In bands since he was 12 years old, Ryan Kershaw is one of New Zealand's top rock guitarists. He has also recorded music for websites and is the driving force behind the Underground Festival. Ryan is also a professional guitar tutor, event and tour manager, songwriter and band coach. He answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:
What can we expect to see from you over the next year?
At the moment I'm in York St Studios recording my latest single, which will sound kinda like Slayer. I am also writing a book on how to play the guitar. I have a tour in October of Whangarei, Auckland and Palmy that I'm getting ready for and I am also organizing a tour of New Zealand's top country guitarists/songwriters called 'Guitars On Fire'. I am also planning the next Underground Festival to be held in March next year, so would be keen as to hear from bands that would like to play :)
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands, and why?
Head Like A Hole because they are one of the only bands that play on radio at the moment that don't sound like safe middle of the road pop rock. I have loved them since their early days. And Kora because they are buzzy as and don't stick to a certain genre just to please everybody else.
Who would you most like to support live?
I created a show called the Underground Festival, and the had it's debut in March. I started it because I feel strongly that the majority of great NZ musicians are the ones NOT getting heard. I'm sick to death of hipster shit and wanted to see a show where it was bands that could really play well and were down to earth. It's just a small donation to get in and there are stalls including a tattooist, body piercing, face painting and vintage pin up hair, as well as heaps of other things. So I'd be keen to hear of any underground bands that are a bit different to the mainstream that would like to play.
What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?
There's a band I'm really digging at the moment called Crafty. Check out their song 'Mars'. Buzzy as!! And Bury Me Low are awesome too. They're like a mix between Mother Love Bone and Alice in Chains. A band I asked to come on tour with me in October is called These Automatic Changers. They are kinda like a cross between Led Zeppelin and Tool m/ And there is a guitarist called Sharne Scarborough (Just One Fix) who deserves a mention because he has worked his arse off for years and is a great musician.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
ASK FOR HELP! I never did for so many years because I didn't want to bother anybody, and also because I didn't know where to look. I tried but when you don't know where to go, it can be hard to find support. But people don't come to you. It doesn't matter how hard you want something. if you are smoking buds and drinking a 40 of jack, and listening to Dark Side of the Moon in a dark room on a Saturday night, thats great but it's not getting out there eh. Well it is but not in the physical sense. I'm not saying not to do those things, if you wanna do it, then do it, but you gotta get out there too and gig, and find people that can help your band. But you can't get other people to do your push ups for you. You gotta get off your arse and stop bitching because complaining doesn't change shit. There are some great organizations: the Music Managers Forum, RIANZ, the New Zealand Music Commission, PPNZ, Independent Music New Zealand. There's 5 that you should write down and approach if you haven't already. They are organizations with nice people that are experienced and believe it or not, do want to help you. So if you haven't written them down, or don't approach them, then don't complain about them not helping. Don't wish things were different, wish for the skills to make you better. You can be a munter and learn to get better at the same time! ha ha.
Trust me :)
In bands since he was 12 years old, Ryan Kershaw is one of New Zealand's top rock guitarists.
After success in the Rockquest competition with his school band Paradox, Ryan played both as a solo performer and as part of a band in hundreds of shows.
He has recorded custom music for websites (www.eastsidetattoo.co.nz) and in 2011 made an EP mixed by a Grammy winning engineer.