I'm really happy to reintroduce, Ronin, a duo from Philadelphia that I recently became friends with at an amazing Leon Boiler and Tyas Twins show at Webster Hall. Recently, the two closed out the new year at Lit Ultra Bar after DJing with Teknartist. Since then, the duo has been doing work in the studio, putting final touches on their original tracks. Last week, I shared with you their first original track, Sparta, and an ID. I sat down with the two and asked them a few questions.
Daily Beat: How did you two meet?
Ryan Touhill: We met back in middle school, and have been friends ever since. We had a band together in high school that we created sophomore year.
Ryan Farber: I remember him Facebook messaging me trying to start a band. At the time I was a drummer, and I was so excited when he asked me to join. We went on to start the band, and I recorded our first EP our senior year.
DB: What kind of band was it?
Touhill: It was pop-punk kinda thing, kind of like Boys Like Girls, and All Time Low type stuff.
Farber: Our group was called "Detour," and I played drums, Ryan T played guitar and vocals, and our other friend played bass.
Touhill: We were actually pretty good, and had offers from a bunch of venues in Philadelphia, but we sadly had to go on to college. It was for the better.
DB: I have a confession, I definitely listened to All Time Low! I may have gone to a few Warped Tours, and I remember being so happy to meeting Lights, and now she did the vocals on Swanky Tunes and Kaskades song, "No One Knows Who We Are."
Touhill: Haha I still enjoy that stuff. Good times.
DB: So how did you two become Ronin? You've come a long way since your band days.
Farber: Haha you bet. We stopped working for a bit, until we both started getting into the EDM scene. I personally got into Dubstep around 2009 and Touhill got into House music. I started doing my own productions and him as well, but we always wanted to do a collaboration, and to kind of merge both of our sounds.
Touhil: We've been working on music together forever, and that's why we decided to make Ronin a two-party thing. It was only until recently we began production together.
DB: I know how most duos and or trios like SHM have their own talents, and strengths. So, who does what?
Touhill: Honestly, Ryan F is the genius of sound reinforcement and engineering. I tend to provide the melodies and hooks, etc. He's a boss at creating drums and kits like that
Farber: I handle the production side, working with Ableton, programming drums, synthesizing sounds, etc. Ryan handles a lot of the melodies and song structure, and then I will elaborate on them. We really just bounce stuff off each other until it sounds right.
I use Ableton Live for the most part. Some of my favorite plugins are NI Massive, Sylenth, Moog Minimoog V, Albino 3, and the Fabfilter Plugs.
DB: So how did you get into making originals?
Touhill: I'll talk about this one. Sparta was the first real attempt we made at production. The idea was to make something that started as a simple melody, something that grew into something broad and epic, with a drop that was more in depth and had more forward motion. When the second half of the song comes around, it's meant to be a full culmination of the main theme, instead of having a moving drop, it's more epic and big room almost. Our next project, which we can finally introduce, is our ID from last week, Octane. Well, the plan was to keep the classical music elements strong, because I'm classically trained. I love incorporating that stuff. That is kind of why Zedd is one of my biggest heroes, because he was also classically trained. We also wanted it to have a big room house feel so we layered the hell out of all our instruments, and built off the support from Sparta.
DB: Amazing. I have to admit when I was listening to Octane I felt like I was on a journey through a video game, kind of like Megaman, but got in one of those cars from Tron. It is just a really smooth song, and I loved the hard drop. I could really see where you drew upon your inspiration from Zedd, like from his song Zelda. Thanks again guys, I'm glad we could have this interview.
Farber: No problem, we really appreciate it.
Touhill: I'm glad you like our music, and hopefully your followers do too!
DB: One last question to you Ryan F, "How did you get so many followers on Twitter?"
Farber: HAHA I didn't expect this one. Well, I work at a production studio in Philadelphia and Miley Cyrus came in for a session one day. I was assisting on the session for 2 days, and she just started to follow me on Twitter. And yeah, every so often I will get a tweet at me saying something like "Please tell Miley I love her!!!"
DB: That's priceless man. Well I guess we can end on that one, hey. Thanks for the interview, guys.
I hope everyone enjoyed this interview, and don't forget to check out their newest original, Octane.
Ronin - Octane (Free Download)
Ronin - Apollo's Clarity (Hardwell feat. Amba Shepherd x Zedd feat. Foxes) (Download)
Ronin - Live @ Lit Ultra Bar 12/30
Below is preview art of their next original, Genesis. Coming soon!
Twitter: @RoninOfficial | @Ronin_RyanT | @Ronin_RyanF