Time to introduce you to another Expert Fan on the LA scene! This one is out constantly supporting all levels of bands and musicians in all kinds of genres. Meet the radical, badical, Ryan Romenesko!
I met Ryan via The Janks. We both share a mutual love for them, and after being at a slew of their shows, were finally introduced via Zachary. We started talking music, and that conversation has yet to stop. He has recommended many bands to me, and has yet to turn me on to anyone I didn’t enjoy. He is a loyal supporter in all the ways you’d expect of an Expert Fan: attendance, enthusiasm, spreading the word and beyond. He also is a damn fun guy to attend shows with because he just radiates that genuine love for music.
Now, I should probably mention that Ryan works in PR, and though that is his job, he supports and spreads the word about bands beyond the ones he actually represents. Many times that is not true for people in PR (or at least many of the ones I’ve met), they want to only discuss their bands. Just another reason this dude is truly an Expert Fan.
Anyway, I’ll let you get to know Ryan now, and if you catch this guy at one of your shows, you should consider yourself lucky.
Little Chute, Wisconsin.
When did you move to Los Angeles?
February of 2010.
Why did you move to LA?
I got offered a job two months before I graduated college and I moved out here for that job. I am still working at that same company.
Does that company have anything to do with music?
It does, it is a music media relations company, so a public relations and management firm.
Favorite bands growing up?
Alice in Chains, Blues Traveler, System of a Down, Metallica, Johnny Lang. Do you want to go like way older? Like when I was really young? Because then I could toss in Billy Joel or Janet Jackson. I used to be obsessed with musicals, and I could still sing every fucking word to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Rent, by memory, right now. Which I will not do, but I could do.
Best live show you’ve ever got to?
I would say Paul McCartney when they shut down the Hollywood Boulevard, like two years ago or a year and a half ago, whenever that was. That was incredible. The first time I saw Reignwolf at The Satellite, where there was like 30 people there, that was insane. Toto at the Greek, this year was unbelievable, Toto is added to my list of bands I will pay any amount of money to see from now on, because it blew me away. Every time I’ve seen the Black Crowes, I’ve peed a little bit because I was so excited. Most recently Chet Faker was really, really good.
Besides the music, what makes a live show great?
It has to be authentic, you have to be able to like look at the people playing and see that they’re actually connected to whatever they’re performing and not just being on stage for the sake of being on stage. They clearly are connected to their lyrics, to the melodies, to whatever they’ve written.
Since you work in music, what are some of your favorite, “Holy Shit, that just happened!” moments?
I worked with Zakk Wylde for two years and would go to like every event with him. I’d drive up to his house and then we’d have a car take us wherever. The first time we went to the Golden Gods together, which is like the heavy metal Grammys essentially, he hosted the backstage interviews. So after everybody would come off stage, I just got to like stand there and meet everybody. I met Gene Simmons, Dee Snider, all the dudes of Metallica were there, Marilyn Manson, Johnny Depp, Tenacious D, all the guys in Anthrax, Slayer. It was just chilling and they all know Zakk, so he’d be like, ‘Hey, this is my bro Ryan.’ I’d be like, ‘Hello, nice to meet you.’ Working with him was the best because my first obsession with music, like that I really got into, was metal. I still have posters of him hanging on my wall in my parents house, so when I first got the call to work for him I was like, ‘Oh my god. If he’s not amazing, my whole childhood is going to be ruined.’ Then I met him and his wife and they’re the best couple I’ve ever met, they are so nice, so great to work with.
We went and did a metal show for VH1 classic and the taping after us was Geoff Tate from Queensryche and it was right after he had gotten kicked out of Queensryche. It was his first interview. He was obviously still pretty upset because it was a band he started, and he was the lead singer and the band was like, later.
Then, when we left, the next episode was Evan Seinfeld from Biohazard, he started a new band called Attika 7, with this guy Rusty Coons. Those two guys are friends with a buddy of mine from Wisconsin Thom Hazaert. I introduced myself and I said, ‘I’m friends with Thom Hazaert.’ and then, you know, I was there with Zakk, so they were like, ‘Oh this dudes legit.’ So now I’m like bros with them when I see them.
Favorite venues in LA?
For small shows. I really love Hotel Café. They have great music and just the ambiance in the room is amazing. I love going to The Satellite because I love getting beer for $5.50 and seeing awesome rock shows. For large shows, I love going to the Greek and the Hollywood Bowl, where you can bring your own wine and get cheap tickets up on the top and hang out. The Troubadour of course, because it’s The Troubadour.
What’s some advice that you would give bands?
The biggest thing is, now especially, playing live. You need to play a lot, as often as you can, without it being obviously obnoxious, within reason. The days are gone where you can like put an album out, tour and then sit for two years and not really do anything until your next album comes out and then do it over again.
Now it’s a generation of instant gratification where you can just be like, I need this information, and boom, it’s on your phone, it’s on your computer, instantly. Music fans are wanting more and more stuff, like whether it’s even just like oh check out these new photos, or here’s a new music video or a lyric video, or here’s an EP or this song we just recorded for fun.
Basically, as much quality content you can put out on top of like playing often, even if it’s just regional. Just to keep your locals, because those are going to be your core fans no matter what. Keeping them engaged will keep them excited which will keep them talking about you to the wider audience.
Who are you listening to right now?
Currently, in my CD player is St. Paul & The Broken Bones, which I listened to the album a ton when it came out and then I found it in my car again. I love that. The new Devin Townsend album is ten out of ten amazing. The greatest black metal album of the year, is Behemoth’s, The Satanist, I like to listen to it in the dark and curse all of my enemies. The new Janks EP is tip top, PS, Hello The Janks.
The new Hozier album is really, really good. The new Shakey Graves album is really good. I get in these ruts where I listen to the same CD on repeat, for like a very, very long time. I have every Black Crowes show which they record and they release it as a bootleg. I have the recording from when I saw them like a year ago. It is like two and a half hours long so you can listen to it without it being too repetitive, so that’s really good. I think that’s my hit list right now.