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The Ruby Suns


Ryan McPhun was born in Ventura, California, where he was raised on a diet of sunshine and orchestrated pop music. Seismic activity along the “ring of fire” on the US coast, eventually shifted Ryan a further 88km South to Los Angeles, along with his drum kit and guitar.

Here Ryan started his first band, though he eventually grew tired of coaxing his friends away from their metal band to perform backing music for his alt pop meanderings. Fortunately, he drifted loose of the continent that spawned him and found himself in the set of islands which were some of the earliest to split off from Gondwana land (New Zealand). He discovered that much of the music he liked had survived here in the same fashion as the large flightless birds, in the absence of their natural predators.

Shortly after his arrival, he continued to develop his own music, whilst also helping out as a member of The Brunettes - who he travelled with on their latest tour supporting The Shins within the US. During this time his track Birthday On Mars was featured on a Lil Chief Records compilation (Now We Are Three), which was sold at live shows and distributed to indie stores within the US through Subpop Records. After returning to NZ, Ryan completed work on an ambitious solo album, working in his new basement studio in order to perfect his multi-layered popadelic sound.

His self-titled album takes equal levels of inspiration from the modern indie DIY approach and the grandiose productions of the 60s and 70s. The songs focus on a peculiar range of subjects, which stretches from Ryan’s prevarication about which shipping company to use on, Look Out SOS! to the empathetic story of a lone Kenyan zebra in Maasai Mara or the amalgamation of a skateboard wheel and a non-electric vacuum cleaner on Trepidation Pt2. The Washington City Paper listed the self-titled album as one of their top twenty of 2005 and said: “The best pop music from New Zealand has always taken the familiar and made it sound alien—like something that could exist only on the other side of the world. In the case of this Auckland sextet, it’s Pet Sounds–era Beach Boys, ever so slightly electrofied, given an almost dubby spaciousness, and hitched to lyrics about zebras.” (Leonard Roberge).

Band Members:
Ryan McPhun
Alistair Deverick
Bevan Smith





  • Auckland

Reviews / Interviews

REVIEW: Sea Lion Album Review
Submitted by elchicko
18 Dec 2012

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