Ryan Liberty Megan
Headline: Ryan Liberty Megan is the kind of artist that makes you reach for your bifocals. At a glance, he’s a doting father hailing from sleepy New Paltz, New York, who gave up music to provide for his son. Look a little closer, and you’ll spot a noise rock artist known for playing chaotic, explosive live shows in rowdy bars. Is it messy alternative soundscapes punctuated by irreverent lyrics? Or masterfully arranged and oddly sweet sonic waves breaking on molasses vocals? No matter which side of the coin you land, one thing is for sure: it is bereft of easy categorization, owing as much to Mr. Bungle, Melvins and Ween as it does Wilco, Beck and The Flaming Lips.
Location: New Paltz, New York
Genre: Alt-Rock, Alt-Country
FFO: Wilco, Tom Waits, Beck, Ween
SITES & SOCIALS
Ryan Liberty Megan is the kind of artist that makes you reach for your bifocals. At a glance, he’s a doting father hailing from sleepy New Paltz, New York, who gave up music to provide for his son. Look a little closer, and you’ll spot a noise rock artist known for playing chaotic, explosive live shows in rowdy bars. But then, managing his lifelong bipolar disorder and ADHD has made him a veteran at straddling diverging impulses. Returning to music after denying himself for over ten years meant a familiar relief – and output more unrecognizable than ever. Is it messy alternative soundscapes punctuated by irreverent lyrics? Or masterfully arranged and oddly sweet sonic waves breaking on molasses vocals? No matter which side of the coin you land, one thing is for sure: it is bereft of easy categorization, owing as much to Mr. Bungle, Melvins and Ween as it does Wilco, Beck and The Flaming Lips.
Ryan’s life was a study in dichotomies before he was even born. His parents were polar opposites: his mom a radical feminist lesbian, his father a conservative cop and Vietnam vet. Conceived on the American bicentennial in DC in 1976 and born the following year, his first name was originally intended by his father to be Liberty, before they settled on Ryan Liberty Megan. They separated not long after, and Ryan spent his childhood bouncing between them.
Ryan’s early exposure to music was largely thanks to his mother, who worked for the School of Music at the University of Iowa. It was during these formative years that Ryan discovered his love for songwriting, penning his first composition at the tender age of five, performing in plays and operas regularly. He picked up the guitar when he dropped acid as a teenager and “watched Pink Floyd‘s Live at Pompeii on acid and bought a guitar the next day,” determined that he was going to achieve that level of sonic prowess.
Ryan’s musical journey is as diverse as it is compelling, characterized by pivotal moments that have shaped his artistry. After briefly studying music in college but ultimately feeling disillusioned by the environment, he embarked on a nomadic lifestyle, immersing himself in a variety of odd jobs while simultaneously playing in noise bands across the country before eventually finding himself in a project that began to go places: ORYAN.
Locally renowned for their energetic performances and hard-hitting rock music that made them the darlings of any packed bar across the state, ORYAN found itself at a crossroads, on the brink of taking their career to the next level. Faced with that fork in the road, Ryan chose a different path—one that led him to embrace the responsibilities of fatherhood instead. It was a choice rooted in love and the desire to prioritize family over self.
Fast forward to December 2020, when Ryan experienced a transformative moment. Known for his ability to write songs on demand during live shows, he undertook a special endeavor during the holiday season. The project saw him crafting personalized songs as gifts for people, an idea he’d been nurturing since his teenage years. Despite self-perceived shortcomings in the quality of these songs, the experience served as an inspiration, sparking his desire to pursue a daily songwriting practice .He began writing a song everyday.
Music has always been an anchor for Ryan Megan’s mental health. Through specific techniques infused in his compositions, he finds solace, relaxation, and a meditative escape. It saved him during the most challenging periods in his life. Though he temporarily stepped away from the music scene for over ten years, the return to his craft is an affirmation of its crucial place in his life.
Drawing inspiration from an eclectic range of influences, Ryan has always been drawn to the weird, avant-garde, and unexpected in music. His favorite songwriter, Roger Miller, captivates him with his poetic storytelling. Meanwhile, the likes of the aforementioned Melvins, Mr. Bungle, Ween, Beck, Wilco, and The Flaming Lips expanded his musical horizons, among countless others. Outside the realm of music, Ryan finds intellectual stimulation in non-fiction literature, particularly influenced by Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States.
As Ryan Megan ventures into the future, his plans are intricately woven with the success of his current album, El Songo. Exciting collaborations have yielded a slew of upcoming releases he’s lined up with fellow musicians. Ryan’s thirst for creativity and productivity knows no bounds; prepare to be astounded by the sheer volume of output he aims to achieve in the coming year.
In the life and music of Ryan Megan, we find a multifaceted artist who bravely makes choices aligned with his values and cherishes the profound impact of music on his mental well-being. With his eyes set on the future, Ryan’s musical odyssey promises to be a testament to resilience, inspiration, and a relentless pursuit of artistic excellence.
Today, Ryan Megan finds solace and introspection in the melodies he creates, using music as a form of meditation. As he reconnects with the music scene and starts booking shows again, Ryan has come to appreciate the delicate balance between his passion for music and his commitment to his family.
Ryan’s upcoming album El Songo holds immense significance. The album’s title, derived from Esperanto, meaning “the dream,” perfectly encapsulates its essence—a collection of 15 songs that chronicle a life story told through a dream-like narrative. Originally conceived as a 35-song project, El Songo conceptually explores the theme of embracing life’s darker moments, drawing inspiration from profound conversations about life and mental illness with a close friend. With the album nearing completion, Ryan Megan anticipates an autumn release, eager to share his introspective journey with listeners.
In Ryan’s unwavering dedication to his craft and his unwritten commitment to his family, we witness a musician who has found equilibrium amidst life’s ebbs and flows, leaving an indelible mark on both his personal narrative and the evolving landscape of music.
DISCOGRAPHY & CREDITS
Run Time: 3:29
Release Date: September 8, 2023
Run Time: 2:09
Release Date: August 18, 2023
Paul Moran: Bass/slide
Jon Huss: Percussion
Dan Schwartz: Percussion
Run Time: 1:35
Release Date: August 1, 2023
Ryan Liberty Megan: music & words, vocals, guitar, harmonium
Paul Moran: Bass, slide guitar, backing vocals
Dan Schwartz: Drums
Kendra Mckinley: backing vocals
Victoria Bigelow: backing vocals
Vaughn Faison: Backing Vocals
Danny Asis: Backing Vocals
Run Time: 2:07
Release Date: December 24, 2022
PRESS & MISC
- Sep 08, 2023: V13 Media (“Sweep” News)
- Sep 08, 2023: V13 Promo (“Sweep” Press Release)
- Sep 07, 2023: Tattoo.com (“Sweep” Single Premiere)
- Aug 29, 2023: V13 Media (News)
- Aug 29, 2023: V13 Promo (“Nevermind” Video Press Release)
- Aug 29, 2023: Tattoo.com (“Nevermind” Video Premiere)
- Aug 18, 2023: V13 Media (“Nevermind” Single News)
- Aug 18, 2023: V13 Promo (“Nevermind” Press Release)
- Aug 17, 2023: CelebMix (“Nevermind” Single Premiere)
- Aug 07, 2023: V13 Media (“Chorus” Video News)
- Aug 07, 2023: V13 Promo (“Chorus” Music Video Press Release)
- Aug 04, 2023: V13 Media (“Chorus” Single News)
- Aug 04, 2023: V13 Promo (“Chorus” Press Release)
- Aug 02, 2023: Canadian Beats (Passport Feature)
- Sep 27, 2009: Obscure Sound (Feature)
- Jul 08, 2009: The Daily Iowan (Spotlight Feature)