This week, GIGsoup managed to grab some time with Ryan Karazija, lead singer of Low Roar. Ryan is a busy man right now, currently wrapping up his tour of North America before heading to Europe. Fans in the UK will be able to catch Low Roar at his four dates in Bristol, Leeds, Brighton and London.
His musical journey started in his kitchen in Iceland, writing a song every day and recording his first album just with his guitar and computer. Now, Ryan has released his third album ‘Once in a Long, Long While…’ – naturally, we had lots of questions to ask about his latest release, how he’s finding the tour, and where his musical journey is taking him.
Straight away in our exclusive interview with Low Roar, we just had to find out more about the breathtaking new single ‘Bones’…
Your duet on ‘Bones’ with Jófríður Ákadóttir is stunning. What led to the collaboration between the two of you?
I had written this song as a duet and I had a few people in mind that I was going to ask to sing the song with, and it just so happened that she happened to be in London the same time I was there, and I asked her to come by the studio and try it out, which she did. And the minute I heard her sing the female parts I knew she was perfect.
What musical influences helped to form ‘Bones’?
Not sure if there were any! I was in Mexico, there was a guitar that only had 5 strings on it sitting in the office of our record label, and I picked it up and wrote the song.
How does this single work in the wider context of your third album?
It fits because it surrounds a kind of similar subject that flows through this album.
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There’s an audible shift from your first self-titled album to ‘Bones’, to ‘O’, to ‘Once in a Long, Long While…’. How would you describe your musical journey so far?
Well I just went from making the first record entirely alone in the kitchen, moved up into a garage, then finally into an actual studio. So, along the way I had met different people who played different instruments, and I had more instruments available to myself.
You wrote Once in a Long Long While while you spent time out in 2016 on solo travelling. What was it about being on the road that helped you with writing this album?
I’m not sure if anything about being on the road helped me with writing the album. The album was recorded over a small amount of time, spread out over a year. But I guess it was nice once again to pull myself out of my own comfort zone.
Do you find it an easier or harder process to follow up each album?
Of course I was nervous about the second one, but then I stopped giving a shit, because I started seeing people compare which was better or worse and it didn’t really matter because I had written them anyway, I don’t write songs to please anybody but myself.
What are you looking forward to about being back on tour?
Just getting to perform the new material and the old material in a new way, and seeing how the crowds react to the work we’ve been putting in.
I still remember first discovering you through ‘Friends Make Garbage (Real Friends Take It Out)’. How do you find your older songs speak to you today? Do you find them to mark an era of your past, or still just as relevant to you?
That song definitely marks a part of my past, part of my past that will always sit with me, it still feels the same. They’re a part of my life, or were, maybe they’re just reminders but not necessarily in a bad way anymore. I guess I’ve come to peace with them.
Since your stunning debut album, how has your process of song writing and composition evolved? For you, how does a song start to take shape?
I don’t think it has changed. It just begins and ends when it needs to.
What should fans expect from your European tour this spring?
I think you should come and see for yourself without expectations. I think we’re putting on a really good show and we’re excited to perform it for everybody.
Do you have any more travels in the pipeline or will you be taking a well earned rest in Poland for the foreseeable future?
Nope, no rest!
Don’t miss Low Roar on his European tour later this month – there’s 12 opportunities you can catch him in France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, UK and his new home city Poland. And if you can’t catch him at any of the dates, no need to miss out: we’ll be seeing him at the XOYO Club on the 31 May. Check back with GIGsoup for our live review on Low Roar – you can follow us on Twitter to be the first to know!
LOW ROAR, EUROPEAN TOUR
23 May – Paris, Badaboum
24 May – Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
25 May – Cologne, Artheater
26 May – Frankfurt, Zoom
29 May – Amsterdam, Bitterzoet
30 May – Lille, Splendid Club
31 May – London, XOYO
2 June – Bristol, The Exchange
3 June – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
4 June – Brighton, The Hope & Ruin
6 June – Berlin, Bi Nuu Club
8 June – Poznań, Spot
9 June – Warsaw, Niebo