Arts Q&A: Ryan Vail on John Grant, surfing & Hobo With A Shotgun

Brian Campbell puts artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: Derry musician Ryan Vail

Ryan Vail plays a Dublin gig on April 28

1. When did you think about music as a career and what were your first steps into it?

Music has been a part of my life since I was young. When growing up my father played nearly every night of the week in bands and was the main source of income for my family. He worked in guitar shops and even built guitars for a while. So from a young age I was surrounded by musicians. I began my career as a guitar player and moved on to DJ-ing and to where I am now. I'm now recognised as a producer, writer and performer.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

Nils Frahm Redbulls weekender in Belfast, Jon Hopkins at Celtronic Derry and John Grant at the Body & Soul Festival.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Hot Chip.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island?

Nils Frahm – Spaces.

5. And the book?

How to Survive on a Desert Island.

6. Top three films?

Old Boy, Battle Royale, 28 Days Later.

7. Worst film you've seen?

Hobo with a Shotgun.

8. Favourite authors?

I jump from book to book constantly. I’m currently reading The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash while also reading Daniel Mason The Piano Tuner.

9. Sports you most enjoy and top teams?

I’m a big surfing fan. Kelly Slater top man.

10. Ideal holiday destination?


11. Pet hate?

People chatting during gigs.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Steak.

Dessert? Cheesecake.

Drink? Northbound 08 (beer).

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My wife Katie.

14. Is there a God?

No, Bob Moog passed away a couple of years ago now.

Ryan Vail’s album For Every Silence is out now on Quiet Arch. He plays Fumbally Stables in Dublin on Thursday April 28 (


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