When you listen to drummer Ryan ‘Rymo’ Moran’s 2009 release Structure and Flow, you immediately hear the myriad of influences that have found their way into this drummer’s playing. “Pulling from different cultures really grabbed me. I wanted a varietal element to it,” says Moran of the release.
This isn’t surprising when you learn a bit about the musician’s background. Born in San Francisco and raised in San Rafael, Ryan was bitten by the music bug shortly after his 10th birthday. He had two older sisters that provided a wide range of listening opportunities. One sister was full on punk rock and the other, a Deadhead. Sprinkle in generous amounts of 80s top 40 radio and you have Ryan’s recipe for his musical dish. As far as early influences go, Ryan singles out Led Zeppelin and their drummer, John Bonham.
Inspired by his bass teacher, Mark Peabody, in the San Rafael High School music department, Ryan continued his pursuit of knowledge by earning a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in 1993 for their 5 week Summer semester. His continuing education led him to apply to several different schools, but San Diego State University had all the right factors. Ryan attended SDSU beginning in late 1994 until 2001, when he earned his BA in Music. Since his graduation, he has continued his pursuit of the groove, which has led to involvement in several projects.
Ryan has been a member of the stylistically diverse band, Slightly Stoopid since 2003 and has recorded and released 7 albums with the band and has toured throughout the world with the group. Described by themselves as “a fusion of folk, rock, reggae, and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal and punk,” Slightly Stoopid gives Ryan a wide palette to paint his percussive contributions on. Moran is especially proud of their Closer to the Sun release from 2005, which was produced by Miguel Happbodlt, former member of Sublime and Long Beach Dub Allstars. Recalling the recording session, Ryan says, “He had a rad, low-fi, punk rock approach. We set up in a big room, with room mics. The drums were the focus and we would all play, bleed through and all. He had a variance between styles which was cool.”
Another long term project Ryan has been involved in is Agent 22, his collaboration with Chapman Stick player Tom Griesgraber. The band’s music is based in rock, but is also influenced by classical, funk, jazz, and world music. The band offers Ryan the opportunity to stretch out instrumentally beyond the drums and features his playing on vibes, synth, and the Australian didgeridoo, as well as Latin American, African, and Asian percussion.
Although his primary focus has been with these two groups, Rymo remains open to individual and collaborative exploration. Live, these two bands have performed with artists ranging from Snoop Dogg to Emmett Chapman. In the studio, Moran has recorded over 40 albums and worked with various producers in a wide range of styles and projects. This has led him to recording studios all across the U.S., from the Circle House in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to the legendary Sound City in Hollywood, CA.
In addition to his performing and recording credits Ryan is also an educator, being active in giving lessons as a private teacher both online and in person. His YouTube page has over 60 drum lessons posted and has been viewed over 600,000 times. Ryan is also involved in Rios Music Project in San Diego, CA. In the past, he has been affiliated with the A.R.T.S. music non-profit organization (also in San Diego, CA) and the Notes for Notes music non-profit organization in Nashville, TN and Santa Barbara, CA.
In August of 2015 Moran was featured in DRUM! Magazine and was also included in the book, Sticks ‘N’ Skins by Jules Follett.
Rymo lists as some of his personal influences as John Bonham, Danny Carey, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Stewart Copeland, Peter Erskine, David Garibaldi, Neil Peart, Simon Phillips, Thomas Pridgen, and Steve Smith to name but a few.
– Rymo Structure and Flow
– Forthcoming – 2019
With Slightly Stoopid:
– Closer to the Sun – 2005
– Chronchitis – 2007
– Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet – 2008
– Live at Roberto’s – 2011
– Top of the World – 2012
– Meanwhile Back at the Lab – 2015
– Everyday Life, Everyday People – 2018
With Agent 22:
– Agent 22 – Self Titled – 1999
– First Witness Live – 2002
With B – side Players:
– Renacimiento – 1997
– Culture of Resistance – 1999
– Movement – 2001
– Afro-mexica – 2009
– Revolutionize – 2012
– Black Market Disciples – Revolutionary Revolutionary Rhetoric – 2000
– Joey Bowen – 2002
– Maiz – 2002
– Damn Dirty Apes – Live – 2003
– Tony Kanal (No Doubt) – Production/Studio Work – 2004
– Tom Griesgraber – Sketchbook – 2006
– Jack Manness (Long Beach Dub Allstars) – Simple Man – 2010
– Burundiology – Wake Up and Give – 2012
– Black and White – Maintain the Light – 2014
– Organically Good Trio – Alakazam – 2014
– Dela and the Aggrolites – Live – 2017
– DJ Williams and Shots Fired – Live – 2017
– Sammy Johnson – Girl Like You – 2017
– Tunnel Vision – Studio Production – 2017/2018
– Small Batch – Forthcoming – 2018
– Makua Rothman – Forthcoming – 2018
Ryan has worked with the following producers:
– Miguel Happboldt (Sublime, Long Beach Dub Allstars)
– Paul Leary (Sublime)
– Jerry Wonda (Fugees)
– James Wisner (Shakira, Shaggy)
– Tom (CGT)
– Sean Chapman (Makua Rothman, Tomorrows Bad Seeds)