Ryan Masters

Ryan Masters


Inspired by small town life, John Hughes, Tim Kinsella, Paul Simon. Folk/Pop/Rock for people who don't like Folk/Pop/Rock...


Ryan Masters was born and raised in the small town of Alton, Ontario – a town small enough to feel like you’ve stepped back in time, but near enough to cities that artists are still exposed to a confluence of talent and inspiration. A multi-instrumentalist, Ryan has been creating music and performing since he was 11 years old, and has been seriously writing folk and folk-inspired rock for more than 12 years. Getting his start in the southern Ontario punk scene in the mid-‘90s, Ryan was able to go beyond the often closed-minded genre barriers and has turned his music into something that melds and twists generic conventions into something completely his own.
Ryan has a knack for melody and the ability to fuse styles from World Music pop (a la Paul Simon) to New Wave infectiousness (a la Talking Heads) to folksy insight (a la Bob Dylan and Mark Kozelek) to indie/emo/experimental genre-pushing and expert lyrical construction (a la Joan of Arc, Modest Mouse). Having cut his teeth in the same scene that spawned Moneen, The Constantines, Alexisonfire, DDMMYYYY and others, Ryan has opted to take a vastly different approach; he buries his hooks deeper, has a more subtle aggression and focuses more on personal experience, atmosphere and thematic consistency.
Ryan has spent the past 6 years hiding out in small towns, playing local bars and restaurants and popping up in the Toronto scene, opening for bands like Joan of Arc, Ambulette, Fang Island and many, many more. With over 5 solo records, he continues to grow as a musician and as a performer. Either solo or with a band, Ryan always gives every song its own performance and is usually on the floor (literally) by the end of a set. When Ryan isn't playing with his band, he plays solo every Thursday night at Ray's 3rd Generation Bistro in his home village of Alton, Ontario. Ryan also has no problem filling his solo set with sounds from a backing track unit that gives an energetic experience and keeps the audience on their feet. However, when he plays with just his guitar the result is a much more emotional, powerful, and intimate experience.

For Ryan’s new record, The Great Alton Fire, he went into a studio for a second time, working with producer Greg Dawson (Moneen, Friendly Rich). It was the first time Ryan had brought in other musicians to the studio. Derek Masters, Jon Whittaker, Dave Joseph and Jae Marr all stand out as amazing players and fit so well with Ryan's sound. In the past, Ryan has played all the instruments on all his records, along with writing, producing, recording, mixing, mastering, and designing. Ryan has accomplished a sound that he has been searching for, mixing the rock elements that he loves from bands like Pearl Jam, The Cure or Bruce Springsteen, with the complicated folk sounds he loves from bands like Joan Of Arc, Paul Simon, and Bonnie Prince Billy. The Great Alton Fire was mastered by James Paul at The Rogue in toronto (Blue Rodeo, Hawksley Workman.)

Up next for Masters is a record titled The Movie Mountains, but for now his focus is on making sure people get a chance to warm up next to The Great Alton Fire.