An interview with The Raintree

The Raintree / Photo courtesy of The RaintreeThe Raintree is a folk/acoustic artist hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. Ryan Osterman, once a member of The Maine, is now a solo artist with an incredible voice and amazing talent. With a hint of influence from artists like Bright Eyes, The Raintree won’t disappoint.

The Raintree — “Pairs” | download

Who are the main influences on your music?:
Well, honestly, just life and love — the people that bring about the sheer joy and accentuate the beauty in all of my surroundings. My musical influences vary and flux quite a bit and often, but I’ve always been a fan of Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, Maria Taylor, Bright Eyes, Stars, Jimmy Eat World, etc. I could go on for a while, so I’ll spare you, but a lot of it has to do with what a band or song reminds me of. I embed memories within each song I listen to. Just about anything could influence me.

Why do you write the genre of music you do?:
I never really intended on writing a certain type of music truthfully, and if you were to listen to some of my earliest music, it wouldn’t sound close to what it is now. It was very ambient, almost sleep inducing. I kind of just write whatever comes out, whatever I’m feeling. My music is just something that I can believe in, I suppose. I guess lately my music’s been more on the “folk” side of the spectrum, but to me folk just means “Music for the people, made by the people.”

Would you rather enjoy a small gathering at a house show or play in front of a ton of people at a venue?:
Anything with an intimate setting. I’ve enjoyed both options, but there’s a certain quality about just performing for a small number of people in a basement with no distractions, just love, that cannot (and in my opinion, will not) be matched by any venue.

Who have you shared the stage with?:
Amazingly talented friends. Alexander Ross (The Air Show), Matthew Gilbert (Poem), Raining & OK, The Summer Set, The Maine, Courtney Andrews, and plenty more fantastic musicians that deserve way more credit than they actually get.

A lot of your songs have a hint of something that may or may have not happened with someone; are these real life situations you’re writing about?:
Everything is very real. I try to leave it up to symbolism and vagueness to allow other people to retain their own interpretation of my music, but i would be physically incapable of writing a song about something that wasn’t completely true and genuine. I guess that might be a curse, but I’d rather it be a, “Hey, fuck you!” to the “music” industry (if you can even call it that anymore.)

Aside from music, what influences you?:
Moments in life that knock you flat on the ground and make you appreciate every inch, every second, every breath, every noise, every creature, and every uncertainty.

Describe your ideal day that could inspire a song:
Long trips out to the middle of nowhere, laying in the grass underneath trees wrapped in blankets, kissing, affection, hand-rolled cigarettes, drinking too much, finding yourself, sing-alongs with friends, falling asleep with someone that you care about and truly, wholeheartedly cares about you as well.

Do you plan on touring sometime soon?:
I want to, I need to. Attention, bands of the continental united states: please take me with you. I don’t need much, I don’t eat much, I’m small and won’t take up too much room. Liberate me from the desert sands of Arizona.

Paige Watters, reporter, interviewed The Raintree.

· The Raintree on MySpace

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