Ryan Boos is a fucking gem of a human being. He has chickens, an attractive lady friend, does all sorts of hippie shit and used to shave his chest. He also makes amazing music under the moniker Nomadic Firs.
Ryan and I recently decided to get a pail of Mike's Hard Lemonade and head out to the woods to shoot beavers (for meat and pelts), start fires to smoke out potential big foots, and discuss his music, life and loves. What actually happened was far more disturbing. As it turns out Mike's Hard Lemonade has alcohol, which we didn't realize until we were a case and a half in, and wearing no shirts.
Things quickly took a dark turn when Ryan, a normally peaceful man got spooked and stabbed an old school teacher in her shoulder blade. Turns out she was just admiring the birds when she noticed a hair creature laying in a pile of leaves. Unfortunately for her, Ryan has training as a killer. A COLD BLOODED KILLER!
She survived the wound but not the hillbilly hospital we drove her too for care. We will miss you Annabelle Parker Wilson, you were a blue haired child of god.
Our interview with Ryan Boos aka Nomadic Firs starts NOW:
SYFFAL: Our readers are best known for their reactionary politics, occasional limblessness and limited imagination. For some reason they have decided that SYFFAL is the one place they feel liberated enough to break from routine and the prison of "fearing the coloreds" to learn about new music. So help us help them by answering the following, who the Fuck are you?
Ryan Boos (RB): I'm Ryan, I like to think I'm making something original under Nomadic Firs, probably not. It's more like another bedroom asshole looping guitar chords he can't play well, but if it saves me from myself for a few moments I'll take it, for now. Other than that, I work a job like most people, and hang with my wife, our dogs/cats, and couple cool chickens, and of course the few friends I've held onto. That's about it honestly, other than that, I love shoes, brown shoes, and constantly think I'm getting fat for some reason.
SYFFAL: Brown shoes and fat, how very Midwest of you. What kind of music do you make?
RB: It's been described as "walking through a slow motion car wash on acid." But my friends say Psychedelic Pop, or Fuzzylicious Pop (Go Liz!), or Bearded Cliché Pop. Lets just say its sort of fun, something to fade out to; think about shit maybe, then there's the hug a bunny kind of tunes. It's no doubt influenced by that whole "hey man, you cool man?" fetish from the 70's. I copy the latest trends of course. My Dad continually makes references to tripping with his buddies when he was a young dude, so I'm happy about that.
SYFFAL: Your dad sounds like our writer Del, and by that I mean part French. If you were forced to smell like jerky for the rest of your life what flavor would you choose and how does that flavor represent you as an artist?
BS: I actually just googled "JERKY FLAVORS" haha. I guess sweet cajun flavor? Not sure how that reflects me as an "artist" but maybe the music is sweet, happy kind of sounding, but the lyrics have more a cajun spice. I don't know dude, jerky? I haven't had that since I tried the NO CARB diet when I was afraid of developing man boobs.
SYFFAL: Everyone knows the correct answer for anything jerky related is – Human. So, I described your album as "It is like being invited to prom by the high school quarterback only to find out his name is Deepak Chopra and not only did he help you win state, get a sixer with his older brother's I.D and take your cherry, but he gave you enlightenment and helped you embrace your chakras or whatever the Fuck." Is that what you were going for? If not what were you hoping to get across?
RB: That description is my favorite I think. I will say that the whole "Chakra" thing is a bigger part of our life than I probably lead on. We don't speak of it, kind of just its own thing between Holly and me at this point. I sort of think she's hooking that up for me, so I don't have to learn anything. She's a level two Reiki practitioner or something like that. When this first started going on, I noticed a shift in my approach to recording. Also, if you looked at the room I record in the whole album makes sense I think, there's tapestry all over the place in there, and its smells like a cross between granola, patchouli, sage, and a hint of cat shit. I'm a total cliché on this, but I sort of feel like that's cool with me, its security for my OCD.
I love that "quarterback" analogy b/c I'm a jock for sure. We both try to have a good balance on what we do. So you can catch me swearing at the ball game, or covering myself in organic dirt to enhance my mood, kidding on that last part. My hope with the album is that people do hear something that's not typical of this kind of indie music, mainly that energy deep inside the heart, the one that gets really moved when being in all the elements, kind of like that natural high you get from hiking. Above all that though, I really just wanted people to enjoy it. There's a larger meaning behind the tunes from on an esoteric level, something in the lyrics, probably why I burry them behind the hazed out colors. Did all that sound lame or what? Lets just say I'm cynical, and I hide behind the whole hippie thing so people will like me, that's how I rope them in for the kill.
SYFFAL: Is it creepy that after reading that I have a crush on you? Speaking of crushes and prom, prom season is upon us; want to go to the SYFFAL High Prom with me? If yes what base can i expect to get to and if no Fuck you for hurting me.
RB: I love proms, so I'm down for sure. I went to a couple in school. I danced my ass off then went to a hotel with my lady while everyone else went to some field in the middle of nowhere so they could get drunk on natty light. I felt pretty stupid though, cause after about five minutes of excitement, it was basically two people sitting in some shitty hotel, watching sitcom reruns on a shitty television while eating Taco Bell and drinking Boone's Farm. Yeah, I was a total ass, but had fun for the most part. You might be able to get to second base, really just depends on how much whiskey and mushrooms I consume, and of course if I feel like busting out my Jim Morrison impression.
SYFFAL: That wouldn't be the only thing busting out – if you catch my drift. After watching your video for Vines I have a very distinct idea of who you are in my head. I assume you smell of craft beers, only wear shoes made of cotton and may or may not be manscaped down there. How close to the mark am I and what would you like people to know about you and your grooming habits?
RB: I tell you right off I got more back hair than I would like people to know, so I'm thrilled you asked me about grooming habits. Holly hooks that up early May every year. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to find a good pair of back hair trimmers. I mean, it's completely unfair. It basically goes like this, everything grows out until Holly says, "you look sloppy or ridiculous". That's usually the hint that the whole "Jerry Garcia" thing is tired, and its time to clean up my act. I don't get into face sculpting, I did in High School though, and I even shaved my chest back then. Last year I had this ill ass mustache going though, another attempt on my part to be a relevant entity in this hipster world. I just want people to think I'm cool, probably why I wore those glasses inside for the video.
We're not as crunchy as we come off, but we're pretty damn crunchy. We hit all the marks, which honestly is the one that has always felt right to me. Beard, craft brews, hip clothing that we found in some 50 cents bin(Holly), sage, gem stones, nag champa, organics, Subaru Forester, too many animals, and this earthy pretension that ignites every time I leave my domicile. Oh! and we both have tree tattoos, yeah, I'll still punch you in the face though. What else? We're not Vegans, nothing wrong with being a Vegan, unless you wear leather while telling me how Vegan you are. I then go into "this person is a complete fraud, and I don't want their Vegan face in my purview." I was freshly groomed for the Vines video btw, but not down there, Jacob Boyd was uncomfortable shooting a front shot of my giant man bush. Once while walking down the street a homeless guy called out "Hey Jesus you have any money?" I didn't have any money, so there's another basket in the stereotype filled.
SYFFAL: You sound like you might be a Brooklyn lesbian. So let's talk process. My process for interviews involves taking 4 shots of grain alcohol and holding my breath till i get dizzy then letting the universe poor out these questions (the universe is a professional wrestler in a regional outfit that I hired on as an assistant since I lost my good typing fingers in that lawn mower incident) What is your process for creating songs/albums?
RB: I absolutely have to record in the AM. There's just not a better time for me. I like to get in there by 6:30, 7:00 AM if I can, once the house clears out for the day. I generally have a couple of French presses worth of coffee, light up some incense, and the room has to be clean, so I might sweep the floors before I get naked and do Indian like chants in front of my monitor. It's typically five hours of actual sound making, then I drink about six beers and listen to what I did over and over again, I know its time to stop when I'm telling Holly I just made the best song in the world, the one that will change our lives. Next day I might go in and start working things out into songs, or continually add things, then take them out later. Songs can take one day for me, or years. But I love to record when the birds are making their music, and it's most potent when I get up. Nothing like making music with strong coffee, birds, and the windows open, while the neighborhood sleeps. I love that shit, and the last five years in our house have been amazing for me during that time. I think I've developed into who I am as a person largely from those moments. Pretty easy to find yourself in something like this, especially when you were lost for so long before it all began. Sounds lame, but I was a giant Fuck up for a minute there,couple of them. Another time on that note I guess.
SYFFAL: Dude you are fucking insane. I understand you used to make electronic music or were a rave DJ or some shit. How does it feel to walk amongst the Norwegian white trash contingent and how does one come out unscaved?
RB: I stayed pretty clear from all the candy ravers, although I did venture off once in awhile. Mainly b/c I have such great friends who actually like music, and not some assholes wearing a pacifier while spinning the latest shit box music. Although I did one time wear a bright orange umpa lumpa shirt, and spray my hair silver. It was fun, but my love was always in the music, the vinyl and the art of mixing tracks. Nowadays someone puts together a set list from their mp3 selection, lets the computer mix them, and then calls themselves a DJ. Sorry dudes, that's not it, not sure what that is, but that's not it. Carrying wax in a fucking snow storm to the top of some abandon building to play for free beer, that's the game, that's what its always been about for me, and my friends back in the day. I realize we all have to get in on technology, nothing wrong with that. My close friends are still very much involved. I was always with them, they showed me some ropes, no doubt, but I also carved out something else for myself. I was never fully sold on just doing House music, but I love it, and I dedicated some years to caring sound systems, playing tracks for empty room, and going in debt just so our local scene could have a night that week. Sounds pretty "I'm a "DJ hero" or something, but those are the facts HATERS. I'm thrilled that my guys, Adam, Blake, and Logan are still doing it. They have the same love for it today they've always had, so it's pretty cool for me to still be connected through them. I went to D.E.M.F. last year; it had been about six years since I went the last time. We had so much fun; I'll go back for sure. But yeah, there are some interesting characters around the fringes of those shows. Cool thing for me, I'm in the group that makes fun of them. We're just a bunch of assholes, and we love that about ourselves, I think. Should I use asshole again in a sentence?
SYFFAL: I would save it, we are quickly reaching our asshole quota. If you could cover one album, from one 80s metal band, what album would it be and why did you choose that album/artist?
RB: I guess Metallica's And Justice For All, mainly because that's the first thing that popped in my head after reading your question. I remember walking around the summer carnival with that on tape. I used to get into them, Anthrax, and Gun N Roses. Oh! I take that back, Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, even though that was early nineties. That was a constant for me. I loved that genre, no doubt. I just liked yelling "fucking hostile" because I was super angry when I was younger. Like most kids my folks split, and my Mom and I were living in/out of hotels, and of course with my Grandparents. So, that music really helped me express those emotions, or at least channel them into something that wasn't physically destructive. I use to wear the same purple jean shorts every day, and was chubby, so you can understand why I was angry.
SYFFAL: Purple shorts AND chubby, well now you sound like my friend Brandon. Speaking of friends, our site started out as a small group of friends who liked to share the music we loved with each other while writing up witty reviews about what the sounds did to our junk. In this spirit, who are three artists other than your self that we should be checking out and how does each artist make your dick move
SB: There's this dude named Stuart over in Britain making some ridiculous electronic music under the moniker Mountain Range. If you like what Warp puts out, this dude should be the next big thing. He has this ability to bring nature right into your living room, while also maintaining this up beat back drop so you don't take a nap. If I were making a movie right now, he'd be my music dude, no doubt.
My boy's record just came out. Blake Andrew is the name he records under. He makes music that would make Trent Reznor happy, or even impressed, I'm impressed with it. The record is called Awakening. He's just really good at making things the way he does and knows what he wants, which to me is something I admire, because I rarely do. His production is always on point, super clean, and then to top it off he manages to add this Zen like energy which is strange seeing how his music scares my dogs anytime I put it on, but its good, and you know, that's my dude, so support him people.
I have to mention Jacob Boyd also, who directed the Music Video for "Vines." He's doing some great work in Knoxville, when we worked on that video, it was like working alone when I record. Super easy to work with him, and his editing and cinematography are outstanding. He captures these great angles, and I was impressed he didn't make me look like some hairy giant in the video, or did he? He's the first dude I met when I moved to Tennessee, we both wanted to do something with music, and film. Now that's kind of happening. But yeah, he's doing his thing on the visual tip, no doubt. We're shooting the video for "In The Morning" real soon, so that should be fun.
SYFFAL: My buddy Joel is buying a farm, i think because he is so talented in making children (he has 17 with 4 different life partners) he is planning to turn it into a baby farm to sell babies to the sterilize. In the Vines video you have chickens in your back yard, which is not code, and to my limited understanding of things non-concrete makes you the most knowledgeable farmer i know. SO please give Joel some advice about farming, and tell him the best method of contraception. He keeps saying that when the girl is on top she can't get pregz, despite the overwhelming evidence.
RB: The last thing you said is completely not true, and if you're gonna be a farmer, my advice would be ask an actual Farmer, or do an internship on at my brothers farm in Michigan called Eaters Guild Farm. It's a huge organic farm that raises everything from Fish to anything green you can stuff in your gullet. For us we've just went for something smaller each year. It always starts out too big, and you waste food. You have to ask yourself what do you want out of it, and how much do you want. For us, it's shopping at our co-op for as little as possible, and growing the rest. We get better each year, and we love having the chickens. They're a super easy bunch of girls to manage, and the pay off is breakfast every morning. I read in the Urban Farm Guide that if your home is somewhat wild you're on the right track, meaning, don't go crazy trying to be perfect. You need to Fuck UP to know what you're doing. So that's pretty good advice I think. It require patience which is something I struggle with, but I tell you what, on Sundays when I put on my sun hat and play Farmer in the backyard, nothing feels more rewarding. It's really refreshing to the soul, and those moments make me chill out enough to realize everything is gonna be alright. My wife tells me daily I'm slowly becoming Larry David, I guess I'm just the poser hippie version of that. I think Joel should be sent to China btw.
SYFFAL: Joel is a god damn asshole. He just got a vasectomy and I have been hearing about his balls for a month. Sorry, just blowing off steam. Please promote anything you would like here
RB: I also work on another project called Case Point, which is more in the R&B, downtempo genre. I work on that project with my close friend Adam Stolz, who runs an electronic music label called Autem with some of his friends. We put out an EP on the net label called Bad Pop(hey Allan!). We hope to record an LP this summer. I mostly handle the singing and some light instrumentations. It's fun to work on something with a different sound, something free from the comforts of Reverb. It's free online, so swoop it up and kiss somebody. Other than that, BUY TAPES, lots of them, preferably from Crash Symbols.