Ryan Owens lives in Hackensack, New Jersey and plays guitar and sings for the band RSO. He is twenty-one years old. We talked about music, wrestling school, and fucking the back of a girl's knee. All of my interview questions have been removed.
I stopped going to shows one day when I realized that I hate all music. I may sit around with that god-awful tape of Static Age Earth AD Walk Among Us (first half of) Evilive in my car at all times, but I really hate music. I remember being 15 and going to see Aus-Rotten and whichever punk rock super-group was big with all the rich kids I went to school with at the time but I just got bored to tears and eventually learned to take naps at the bar when the prospects of sitting through another five hour, six band show finally sank in. I suppose that when you really get down to it, the fact is not that all music makes me want to get intimate with piano wire so much as I have horrible taste in everything and will (and do) sit around all day listening to Flipper (still rules, ok?).
When I was 17 I found myself at ABC no RIO attending (another) Aus-Rotten show (despite never really liking them) and I figured I might as well pick up on girls. The least punker skank looking one of the lot happened to be the girlfriend of one of the guys I came with. He was not really a friend so much as an 18-year-old rich crusty that got held back a year and had a 15-year-old girlfriend and he was not around and was too fat to catch me in a footrace. So somehow I manage to convince her that it would be a really great idea if I had sex with the back of her leg, and we went to wait in line for the bathroom in ABC. Sadly that was not to be as the door was broken and it was too small to maneuver. Thus, we left and went out towards this Chinese eatery down the street and had the same problem with the tiny bathroom. Feeling deflated, but not yet defeated, we trekked back towards ABC and went into the garden (which was, and likely still is, more accurately a lot of dirt and some planters that have dead or dying flowers in them) and figured that was as good of a place as we would get so we went at it. I then proceeded to get erect and have sex with her knee as three of the people I arrived with watched (for those counting: an overweight Jewish boy, a rich crusty that was dating a 15-year-old Asian girl, and a rich crusty with dyed blonde hair that tried to convince me I was killing mother earth by having family that was/were farmers, which what?) us get "intimate." I would like to say that I managed to ejaculate all over her pants and what have you but eventually the three people watching just started getting ready to dry heave and I figured that was victory enough. I do not recall talking to the girl much after that.
When dealing with women do not tell them you have a Black Flag tattoo and/or if you do then do not tell them what it means if they ask. Other than that, smile and nod and keep a separate set of friends to hang out with so you do not come up with such sterling ideas as autoerotically asphyxiating yourself with some guitar straps because you do not want to go hear her talk about how awesome (insert band with guys that look like they are really into dicks) is for the millionth time.
I spent a chunk of time in Boston training to be a professional wrestler and had a great time of it, however there were some problems. First up was that my knees (which were bad from youth sports and accidents of years previous) were not as healthy as I had hoped - they would swell up immediately after classes to resemble (roughly) cantaloupe sized bags of meat and water. Also I am very tiny, which is not a bad thing in regards to working in places like Japan and Mexico but it means that in the United States I would (at best) be able to hit it big by getting used as fodder for the normal sized people. I could bump around nicely for people larger than me but I would basically be getting paid to kill myself with no chances of upward advancement as being so small means nobody would buy me having any offense on the heavyweights. Also having a severe and intense manic episode will help you realign how you view your life. I also recently found out some results of my multiple concussions. I am not unable to handle rides at carnivals anymore, anything that flips me upside down or bobs me up and down just gets my stomach ready to empty all over the universe. Previous to my career of killing myself by getting clobbered in the head I had a stomach of iron but not at all anymore. Also it probably did not help that my moms favorite activity growing up on the farm was doing acid all the time. She was never really one to talk much about it but after we caught her having acid flashbacks driving us to school a few times the jig was most certainly up. Have I also mentioned I get hit in the head really hard a lot?
After working as a soundman for a "pro" band (which was a disco/Motown "tribute" as cover bands are lowbrow) I had completely given up on even wanting to think about playing an instrument again. I was 19/20 and babysitting men 40+ and dealing with burnt out Disco Ducks giving me grief because young girls will not talk to them and I look like somebody that understands. Eventually I had gotten convinced by a friend (who is no longer with us) that I should do something with myself. So I made some calls and recorded the songs to put out. I have thus far completely lost my shirt on the costs of pressing records and whatnot, but really it is not as bad as it could be (such as still working as a soundman) and honestly I knew going in that this was either going to make me deep in the red or barely break even, so it is not as if it is a giant surprise. Since then I have started filling out the band and despite some personnel problems things are going good so hopefully we will get working on playing out soon. The two songs on it are a good (in my opinion) introduction to the band and what we sound like. The a-side is one of my Flipper groove rip offs that I love to the death that is either going to be loved or hated (like Flipper) and the b-side is a faster Walk Among Us sorta track. After spending all of high school playing in really bad early-DRI inspired bands it is kind of hard to write "long" songs but I am trying. Hopefully my lack of musical ability will be hidden beneath my insanity masquerading as a stage presence.
- Interview by K. Thor Jensen