Ryders Creed by Shannon Landers Photography

HRH Mag met up with 2017 HRH Highway To Hell winners and Off Yer Rocka artists
Ryders Creed during their recent ‘top secret’ visit to Manchester to discuss their upcoming RPM Takeover tour, their plans for the rest of the year, fashion, escaping the asylum, and the time they didn’t meet Nikki Sixx!

Let’s start by talking about your latest single ‘My Life’ and the release of your third music video, which was directed by your frontman, Ryan. What is the song about and how did you come up with the idea for the video? Will Ryan be directing all of the band’s videos from now on?

[Lee S.] No, he won’t! Hahaha!

[Ryan] The song when I initially wrote it was about focusing on the negative aspects of my life so far and moving out of that and into a positive light really, so it’s about making a stand and making a choice. “My choice, my life – I’m going to bring myself out of this negative situation and turn it into a positive one”. There’s a lot to do with inner battles of the mind as well, and when we came to do the music video we decided that it would be really cool to portray that on screen by way of escaping a mental asylum – escaping the demons, the doubts, the guilt and all the stuff that’s going to try and drag you back in. So it’s really just about discovering yourself and overcoming your inner demons.

With regards to directing our future videos, our videos are very much about all of us – we’re all a part of them and every one of us has input, so all of our ideas go into the pot. The reason I directed this one is because when it came to the Director’s Cut and the narrative version of it, I had specific actors and a storyline in mind and the lads were decent enough to let me flow with that, which was really, really cool and it was a fantastic experience. But our future videos will very much be all five of us putting in our individual ideas and getting it done. The next one could be directed by all of us together, or I could take the lead on it, it doesn’t really matter who does it as long as the ideas that all of us come up with as a band get put across and in a way that we’re all happy with.

All of the band members featured in the ‘My Life’ video – was it fun to make and were they easy to direct?

[Lee S.] I hated it! Hated every minute of it!

[Ryan] It unfortunately was a very, very cold day…

[Lee S.] First of all, it was my Birthday and I really hate the cold, I can’t stand it. I was cold and hungry and it was my Birthday and it was all about him because he was the Director! So I had a horrible time!

[Ryan] It was alright at the church!

[Lee S.] Yeah, because it was a little less freezing in there!

The Directors Cut lasts nine and a half minutes – how long did filming take?

[Ryan] Filming took place over three almost consecutive weekends. We did a Saturday and a Sunday and then we revisited on the Sunday a couple of weeks later and then the editing process took an entire weekend as well. We went through it with Tommy, who films and edits all of our music videos – he’s absolutely brilliant. Previously he actually took on the role of directing as well – we basically told him what we wanted and he directed our last two videos for ‘Raise The Hoof’ and ‘Headspace’.

We have very strong ideas when it comes to our videos and we like doing things cinematically, always putting a narrative element to all of our stuff. It is extremely fun and we all thoroughly enjoy it. It is very strenuous though and we do metaphorically bleed for our work, so it can take it out of us a lot. With the ‘Raise The Hoof’ video for example we all got injured – I don’t think there was a single member of the band that didn’t get hurt.

[Lee S.] ‘Raise The Hoof’ was my favourite video!

[Lee G.] After filming ‘Raise The Hoof’ I had to play at HRH Ibiza last year with a bruised rib! And I put my hand through a window filming the ‘My Life’ video!

Ryders Creed / Anne Estella by Shannon Landers Photography

You released your eponymous debut album in 2018 – are you planning on releasing any new records this year?

[Lee S.] No albums this year. We do plan on going into the studio to record a new album this year though, which we hope to release sometime next year. The first album was released on 1st June 2018 so we’d like as close to a two-year gap if possible. We’ve got plenty of really strong ideas knocking about and we’re just moving forward towards the end of the year when hopefully we’ll get into the studio, record our second album and then put a release plan in place and push it out. It’s not absolutely set in stone yet, but that’s the plan and so far it’s going well.

You announced on social media recently that you had some HUGE news coming soon – can you give us any clues as to what that might be and what ‘top secret behind-the-scenes’ stuff you’re doing in Manchester during your stay here?

[Ryan] Unfortunately we can’t say… but what we can tell you is that it’s extremely cool!

[Lee S.] It could potentially make TV history as well!

[Ryan] We’ve been told that this is the first time this has ever happened – the thing we’re doing has never been done before! We have no idea when we’re going to be able to tell people what we’re doing, but it’s very interesting and it’s going to be happening tomorrow in Manchester!

Ryan – as well as being a musician and an actor, you also have your own clothing line. Can you tell us about that? Do you design all of Ryders Creed’s merchandise and artwork as well?

[Ryan] What we do as a band is done as a full band, so when it came to the artwork for the album, we had our ideas that we wanted to put forward for a potential album cover, and then my Missus Lily designed what we asked her for. The artwork on our band T-shirts was done by Lily based on all of our creative ideas but the logo itself was actually designed by Myles’ brother. So the Ryders Creed logo and the album artwork combined our creative input, but was actually designed for us by people who could do it better than we could. Myles’ brother has also just designed our new merch line for ‘My Life’, which is coming out very soon!

[Lee S.] Pre-orders for the ‘My Life’ merch are being taken now!

[Ryan] It looks absolutely fantastic and we can’t wait to get that out to everybody! As for my own clothing line – I wanted to keep it completely separate from the band. My range, Ryan Antony Design Clothing, is basically the clothes I want to wear, and because I can’t find them anywhere, I’ll make them and put them out myself, and a lot of people seem to be liking them! At the moment we’ve just got T-shirts but I’ve got plans for hoodies, jackets and jumpers and then further down the line I imagine that I’ll be moving more towards things like jeans and actual shirts, maybe denim cuts, but predominantly stage-wear.

Lee, you’re pretty tall – at 6’3”, has your height ever caused any issues for you whilst performing on stage?

[Lee S.] Actually there are two incidents that spring to mind… One was at Thekla in Bristol – it wasn’t on stage where I had the issue, it was walking down the corridor to our dressing room – I literally had to walk at a ninety degree angle!  The other one was at a venue I’ve played at a few times with previous bands as well as with Ryders Creed, where the ceiling is very low and at the side of the stage is a great big fan – so with the low ceiling and the large air conditioning unit, I’m having to perform at a ninety degree angle too! I like to move about and jump around as much as I can, so when the ceilings are really low it does limit that quite a bit. I have to put my JCB hard hat on! It doesn’t happen often but there is the odd stage or venue that I look at and think, “yeah, this is gonna suck…”

Years ago, before Ryders Creed, I played at what was The Carling Academy in Birmingham and I stood on the barrier in front of where the photographers go and the lighting rig came down really low. I was headbanging away and doing my thing and my hair got tangled in the house lights and I had to rip a good chunk of my own hair out!

Ryders Creed / Anne Estella by Shannon Landers Photography

You’re just about to go out on the RPM (Rock People Management) Takeover Tour with The Rocket Dolls and EMPYRE – what are your favourite songs by those two bands? And is there any friendly competition or rivalry between you?

[Lee S.] No, there’s definitely no rivalry.

[Ryan] We know the EMPYRE lads and Lee actually used to play with their former drummer Jack at University. The first time we met EMPYRE was at Breaking Bands Festival and the first they saw of us was Lee running into me with a massive crash mat and knocking me flying! We checked them out, knowing they were on the same label as us and we were going to go on tour with them and listened to a few of their songs, but we haven’t checked out everything they’ve done because ultimately we want to wait until we see them perform live with us and then we can decide what our favourite songs of theirs are and really get to know their material. With Nikki Sixx…

[Lee S.] Nikki Sixx?!! When did we meet Nikki Sixx??!

[Ryan] Not Nikki Sixx… Nikki Smash! I’m sure he did that deliberately, haha! Yeah, with Nikki from The Rocket Dolls and the other guys – we met them properly when we played with them at The Asylum a couple of weeks ago and they’re genuinely sound. We absolutely love those guys! They’re really nice geezers.

[Lee S.] The reason why it’s quite hard for us to answer this question is because we kind of hit the ground running and haven’t even been together for two years yet as a band. Everything’s been so quick and we’ve met so many other bands – when you’ve got that much music coming towards you it’s hard to remember song names and even band names. We listen to these bands and we like them, but it’s difficult for us to pick favourite songs because it’s all been so fast-paced for us.

You’ve been announced for this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair – will this be your first time playing there?

[Ryan] Yes – first time attending and first time playing for all of us! Can’t wait for it, that’s a really big one! We’ll be playing the Rising Stage and to be invited by the Ramblin’ Man team to play was really awesome, because we were going to enter a competition to hopefully win a slot there, so to find out a couple of days before our competition heat that we’d been invited to play was a huge bonus! It was a massive confidence boost.

What other festivals have you got lined up for this year and which ones are you most excited for?

[Ryan] We’re excited for all of them really. We’re doing things a fair bit bigger than we have done previously.

[Lee S.] Steelhouse and Ramblin’ Man are what I’m most looking forward to.

[Ryan] Steelhouse and Ramblin’ Man are two biggies. We’re also playing the main stage at Amplified Festival.

Having appeared at HRH Road Trip to Ibiza last year you unfortunately had to pull out of it this year – what was the reason for that?

[Lee S.] It was very last minute and for a moment we thought we’d be able to do it. It’s due to personal issues and we’d like to apologise to the public for pulling out. A few of us have our own things going on during the time that HRH Ibiza is happening and it’s just too much for us to take on at the moment.

As a touring band you spend a lot of time in each other’s company… What are the best and worst characteristics of each of your bandmates?

[Lee G.] We’re all family.

[Lee S.] Yeah, but even families have arguments!

[Ryan] Why don’t we just pick apart all my faults?! The issue with Ryders Creed is me!

[Lee G.] The best game we play is ‘Peg a peg on Ryan’ – without him knowing!

[Ryan] That’s very true actually – I’ve gone through a couple of embarrassing situations not having any idea that I’ve got pegs on my back!

[Myles] The worst thing about Lee S. is pissing on my clothes!

[Lee S.] And the best thing??

[Myles] Not pissing on my clothes!

[Lee S.] I’ve got some answers for these questions, and I’m going to speak honestly! Lee – I think the worst thing about you mate is…

{Lee G.] Go on!

[Lee S.] What do you think I’m going to say?

[Lee G.] That I’m ginger!

[Lee S.] I wasn’t going to say that actually! The worst thing is sometimes I’ll put a song idea across and you’ll go, “Er, is it drawing away from Ryders Creed?” And my answer to that is, “Open your fucking mind and think outside the box mate!” However, the best thing I can say for you is you’ve always been very supportive and you work your arse off for this band. You do a lot of driving and a lot of the admin work as well and when it comes to demos and making sure everything’s up to scratch, you’re always by my side, making sure I can get through it as well.

Ryan – I’ve got a whole long list of negative things for you sunshine! I’ve got a long list of good things as well, but I’ll pick two things. You talk way too fucking much mate! In some instances that’s great, because sometimes in interviews you can take the lead and chat and chat and chat and we can do fuck all basically, which is great, but other times, like when I’m trying to put a song idea across or we’re in rehearsal and you’re talking for ages about something that I have no fucking interest in, other than the music at that moment, that’s where it gets annoying.

[Ryan] Got you, that’s fair. But there was no positivity there whatsoever!

[Lee S.] That was a positive and a negative in one!

[Ryan] So… positive that I can talk and negative that I can talk too much?!

[Lee S.] Okay, okay – you’ve got an amazing voice and I do consider you to be one of my best friends. You’ve been there for me since the first day we met and you’ve always heard me out as a human being and taken on board any of my issues – so just less talking and more listening to me!

Myles – I love your beard, but hate your guitar playing, haha! No, I actually can’t think of a negative for you Myles… well you’re late a lot to be fair and you always blame it on traffic. I think that’s bullshit because you live down the road from me! On the positive side you’re an amazing person to work alongside and I don’t think I could have put half as much guitar effort in if you didn’t – you inspire me as a guitar player.

Richard – I can’t think of much to say about you mate to be fair… I very rarely see you at practice!

[Richard] I’m always there and I’m always playing right!

[Lee S.] Something that used to be an issue but that I’ve come to terms with, is the amount of times you don’t turn up to practice. However, whenever you do turn up you’ve always got your shit down, it’s lock-tight and it’s absolutely bang-on. So the positive there is that you learn and write your parts very quickly – much quicker than I ever could. But it’s not important that you don’t turn up to practice mate, because you’re just a bass player, so…

[Richard] Nobody holds a riff like Dick!

On that note we’d like to thank Ryders Creed for taking the time to chat to us and wish them all the best on their current UK tour!

Watch the official Director’s Cut music video for ‘My Life’ here:

Ryders Creed are:

Ryan Antony – Vocals
Lee Spencer – Guitar
Myles Cooper – Guitar
Richard Clark – Bass
Lee Gilbert – Drums

See them live through Summer 2019 here:

10th May – RPM Takeover Tour, The Iron Road Live, Pershore

17th May – RPM Takeover Tour, Redrum, Stafford

18th May – RPM Takeover Tour, The Live Rooms, Chester

25TH May – Dead Man’s Whiskey with support from Ryders Creed, The Camden Assembly, London

7th June – RPM Takeover Tour, The Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool

8th June – RPM Takeover Tour, Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh

19th- 22nd July – Amplified Open Air Festival, Eastington

19th-21st July – Ramblin’ Man Fair, More Park, Maidstone

27th July – Steelhouse Live Festival, Ebbw Vale, Wales

25th Aug – Giff-Fest 2019, The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

14th Sept – Rockin’ The Bowl – Forged In Hell 2019, Don Valley Grass Bowl