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Q&A part 1: Ryan Cabrera talks new album, tattoos, and more

Posted by Emily Wright  May 13, 2013 12:44 PM

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Pop stars Ryan Cabrera and Teddy Geiger are wrapping their tour with Tyler Hilton tonight at Boston's Hard Rock Cafe. Before the show, Cabrera talked about his upcoming album, what's been going on with his career during the past decade, and even about his Care Bear tattoo.

For any fans that are heading to the concert tonight: you might get brought up on stage. According to Geiger, Cabrera has some fun things in store for the last night of the tour. We caught up with Cabrera earlier today by phone: It’s been about ten years since "On the Way Down" came out. Can you just go through a little run down of what you’ve been doing since then and where your career has taken you?

Ryan: We’ve kind of made it a point to constantly be on the road so I think more than anything we’re just always playing shows and even with records out or records not out, for me, it was like my whole 10 years really just performing and playing. I love making records and obviously being in the studio is fun, I enjoy the creative process, writing songs, but more than anything performing ... My last record was released five years ago today so it’s going to be fun that the new album is almost done. I have I think three songs left to record and then I’ll have a new album, which I’m super excited about. Do you know when you’re planning to release that?

Ryan: Um, not yet. The whole thing was I didn’t want to put a date, like “I want it to be out by this date.” The only thing that I wanted was it to be awesome. I wanted to be myself and write songs and get better as a songwriter and beat everything that I’ve written in the past. Are you recording on the road?

Ryan: The guy that’s producing the record is in LA, so when I’m home, I’m in the studio every day. But, it’s hard to be home because I love performing so much so I’m always on the road. So if a tour comes up, I’m never going to say no, I’ll play anywhere. I don’t care, I just want to play. What’s life like on the road with two other pop stars? What’s this tour like compared to other tours you’ve been on?

Ryan: With Teddy and Tyler? It’s so easy, laid back. We’re all – the three of us – we’re all on the same page. We all just love performing and you know, we love our fans so we just keep it – we all play with each other when we’re on stage. I’ll get up with Teddy or Teddy will get up with Tyler or Tyler will get up with me and then by the end of the show we all end up on stage together ... We all love each other’s music and we love each other as people so the tour just works. It makes sense. What’s your feedback been like since you released your first single, “I See Love,” from the upcoming album?

Ryan: It’s been amazing. Even people that I wouldn’t expect come out of the woodwork like “Oh dude, I love that.” We haven’t gone to radio yet and we haven’t done the push on it yet because we want the record to be done. How do you think the music you’re making now is different than music you made in the past? What can your fans expect?

Ryan: Totally, totally different. When I was younger I would just write a song and here’s the song, let’s record it and put it on a record. Now, I’m kind of a perfectionist with every song. I want every song to be like a movie. It’s like its own thing, like every song to me matters … Now I want each song to be your favorite song … I kind of dissect every song. Before this record, before the songs that were going to be on this album, I wrote like 200 songs. So every time I’d write a song, I’d be like “nope, now I’m going to write a better song” and then I would try to beat it, and eventually, about four and a half years later, I wrote “I See Love” and that was kind of what sparked it. Give me a little bit more background on this tattoo roulette game that you play with your friends. How many tattoos have you wound up with since you started playing it?

Ryan: Three so far. It started with after we played Bamboozle, which is a festival in New York and we were all kind of just amped up after the show because it was such a big show at Giants Stadium and you know, we weren’t drinking or anything like that, we were just happy and in a good mood and I had heard about this game from one of my managers so we went to a tattoo parlor and I was like, “All right, you pick something off the wall, I pick something off the wall, and we get to tattoo each other and you have to blindfold yourself and you don’t’ get to see it until it’s done and it can’t be religious and it can’t be tribal. Those are the two rules. Anything else is on the table, anything else you can get.” And so, that’s why I have a Care Bear on my ankle, a magical unicorn, and now Ryan Gosling. So Ryan Gosling is the newest one?

Ryan: Yeah, that was the third one. That was in Vegas. Then other one’s from Cabo. How many other guys do you do this with?

Ryan: One – wait, no two. There’s two people. One in Cabo I played with, and then my other friend we’ve played it twice. What do you put in your hair to make it stand up like it does?

Ryan: (Laughs) It’s called Murray’s So you just put it in once a day and it stays up forever?

Ryan: (Laughs more) No, no the second day’s the best. Day one is always okay, and then day two, that’s where it’s at. So how often do you wash it, every other day?

Ryan: By wash do you mean shampoo? Maybe once a week. Is there anything else you want me to know about the tour or what will be going down tonight?

Ryan: This is the last one so this will probably be a fun one. They’re all super fun, but tonight we’ve all kind of got the mind set that we’ll have fun on stage and see what happens. We might even pull some people up but you never know. We’ll see what happens.

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The latest news, commentary, and reviews on music in Boston and beyond.


Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

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