PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Good morning from Newark, Delaware. This is Ryan Rosoff from the band Little King (www.littlekingtunes.com). Typically, I’m based in Tucson, AZ, but my son and I had to rush back here for a family medical emergency. Pray for us…it’s rough.
We’ve been in existence since 1996, and our first album, TRANSMOUNTAIN, was released in 1997. Since then, we have released a total of 7 albums (2 are really more like EP’s), and as a celebration of the 25th anniversary, we recorded and released a song on March 25, 2023 called “Silver Tongue.”
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
It was recorded and written in 2022 as we prepared for our return shows, as we hadn’t played live in well over a decade! Crazy…that live hiatus was unintentional. But, life intrudes, and while we remained active in the studio, we really hadn’t toured since 2006. But we did make our return in September of 2022, and that was so much fun and so gratifying.
“Silver Tongue” is a celebration. Musically and lyrically, I wanted to try and bring elements from each of our previous releases. Modern spit and polish, for sure, but it has some of that old Little King grit and heaviness that makes me think a lot of 1998’s album, TIME EXTENSION. That record was tough…we had a great opportunity, and I was very ambitious with the theme and the music. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I had the chops to match that ambition.
When I listen back to it (and that’s not very often), it’s a wild ride. But “Silver Tongue” captures that same energy but in a way that exemplifies what we are supposed to be all about…dynamics, thoughtfulness, and musicianship. So far, it seems our fans and press/radio seem to agree.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
“Silver Tongue” is dynamic, polished, gritty, funny, hopeful, a lamentation, and a jet-powered propulsion into the next 25 years. Little King will fucking NEVER STOP. As the song says, “There’s so much more to give..”
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Love this question. My brother Matt gave me my first albums, probably for Christmas of 1982. The one that I opened first was Rush’s EXIT…STAGE LEFT. I knew it was a live record, and even at age 9, I was aware of like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of the Radio.”
When I dropped the needle (yup), I COULD NOT BELIEVE 3 dudes could do that live no way, no how. By the time I got to Side 3, which is “Broon’s Bane,” “The Trees,” and “Xanadu,” I was absolutely hooked for life.
In the last 40 years, they’ve set the bar for me and for so many other rock bands who care more about their craft than they do about popularity. Neil Peart’s love of literature also had a major effect on me, as I went and got a college degree in Creative Writing from UTEP in El Paso, TX. Thank God for Neil…he’s pretty much my hero. RIP, Professor.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
I’m loathe to self-promote. Truly….it’s very uncomfortable! But I think the videos for “Bombs Away” and “Amuse De Q” from the album AMUSE DE Q (2021) are the highest levels we’ve achieved. Check them out here:
“Bombs Away” -
“Amuse De Q” -
That album felt like a culmination of our hard work and so much trial and error. It just came together so well with the help of the band and production team. It was a reflection of our time in quarantine (the “Q”), and while that theme may have been a common one in art over the last couple years, I’m confident we slayed that dragon fully and uniquely. If someone wants to check out Little King, I think that’s the album to start with.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
I’m a single dad of a 16 year old little king, and I also have a daughter who’s a bit older. In addition, my mom is 79 and lives in Tucson, so honestly I spend a lot of time with my family. That’s a blessing…as I mentioned, we are in Delaware now taking care of business for my son’s mom and family, and it’s quite a shock. You just never know…
I love sports, and I’m an avid basketball and NFL (Raaaaaaaaiiiiiderrrrrrrrrs) fan. If you check out the “Bombs Away” video, you’ll see how much of an NBA fan I really am. We actually ran a contest to see who could count all of the jerseys in the video. The answer was…A LOT!
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Not so much. Even though it had been so long since I’d been on stage with a full band (bass, drums, backup singer, cello, violin), it really just felt like nothing to sweat.
We put so much time into rehearsals, personally and collectively. I knew we’d be good. It wasn’t perfect, by any means. In fact, we shot video and are editing it all now for a live release…and maybe 3/4 of the songs will be good enough to see the light of day. But it was cathartic. And, God willing, we will tour in earnest in October and December of 2023.
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
I am the songwriter, primarily. I wrote every note and every word on every album, but the songs don’t really take their true form until Eddy (Garcia, drums) and Manny (Tejeda, bass and backing vox) wrote their parts.
I typically write all the riffs and parts on my acoustic guitar that my dad gave to me back in 1988. That is a fun and long process. I noodle hard! But I want to experiment with all sorts of tempos, keys, and time signatures. That’s what Little King is…that is, a mishmash of dynamics and feels.
Once the songs are written, the guys add their two cents, write their parts, and we record the bed tracks. I usually have a lyrical theme in mind, so when I have rough mixes of the music, I’ll go home and start writing words and singing them to the desert. I walk A LOT; it’s exercise for the body and mind.
When I’m ready, I’ll go back in and sing and add the musical eyebrows, which usually includes guitar solos, strings, backing vocals, and other odds and ends. This has been the process since the beginning. However, as we are working on new material now, I’ve actually got a track called “Amber Waves (Goodbye)” that was words first. I’m in love with it.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life is Beautiful, Tragic, Short, and Complex. It’s all there for you if you stay present and humble to your role. I’m amazed that people complain about writer’s block…I can’t fathom it. Smoke a joint and go for a walk, man. It’s EVERYWHERE.
I really strive to be somewhat self-effacing and not to self-consumed. It’s hard, as an artist, as the very nature of what we do is our reflection of our surrounding ls and experiences. But I want to inspire others, so I try to take personal travails and triumphs and synthesize them into a greater theme than is perhaps more relatable to the listener. No one likes a narcissist…I fight the urge to be one! Seriously, though, I just want our audience to feel connected with Little King’s vision without thinking, “Shut up, dude.”
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