We have a chat with Ryan Jebavy, who is better known as Musical Care. Hailing from Los Angeles, he has a very creative musical style, but music isn’t the only thing that expresses Ryan. He also makes really unique videos to go along with his music.
Ryan, tell the EaRiE audience a little about yourself and what sets you apart from the crowd. As we like to say here, what makes you EaRiE?
Ryan: I guess I’ve always felt like making music that is as strange as possible but with a relatable element—essentially traveling to space as far as I can go, but not so far that I’m completely devoid of nostalgic-feeling melodies. I guess I just play what I want to hear; make stuff I want to see!
How long have you been making music?
Ryan: Let’s see… Yeesh, for almost 30 years. Musical Care since 1999. It started with classical composition and jazz when I was young in the ’80s and then morphed into the current weird, psychedelic, synth-centered nonsense.
Your music is very uniquely written? How do you construct them? Where do you start?
Ryan: I usually start with an idea that comes to me when I’m sleeping. It sounds strange, but my best songs are when I’m half-awake in bed, and I quick stumble for my recorder or phone and sing/hum the parts and ideas. Then I usually work out the basic song structures on piano or acoustic guitar.
How did the concept of making these videos with your songs come along?
Ryan: When I was younger, I was fascinated with stop-animation and claymation. Will Vinton was my idol. I made a few claymation videos with a Super 8 camera and then later wanted to couple those ideas with my own music. Making a stop-animated film is really time consuming and tedious, but it’s gotten incredibly easy to produce one to music nowadays, even with just a phone and iMovie (or that type of program). And I love puppets, so making the puppet head for the video “Happy Halloween” was a blast…and creepy!
How do you make the videos, what is your process in the animation sequence?
Ryan: For the “Bend a Spaceship” video, I just took a million pictures on my phone (typically about 3 identical shots at a time, moving the necessary cardboard cut-outs on a giant backdrop. Some of those were printed out pictures of me, a bird, the moon, etc.) Then I entered everything into iMovie and went from there. It’s a bummer, because later versions of iMovie, like the one I have (11, I think) don’t have stop-motion capabilities anymore, so you have to sort of fudge the program. In other words, they don’t let you enter individual photos with a time of 1/24th seconds that’s necessary for stop-motion, so there’s a speed up option somewhere… Anyway, I was able to finally get the look I wanted.
Who are your musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to? Who are you listening to currently?
Ryan: Growing up, it was a lot of classical and some new age. Ravel, Shostakovich, Sharwenka, etc. All the cool kids were listening to AC/DC and G n R, but I was listening to Philip Glass and Enya. Ha! Gradeschool was hell…
My favorite band of all time is probably Broadcast, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of classic R&B/funk like the Stylistics, Dramatics, Delfonics, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Bar-Kays, etc. Vol. 1 & 2 of Zealous Records Presents: Soul Sides are some of the best compilations I’ve ever heard.
When you are not making music or videos, what are you doing? Any Hobbies?
Ryan: I would say my main hobby is collecting vinyl records. I also love crossword puzzles and putting together IKEA furniture after several drinks.
If you could not make or play music anymore and you had to pick another artform to express yourself, what would it be?
Ryan: I think some sort of combination of visual art and writing…maybe an imaginative children’s book or something like that. I’ve always loved pop-up books, so I think I’d make a pop-up book involving ghosts and time travel.
At the end of the day, what would you like fans to take away from your music? How would you like them to see Ryan Jebavy/Musical Care? Is there an overall message?
Ryan: Maybe happiness or confusion? When it comes to outside perception of me though, I’m more of the belief that “good” art or music is just made through sheer necessity of each artist personally, and the creation of that art or music is way more meaningful than the final expression or sharing of it. In other words, burn it; destroy it. Or put it on the internet for others to see, but make the art/music that you truly want to see and hear, not something with others’ tastes in mind. (Unless you want to get rich and live a wonderful, comfortable life.) One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Camus: “A man’s[/woman’s] work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his[/her] heart first opened.”
What is the best part of being the up-and-coming artist known as Musical Care?
Ryan: Ha, am I up-and-coming? That would be cool. I’m content to remain mysteriously lurking in the shadows of obscurity, too. I think having friends and family that support strange artistic tendencies though is the best part. Thanks, happy listening, and best of luck to EaRiE Core.
Do yourself a favor and check out Musical Care’s music on Soundcloud. You’re welcome…