with so many talented and caring people. Haha! I used to think that was the case. But after working on a bunch of records in Lyttelton I came to realise it's not all country and folk.

Music venues have been having a bit of a rough time of late, and it's exciting that this time next week some of them will be back open. Do you have a favourite venue we should all know about and support?

My favourite spots in Christchurch are Blue Smoke and Space Academy as I have spent a lot of time at these venues. But I encourage everyone to donate to any venue that needs our help.

No internet, no radio and no company but a record player. What three records would you listen to on repeat?

The Harrow & The Harvest - Gillian Welch
Either/Or - Elliot Smith
Happy Ending - The Phoenix Foundation

What's next for you? Any last words?

Back to work, haha! I have a few months of bands booked in at my home studio. Then I will get stuck into writing some more tunes for the next album. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way xx

The debut album from Ryan Fisherman 'Vibe' is out now.


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