Bigger Lights's Ryan Seaman
My name is Ryan Seaman, and I am the drummer for the band the Bigger Lights. I started playing drums at the age of eight, when my father introduced me to the Beatles. I knew immediately after hearing them that I wanted to be a musician/drummer for the rest of my life.
At eleven, I was growing up in the heavily Mormon-influenced culture of Salt Lake City, Utah, when I began to discover punk bands such as Green Day, Rancid, MxPx, Refused, NOFX, Descendents, No Use For A Name, Rival Schools, and the Offspring. I started to come home from school every day and spend hours upon hours teaching myself to play along with punk records. I also started going to as many shows as I possibly could, to watch other players and pick up tricks from them.
After years of playing along with my punk records and playing for the middle/high school symphonic band, jazz band, pep band, and many local punk bands, I got discovered by a band on Lookout Records (Green Day, Operation Ivy, the Donnas, Screeching Weasel) called the Eyeliners. I was eighteen years old when they saw me play with one of my local punk bands and asked me to try out for them. I successfully auditioned, and before I knew it, five days after I graduated high school I was thrown onto a tour bus with the Eyeliners and sharing the bus with Flogging Molly on the 2002 Warped Tour. It was one of the highlights of my life. After 2002, the Eyeliners wanted to give some of their other friends a shot at the drumkit, so with everything I learned that year, all the bands I had watched and made relationships with, I took a risk and moved to Los Angeles at the age of nineteen.
I was in L.A. for six years, and my goal was to be a studio/session drummer. I started taking lessons from Joe Porcaro (Google search him) and got the opportunity to tour and/or record with countless bands including I Am Ghost (Epitaph Records), Jeffree Star (Atlantic Records), and Vanna (Epitaph Records) before ultimately moving to the east coast and joining the Bigger Lights (Doghouse Records) in early 2009.
There are countless drummers that have influenced me to become the player I am today. Some of my favorites include Aaron Stern (Matchbook Romance, God Or Julie), Jorma Vik (the Bronx), Chris Wilson (Good Charlotte, the Summer Obsession), Dan Whitesides (the Used), Bill Stevenson (the Descendents, Black Flag, Only Crime), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age), Dave Sandstrom (Refused), Tré Cool (Green Day), Ringo Starr (the Beatles), Jay Skorownek (Maxeen), Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies), and Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, DEVO, the Vandals, and any band you’ve probably seen on Billboard’s top-10 in the past ten or fifteen years). From their music to their personalities as players, these drummers are the reason I play music.
The gear I use includes Shine drums, Meinl cymbals including 14″ Byzance Traditional Medium hi-hats, an 18″ Byzance Tradition Medium crash, a 20″ Byzance Medium crash, and a 22″ Byzance Traditional Heavy ride), a Tama Iron Cobra kick pedal, DW hardware, a Pork Pie throne, Pro-Mark American Hickory 5B wood-tips sticks, and Remo heads, including an Emperor X for my 14″ Pork Pie snare, Evans coated EC2s on my 12″ and 16″ toms, and a Remo Power Stroke 3 on my bass drum.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about me and my career so far. I’d like to thank Kevin Radomski at Pro-Mark and Chris Brewer at Meinl for everything they’ve done for me over the course of my career.
For more about Ryan Seaman, go to www.myspace.com/fastcatchrunaway. The Bigger Lights’ self-titled album was just released on Doghouse Records/Warner Music Group.