The Ries Brothers
The Ries Brothers (pronounced ”Rees”) are a brother duo that write and performs their original material influenced by their love of blues, funk, reggae, the music of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Jack Johnson, Sublime and more. They recently completed a 10 city tour with the legendary band CHICAGO which included a performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. They have also opened for Daughtry, Los Lonely Boys, REO Speedwagon, Little River Band, Firefall, and The Edgar Winter Band. Older brother Charlie (19) handles the lead vocals while simultaneously playing the drums and keyboard bass. The duo’s full sound is a result of Charlie’s unique ability to do just this. Kevin (15) plays guitar, provides background vocals and is the co-writer on many of their original songs. (From The Ries Brothers’ Website)
The Talent Notes had the opportunity to ask Charlie Ries a few questions about his music, talents and what it is like touring with his brother…
TTN: What is the process like when writing and performing your songs with your brother?
Charlie Ries: Usually I’ll write a song on piano, and ask him to come up with a riff, or a hook for it. Sometimes we write together; I’ll write a verse and then he’ll write a chorus or we’ll reverse it. When we play live; we like to keep it very fresh and raw. There’s a lot of improvisation, and we never play everything the same way show after show.
TTN; What styles of music do you prefer to play and/or create?
RIES: Blues, Rock, Alternative, Funk, and Reggae all come together to create our sound.
TTN: How is musical a “spiritual gift” to you personally?
RIES: Personally music is a spiritual gift because it is so much more than just sound. It can move you and make you think, and that’s what it should do. It’s an amazing opportunity to create something that can affect people. That opportunity shouldn’t be wasted!
TTN: Can you tell us about your experience at the Los Angeles Grammy Museum’s Music Revolution Project? What made it memorable to you and did it jump-start your career, if so how?
RIES: It was incredible. It was the first chance we had to really meet kids who shared our love for music. We learned from each other’s style and we all still keep in contact and jam together! We had been a band for about 2 years before entering the project, and it really gave us a boost in motivation and music knowledge.
TTN: You have toured with the band CHICAGO and opened for various artists like Daughtry, Los Lonely Boys, REO Speedwagon, Little River Band, Firefall, and The Edgar Winter Band. How were these performances different from each other?
RIES: They were all such honors. We usually play bars and clubs and to be able to play big stages; we just appreciate it so much more! We play every show like there are thousands of people watching; but on those there actually were! That even added to the experience.
TTN: What was it like touring with CHICAGO?
RIES: It was an amazing honor; and I still can’t believe it. The things we learned and the stage experience we got was incredible. We played the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville! That was always a life goal and we’ve done it already because of them! They are the nicest people; and I’m very proud to say we’ll be heading back out on tour with them this April!
TTN: How do you and your brother cope with stage fright if you get nervous before a performance?
RIES: I get very nervous before I go on; but I calm myself down by reassuring myself that we’ve practiced and we know the stuff and we just gotta go out and play. As soon as I get up there it goes away and we just have fun!
TTN: What songs are you currently working on?
RIES: We’ve been working hard in the studio on lots of new songs!
TTN: What would you like your listeners to know about your new songs that you are currently working on at the studio?
RIES: We bring many different genres together to create our sound, and these songs really show that. We’re excited about showing the world who we are!
TTN: Where do you hope to be, as artists, in 10 years?
RIES: I have a list of places that would be just incredible to play and I hope to get to them all. The main focus though is I want to be able to give true, real music to the people who work so hard every day and deserve something great to listen to. I want to be great because music is a very spiritual gift and I want to explore all that can be done with it. I want to give something to music fans that they maybe haven’t experienced before. I want our music to be there for people and help them through everything, just the way my heroes’ music helps me through things.
TTN: What advice do you have to other aspiring musicians and artists?
Play, play, and keep playing! The only reason we were able to get on bigger shows, is by doing literally hundreds of little ones. That’s the only way we knew how to get our music in front of people; by going out and playing. We give up nights and weekends, but it’s really been paying off lately!
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This interview was artfully crafted by Caroline Meisner
The interview was artfully crafted by Caroline Meisner