Ryan Meyer of Highly Suspect Talks to Trebel About Their Next Album, The Grammys, Ben and Jerry’s, and more
Ryan Meyer, along with his twin brother Rich Meyer and Johnny Stevens, make up Highly Suspect. The three, who’ve been best friends since high school, have had a very good year so far. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan Meyer while the rest of the band was watching Into The Woods. Rock stars, they really are just like us, huh?
Trebel Music: What kind of vibe will the new album have compared to Mister Asylum?
Ryan Meyer: I’m excited to get into the album and figure that out. We don’t go in with a preconceived concept of where it’s going to go. We don’t make songs that are designed for radio, we just make music. It’s that simple.
TM: Do you feel like California has helped with the evolution from Mister Asylum?
RM: We’re definitely going to go in a different direction than Mister Asylum because we’re not the same people we were when we made that record. I’m not sure where it’s going to go but I think life in general, California being a massive influence, is going to influence everything that we do from now on.
TM: How did it feel finding out that y’all were nominated not just for one Grammy, but two?
RM: Definitely unexpected and about as exciting as you can imagine. 7:30 in the morning woke up to a phone call. It was a real good couple of days. Hey, you just got the nomination for the best accolade a musician could ask for, plain and simple. It’s a huge honor – massive – super humbling. It’s mind blowing.
TM: Billboard went shopping with you for the Grammys. Did you get to meet Muse like you hoped?
RM: Yep! Actually Rich and I were with our parents. We were leaving and ran into Matthew (Bellamy) and Dominic (Howard) and their girlfriends and we hung out with them for a little bit. I was at a party later and stood in line for the bathroom and chatted with Dominic. I told him how awesome of a drummer I thought he was. It was pretty amazing.
TM: That’s awesome. What about Kendrick Lamar? Did y’all find out what he smelled like, like Rich was hoping?
RM: I’m going to go ahead and assume that he smells awesome but no, I didn’t get a chance to meet him.
TM: So I live in Atlanta, where it can feel like rock is being overtaken by other genres on the radio. What advice would you give bands that have the same dream when so many are debating whether or not rock is almost finished?
RM: I don’t think rock has gone anywhere. I think the mainstream eye has turned its focus on something else. Music that came out like 10 years ago, a lot of new metal, got so popular so quick. A lot of artists started, instead of being original and true to themselves, making carbon copies that were almost guaranteed to make money. They started watering it down and there wasn’t fresh stuff coming out. My advice to musicians is: Don’t do that. If you want to be a rock band, be a rock band. Play music that you like. Don’t try to sound like anything. If you do sound like something, you sound like something; but try to be as original as you can. Repeat to yourself: ‘Come up with something fresh,’ which is terrible advice because it’s so much easier to say than do. The fact of the matter is you’ve got to be in it for the lifestyle. Don’t be in it for the fame and the riches. Enjoy yourself and have fun because you’re not working a job you hate, you’re working a job that you want to do every day and it’s a blessing. Be grateful for that.
TM: What is the craziest thing that’s happened on tour?
RM: Crazy stuff happens all the time. Being on tour is a blessing. It’s a lot of work and it’s an amazing experience all wrapped up in the same bundle.
TM: What are you looking forward to visiting the most on the upcoming tour to Australia and New Zealand?
RM: I’ve heard things about Australia. I’m excited to see crazy wild life that could kill you. I’m excited to talk to people that have a completely different outlook on life. You always find new people in new places and it’s really interesting to talk to them. I’m excited to go there. New Zealand looks like a tropical paradise. It’s going to be hot and we’ll probably go surfing, maybe go hiking if we have time. We’re also playing Auckland City Limits, so we’re going to get a chance to hang out there, see some cool bands, and meet some cool people.
TM: If Ben and Jerry’s named an ice cream after Highly Suspect, what would it be called?
RM: My crew is dope.
TM: What flavors would it be?
RM: It’d probably have weed in it. I read somewhere that Ben and Jerry’s has this ice cream coming out, or maybe it’s out already. I think it’s in Colorado? It would probably be mixed with that.
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