Ryan Ross is the musician. He’s the genius who can write hit songs. I’m supposed to be the dude you mostly don’t know or hear about.
Sure, I have said some fucked up things, but we all have. “Let he who is without sin…”, right? Get past all the FOB shit. Get past the “Shane was mean to us…” stuff.
Y’all didn’t attack Z for working with me, while I did marketing for the JJAMZ album. I know you all like her, and I love Z to death. You’re just not aware that I am close with her. I mean, we’re “I have tweezed broken glass out of her bare feet” close. (Don’t walk around barefoot if you just broke a glass. Life tip.)
Stop attacking my friendship with Ryan. It’s not making any difference. It really just fills an otherwise positive space, with negativity about me. I don’t want that for Ryan, because I wouldn’t want all that negativity directed at him.
When these songs finally come out, I really doubt it will be as popular as “Light Em Up” by Fall Out Boy. I don’t expect them to be, because they’re just not… well… it’s hard to explain.
46 of you went out of your way tonight just to give me a piece of your mind. You just had to tell me how horrible I am. It’s not going to make a difference to me in the long run, but it does make me sad for you. That anger is just so misplaced. You could be saying, “I really love these demos. I can’t wait to hear more.” That’d be just… great to see.
I think you might consider something though; Ryan and J Walk left one of the most popular bands in the world. By choice. They chose to do something else, and The Young Veins happened. I really loved that album, but it wasn’t successful commercially. That doesn’t mean it was a failure. It just means Ryan has always been about the music first, and that’s why I admire him. I don’t care about what he did with PATD, because to be perfectly honest (hold on to your asses), I have never really been a big fan of PATD.
I mean, there were a couple songs on Pretty Odd (Northern Downpour being a standout) that I did dig. But I think that’s just because that particular style is really more of what Ryan migrated to with TYV. But I digress.
So why does Ryan work with me? You know… I don’t honestly know. I don’t have the answer to that question. If I had to guess, it’s because I’m just a little different. Most managers say, “I want you to be a superstar. I want you to be a millionaire. I’m going to take you to the top of the world.” I don’t do that. Do you know why? I don’t think fame is what he’s chasing. I just say, “What will make you happy, Ryan? How can I help you the achieve what you have in your head?” It starts with asking, rather than telling.
I believe he wants to make great songs, and if he somehow becomes a superstar for it, well then that is just cool. But you know, being happy doesn’t start with other people thinking you’re cool.
Just so you all know, I haven’t taken a dime from Ryan. I’m not doing this to leverage myself. Ryan is a guy that I think a lot of people misunderstood. I’m the same way. We bond over that. We’re both “pretty odd” (wink), I guess you could say.
In closing; if you’re a fan of Ryan’s old music, it’s entirely probable you won’t understand where his new songs are coming from. They’re beautiful songs, but they’re not much like what you’re familiar with Ryan doing. If the new album comes out, and you don’t dig it - that’s okay. But let’s figure out a way to remove the blame from me.
You, the fans, you’re not all bad. A few of you are…uhm… We’ll say “very passionate” and sometimes that means we bump heads a little. I’m sorry that’s happened. I’m sorry you feel like I over promised and didn’t deliver. There have been a few times I thought Ryan was ready to release new music, but then a month before, he’d say, “Shane. I’m not ready. I’m not 100% happy with these songs. I need you to put yourself on hold.” So I simply said, “You do what you need to do in order to be happy.” I’m not going to push him, because I don’t want him to be unhappy. He’s my friend first.
You, the various bandoms, we’re not supposed to be enemies, you know. I don’t want things to be this way. I want to be able to be cool with all of you. We’ll disagree sometimes, but that’s life. I’m trying to be transparent with y’all.
Like, last week, this kid Nico emailed me about wanting Ryan’s help with asking some girl Emma to the prom. You know how bad I wanted to help him with that? Ryan was busy, so it wasn’t an option, but if one of you is Nico, he’ll attest that I wasn’t an asshole about it. I tried to narrow down Emma’s favorite song Ryan wrote, and get some guitar tabs and lyrics for the guy. I don’t have to do stuff like that. I do it because I give a shit, and I remember what it was like to ask a girl to prom.
We’re going to have some fun, alright. All this negativity isn’t helping us have fun. Music is supposed to bring us together - not drive us apart.