Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Ryan Hamilton

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Artwork for ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere.’ Photo courtesy of Earshot Media.

On Sep. 18, 2020, Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts will release a new 10-track album entitled ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ via Wicked Cool Records.

They recently unveiled the lyric video for “Jesus And John Lennon,” their first single from the record and is now streaming everywhere. The track, co-written by Hamilton and Steven Van Zandt, explores the feeling of how some things are just destined to fall apart, no matter what.

‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ was written by Hamilton while on a long road trip across the United States with his dog Peaches in the aftermath of a recent divorce. Described by Hamilton as a “group of songs about heartbreak and finding yourself,” it’ll serve as the followup to 2019’s ‘This Is The Sound,’ which snagged “Best Indie Album” at the Independent Music Awards.

Hamilton hails from Texas, while his backing band The Harlequin Ghosts are based in the United Kingdom, which makes it a truly transatlantic effort.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Hamilton about the upcoming release and more.

Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your new album ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’? 

Ryan Hamilton – It was like musical therapy. I’ve never recorded songs that felt so real, or raw. Not only that, I know these are the best songs and this is the best sounding album I’ve ever been a part of, so it’s been the most rewarding process of making an album I’ve ever had.


Music Bugle – What made you decide to put out “Jesus And John Lennon” as the first single from the new album? 

Ryan Hamilton – Stevie (Van Zandt) was so excited about this song. We ended up finishing the tune together and it became a co-write. When someone of Stevie’s caliber gets this excited about a song, you don’t argue! (Laughs) Plus, I really love the song too.


Music Bugle – How did you get the idea for the graphics in the lyric video for “Jesus And John Lennon”? 

Ryan Hamilton – The whole album was written on a road trip, so road trip footage seemed fitting.


Music Bugle – How would you compare your newer music to ‘This Is The Sound’? 

Ryan Hamilton – It feels more personal and beautiful this time around. There’s a new, unexpected element of tugging at the heartstrings. I’ve never really been a “rocker,” nor have I wanted to be. I just kind of got grouped into that category, because people get way too caught up in defining genres. It’s silly, really. If you’re gonna pidgeon-hole me, at least put me in Americana, where I belong.


Music Bugle – Given that you’re in Austin, Texas while your bandmates are based in the United Kingdom, what kind of obstacles does that kind of logistical separation create? 

Ryan Hamilton – I actually live just outside of Fort Worth, Texas, but I love Austin! (Laughs) It’s several hours away, though. There is no way this band could exist without the internet. Thankful to be able to create during a moment in time, where technology makes it possible for a transatlantic band to thrive.


Music Bugle – Where has been your favorite place to travel to? 

Ryan Hamilton – Scotland. The beauty there floors me every time I visit.


Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Ryan Hamilton – I’ve been depressed, lonely… almost succumb to crippling sadness and felt like giving up. The one-two punch of divorce and then pandemic are almost too much to handle. There is no doubt that making new music saved me.


Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose? 

Ryan Hamilton – That’s easy: Bob Dylan.


Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a musician to stand out these days? 

Ryan Hamilton – There are aspects that make it easier and there are also parts that feel like an out-of-control dumpster fire, making it seemingly impossible.


Music Bugle – Of all the merchandise you sell, which one is your favorite?

Ryan Hamilton – The music. Always the music. Vinyl, CDs… either way: the music! 

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