After graduating from the University of North Texas, Ryan Hoyle planned on building a successful career as a Nashville session drummer. But after being hired to drum on Collective Soul’s 2004 album, Youth, and touring with the band for a year, those plans changed, when he officially joined the group in 2006.
During a hiatus prior to recording 2007’s Afterwords, Ryan had the dream opportunity to play drums for one of his favorite performers, Free/Bad Co. singer Paul Rodgers. The brief UK tour included the recording of a live DVD, Paul Rodgers Live In Glasgow. While Hoyle was very familiar with Rodgers’ catalog, the gig proved to be radically different from playing live with Collective Soul.
“Collective Soul’s music is about consistency,” Ryan explains. “It’s more structured and focuses on how certain parts work together to create the whole. Much of our show includes click tracks, and some songs use sequencing or tempo guides. Paul’s gig was quite the contrary. There was no click, and songs were drastically different in form and tempo from night to night. I had to get into a headspace where I could listen, play, and react almost like a jazz player.”
As a drummer, Hoyle is most passionate about maintaining an innovative approach to the kit. “I’m drawing inspiration from my experience as a programmer,” he offers, “applying that back to the acoustic arena, discovering the millions of different sounds you can get from a drum. The spirit of drumming is all about doing many more things at one time than you should be able to do, and throwing in ideas that nobody would quite think of. There are no rules: it’s completely wide open, and I love that.”