2015 Artist Survey: Ryley Walker | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2015 Artist Survey: Ryley Walker

Walker on 2015's Best Albums, Music Streaming, and Getting Fired

Feb 11, 2016 Photography by Dusdin Condren Ryley Walker
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For Under the Radar’s 13th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2015. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2015 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2015 print and digital issues for answers from Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, Julien Baker, Blanck Mass, CHVRCHES, Dan Deacon, The Dears, Dutch Uncles, EL VY, Everything Everything, Father John Misty, Field Music, The Flaming Lips, How to Dress Well, Sondre Lerche, Low, Luna, Mew, NZCA Lines, Cullen Omori, Natalie Prass, Small Black, Surfer Blood, Tamaryn, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.

Here are some answers from Ryley Walker. Walker’s latest album, Primrose Green, was released last year via Dead Oceans.

Top 4 Albums of 2015

Hmmm…slow year for me listening to new music, mostly just friends’ stuff.

1. Circuit Des Yeux: In Plain Speech
2. Bitchin Bajas / Natural Information Society: Automaginary
3. Ultimate Painting: Green Lanes
4. Daniel Bachman: River

What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?

Lots of touring, going to Morocco and Israel. Low point was having time off from tour.

What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

More touring and a couple new records.

With the launch of TIDAL and Apple Music in 2015, there are more streaming music options, but the same issues of adequate artist compensation persist. What are your current thoughts on streaming and which service would you most like to have your music on?

Wait, people are making a living playing music? Shit. I guess I should have more thoughts on TIDAL than “none.”

What are your thoughts on Friday being the new global release day for albums? Is it helping or hurting album sales?

Makes no difference. Tuesdays I’m hung-over and go to record stores, same on Fridays.

Mainstream pop music is increasingly embraced by indie rock musicians and listeners, as well as serious music critics. At this point, do you draw any distinctions between Top 40 pop and indie rock/pop? Are you comfortable with this shift?

Why draw lines in the sand, dog? I’m just as pop as Britney Spears. We just want to make tunes and pay rent.

What are your thoughts on how the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is shaping up?

I sure hope nobody is looking to deadbeat musicians on who to pick. I’m still in bed at 4 p.m., no comment.

Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift’s 1989 (and then Father John Misty covered Adams covering Swift). If you were to cover another artist’s album in its entirety, which would you pick and why?

Kevin Drumm: Sheer Hellish Miasma.

Have you ever been fired from a job (be it a day job or musical one)? Why were you fired?

Literally every job. Some for dumb reasons but mostly just being late or no-shows.

What’s your earliest music-related childhood memory?

Jackson Browne.

What outrageous request would you most like to put in your tour rider as a joke?

People at venues have jobs to do, just like me. I ain’t trying to fuck with people.

What’s the most disastrous date you’ve ever been on?

Nothing really comes to mind. Maybe a mental breakdown? My mental breakdown, though.

Which Star Wars character are you most like?

No idea.

Where do you see yourself in five beers?


What’s the lamest breakup excuse you’ve ever given or been given?




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