with Ryan Sollee
Bands: The Builders & The Butchers
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a
Ryan – I never really wanted to be a professional musician, just write
songs. I did quit my job when I was 24 & moved to Portland,
that’s when I wanted to take it a little more seriously.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Ryan – The first show The Builders & the Butchers played where
more than 50 people showed up, any show that people are singing
along. Playing in Europe & having people know our
songs. Working with & playing with amazing people,
musicians, & songwriters.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Ryan – It wasn’t such a clear decision, but I think around the age of
30 when I got married I knew it was an eventuality.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has
had on your career?
Ryan – My baby is only 3 weeks old, but I am pretty much taking the
next year off the road. We’ve been touring heavy for 4 years,
so a break isn’t necessarily negative. I can’t write as much
at home, but being off the road I can really concentrate on
writing/recording instead of squeezing things in between tours.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has
had on your family?
Ryan – Touring is a challenge when you are married, so even though my
wife is very supportive & has always been with me being on the
road, it strains the relationship. As far as our baby goes it
is too soon to tell. I think it will be good, I think also
that I have to have different expectations as to what I can accomplish.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or
Ryan – It’s too soon to tell, but I think anything as major as having
kids couldn’t help but change the way I process the world & in
turn change the songs I write.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a
musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your
Ryan – I’ve been very lucky to have a steady job from home that I can
work when I get home, things would be a lot more difficult if I didn’t.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring
musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Ryan – I think I got in just enough touring to feel that I didn’t need
to earlier. Also I’m really glad I started in my late 20s, I
think you can really appreciate the road differently being slightly
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on
Ryan – Only time will tell. I do think I would like to get
involved with one of the many musical projects in Portland aimed at
QRD – Would you rather see your daughter eventually become a musician
Ryan – Do I have to choose? Music is a real source of joy in
my life. So is my daughter, but for totally different
reasons, you really can’t compare the two.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as
much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end
up dividing your time?
Ryan – I really love being busy with music, so it will be a constant
struggle; but I also love spending time being a dad, like other things
in my life, giving up one good thing means more of the other, but she
is the biggest priority.
QRD – What does your daughter think of your music?
Ryan – So far she cries when I sing to her.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your
Ryan – That would be a dream, I would love to, but I wouldn’t want to
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Ryan – Get out in the garage, or down in the basement, &
practice as much as your parents can stand.
QRD – 2015 update - any new insight from three more years of fatherhood?
– I would say that being a father has really made me appreciate still
being able to play music & collaborate with amazing creative
people. I really look forward to shows & recording in a much
different way these days.