LPU XIII ends tonight, but like for Beta State, it was the start of new paths for Ryan Giles, the composer of “Truth Inside A Lie” on one of the best LPU albums our community has treasured.
Get to know this unique artist and how his LPU XIII has been, waiting for the new year with us! #WeAreLPU
When did you first start making music? Did you explore this alone or did you start with others, such as a band?
I grew up listening to bands like AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Pink Floyd, etc but I didn’t start writing music until I was around 15 years old. A close friend of mine got a guitar for his birthday and because we spent so much time hanging out I decided to learn how to play also. I picked up playing pretty quickly and had my first serious band in high school called Sol.
You actually have an impressive background of work that is hard to find with a simple Google search on you; what can you tell the LPU community about yourself?
I am a songwriter and producer from Glendale, California, who plays multiple instruments but my main instrument is guitar. I have worked, written and performed with so many amazing artists like Fuel, Shinedown, Damien Starkey from Burn Season, Hugo from Tantric, Jordan Lee of Soil, Wil Martin from Earshot, so many more. I was the guitar player and songwriter in a band called Patience Worth with Toryn Green [former singer of Fuel/Apolcalyptica/Emphatic] and more recently I was the guitar player in a band called One Less Reason and co-wrote many songs that appeared on the album Faces & Four Letter Words that hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart in 2010. I have a new project called Sun Never Sets which will be an EP featuring different artists. You can check out some of my previous work at www.reverbnation.com/sunneversetsmusic!
What drove you to seek more independent work, such as what we know from LPU Sessions, rather than working solely within a band?
I love playing in a band and miss it at times, but I wanted to focus more on writing with as many different artists as I could. Being in a band requires a lot of time focusing on touring, promoting, writing for your own band, etc. Being independent allows me to spend more time working with different types of artists in all genres of music.
You say you mostly co-write material nowadays; how do you reach out to other artists? What makes you essential to their work?
Reaching out to artists can be difficult at times. Social media has been a huge help though. Most of the time I’ll find out who manages an artist and send them a message. I’ve been working in the music industry for awhile now so there are also times that I can reach out to an artist through a mutual friend or someone who I might have already worked with. I can’t really explain what makes me essential to others work. I just seem to have a way of bringing out that raw emotion from an artist that some have trouble expressing that people identify with.
For LPU Sessions, did you pick your submission from work you already had done or did you make your submission exclusively for this opportunity?
The song “Confession” I submitted that won the contest was mostly finished a few months prior. I was starting to look for an artist to put vocals over it when I heard about the contest. I will say that every person I played that song for said this sounds like it could be perfect for Linkin Park before I even knew about the contest, and so that is why I chose to submit that track.
Was there any moment in the submission and voting period that you debated on having tackled the competition alone against having co-written with someone like majority of your work is created?
Here’s the thing- I initially thought that you were suppose to submit an instrumental track and that whoever won would have Mike and Chester sing over that track. I didn’t realize that you could submit a song with vocals, etc. Most of the time I always write the music and then after that I’ll look for an artist to sing over the track. So I never really had to debate the question of working with a co-writer. Looking back on it I obviously wouldn’t change a thing because I won with an instrumental song so I’m glad I misunderstood the contest and didn’t submit a song with a vocalist!
We were able to see during the LPU TV episode for your recording session at Red Bull Studios your access to the tools and instruments used by Linkin Park; were the tools familiar, or were you taught a whole new resource?
Linkin Park and I both use a program called ‘Pro Tools’ to record our music. The difference is I have only been using it for a few years and so I’m constantly learning. They taught me so many things that I never even knew about which has allowed me to work more efficiently. It has also allowed me to be even more creative with my music than ever before.
Since then, have you invested in any particular tools and instruments you especially considered essential to drive your creativity further? Any you recommend for aspiring artists to immediately bring into their work?
Getting any program like ‘Pro Tools’ is the best thing any aspiring artist can do. It was the best decision I ever made. I have recorded in many studios in the past and never really got involved in the recording process. Now that I have it has opened up an entire new world of creativity for me. I learned the most that day, at LPU Sessions, by just watching Linkin Park and how they work. You can learn a lot by just observing.
Has Linkin Park always been a band you’ve dreamt of working with like you got to experience with LPU Sessions? Any other artists you’d love to open an opportunity like Linkin Park did with LPU Sessions and Red Bull Studios?
I’ve been a fan of Linkin Park since they very first came out. The first time I saw them was in 2000 I believe. So yes, I’ve been trying to work with them forever! I was always told they don’t use outside writers so don’t even bother trying. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out I had won this contest! This was such an amazing experience I wish more bands would do this. There are too many bands to name that I’d love an opportunity like this with. Guns N Roses, David Gilmour, and Iron Maiden would probably be at the top of my list.
You have an EP growing- would your fans from the LPU be able to recognize your music from they know from LPU Sessions, or will they hear a whole new set of angles of your creativity?
The LPU fans will definitely recognize my music. It’s going to be really epic melodic songs with lots of layers of sounds similar to my LPU Sessions track “Truth Inside A Lie.” I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
Since the LPU Sessions, is it fair to say the experience has opened opportunities you may not have reached yet without it?
Absolutely! Working with a band like Linkin Park has opened up a lot of new opportunities for me. As a songwriter, you are always trying to work with artists that are as successful as Linkin Park. Not many people can say that they’ve worked with a band on that level and so it has allowed me to work with other artists that might not have been possible before.
Would you consider a collaboration with fellow LPU Sessions finalists, Beta State?
Of course! I’ve actually kept in touch with those guys since the LPU Sessions. They are all really cool guys and extremely talented. Their new single “Left with the Pain” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in while.
What are your five favorite Linkin Park songs?
This is a tough question! The Little Things Give you Away, In The End, New Divide, Krwlng [with Aaron Lewis] and What I’ve done
To end a great year of LPU XIII and bring in LPU XIV- what is your favorite memory with the LPU?
I’ve had so many. The Linkin Park fans are just so supportive of the band and each other and I find that really special. I’ve met so many people from around the world that have reached out to me and shared their experiences and have told me how happy they were that I won the LPU Sessions. Just an awesome experience. The ‘Guitar Center Sessions’ show a few weeks ago was an amazing memory, though. Just to be in a room with so many hardcore Linkin Park fans was electrifying. That was a memory I will never forget and obviously anything that had to do with the LPU Sessions I will definitely never forget. I just want to say thank you again to everyone involved with the LP Underground. Especially Lorenzo, Lulu, and yourself for taking the time to do this interview.
Special thanks to Ryan for taking the time to make this happen. And special thanks to every hardworking hand behind Linkin Park Underground and the family we are. Here’s to another great year! #WeAreLPU