Our interview with Ryan Monroe from Band of Horses

Rock music is like a mirage, you get too close to it and there’s nothing there…”, Ryan Monroe from Band of Horses.

How was the Spotify show?
It went so smoothly! It was a really laid back atmosphere in the office too. I wish any real job I’d ever had could have been that cool.

The new album is called Mirage Rock – that’s a great title…
Ha! Well, Ben wrote a lot of the songs in his garage, so it’s a play on words. But we also like that idea that rock music itself is like a mirage, you get too close to it and there’s nothing there.

How would you explain Band of Horses to an elderly relative?
I’d ask them if they had heard of Neil Young or Creedence Clearwater Revival, then say we’re like Southern music mixed with angular indie rock. In short, we’re whatever we want to be!

What’s your most cherished possession?
Definitely my Roland 8-Track recorder. My brother bought it for my birthday about 10 years ago and I used to travel with it, but it was getting too beat up. I get a lot of use out of it and I love it. I don’t have a yearning for fancy cars or anything, so I’m happy with that.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a professional touring musician?
Two things stand out. One is it’s better to look for the notes not to play rather than the other way around. Secondly, be as sweet as you can to everyone you meet – the business is a lot smaller than you think.

What five records couldn’t Band of Horse exist without?
That is a tough question! You know, it’s very hard to say as we like a huge spread of music, but let’s go for Dinosaur Jr’s Bug, Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, The Beatles’ White Album, Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger and Ween’s Chocolate And Cheese. That’s quite a mix!

What’s happening for the rest of the day?
We’re playing in a bar. Yeah, it does sound good, doesn’t it! It’ll be a stripped down acoustic show with me, Ben and Tyler. Just six or seven songs, I’m really looking forward to it, we’ll play some new songs. We like to branch out and experiment when we can.

Finally, and crucially, what’s your favourite noise?
Let me think… OK, it’s my girlfriend laughing.

Good choice.
Isn’t it? Can I get the URL for this? She’ll love that answer.