Pre-Show Q&A: Ryan Kralik

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Kent troubadour Ryan Kralik has set his way-back machine to explore the expansive sounds of classic rock. His third album, Fast Winds From Dying Stars, is an 11-song set of solar breezes that sound like some long-lost ‘70s radio station. Tune into tracks like “Wherever You Are,” “Always Never,” and “Refuge (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)” and you'll wormhole through decades of pop-rock iconography, smoking cigs, swigging whiskey, and jamming with the likes of Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, and John Hiatt. Before he releases his new album this Friday at the Outpost in Kent, we sat down with Kralik to discuss the recording process, his obsession with supernovas and Bruce Springsteen, and his mother’s love for a song called “Sometimes Shit Gets Fucked Up.” —Keith Gribbins

Ryan, tell us what you’ve been up to since 2009’s Desperate Measures? Have you been playing out much or have you been holed up in your Kent abode, writing new music?
After Desperate Measures, I took a few months off of writing. I had a lot of stuff that didn’t quite make it on that record for a myriad of reasons, and I wanted to wipe the slate clean a little bit and not always be dragging the last record’s rejects into the new record. So I didn’t really write for a few months. I followed Pearl Jam around the country for a few week-long stretches. That’s always good for re-energizing me musically.

In 2007, you released Night Driving, a hard-rock album. In 2008, you released the folk-rock solo EP, Wasteland. Last year’s Desperate Measures had a little bit of both. How would you describe Fast Winds from Dying Stars, which is being released this Friday?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about genres. I hate them. Fast Winds is like a melting pot of different types of musical styles I’ve done in the past. Some of it is soft and pretty; some of it is hard and fast. To me it’s a nice rounded rock and roll record. A big difference is that I really produced the whole record. In the past, I’ve produced but had others taking a kind of driver’s seat for a lot of it. This one I was really driving — fast.

I remember your last album, Desperate Measures, was recorded at O.S.R. Studio (On-Site Recording) in Hiram with owner J. Crypt. In fact, J.’s piano playing, drumming, and production work really fleshed out your sound. Was he involved with this project?

He was involved. We did six songs off the record at his studio in Hiram. He played drums and keys. He even wrote one of the melodies on the record [“Circles and Squares”]. The other five songs were done at My Other Car Is the Space Time Continuum studios [MOCitS/TC Recording Studio], which is where I did my Wasteland EP with my old friend Charlie Loudin. He and I grew up together and he’s one of my favorite people to work with. I was a little concerned about doing two different types of songs at two different studios. I thought it would be a nightmare to try to mix and master and make sure everything sounds good, but alas I was wrong. It works just fine.

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