We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan B. Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan B., can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Hookworm Records was born from a discussion between Ryan B. Clark and Kevin Michael Prier talking about what was missing from the Phoenix music community. If there is so much talent in Arizona, why does it seem that so few get noticed? What would it take to actually move the chains? Combined with that series of questions, we were deeply inspired by the creativity happening out at Rancho de la Luna, in the deserts of southern California – where Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) invites artists to participate in Desert Sessions. Hookworm Records developed a model that in the ever-evolving music business, the best way to benefit the community of artists the way that we wanted to was not to sign bands – but to sign singles. By doing so, we are able to put our investment behind a huge swath of the bands in Arizona that we believe are being overlooked, and showcase them at the highest possible level of sound recording instead of throwing all of our money behind one or two and hoping we can propel them forward. It is a very creative new model, one that we believe is evolved to the way music is being consumed. Hookworm Records will be putting as many as twelve different bands a year into Flying Blanket Studios in Mesa, Arizona with the legendary Bob Hoag, and then releasing those original singles exclusively on limited edition vinyl. Arizona Music is about ready to be showcased in a way that it has never been before.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hookworm Records is about art. It is about breaking normalcy, and elevating a cultural medium that has gone numb in a world of easy access and lack of authenticity. And in that world, what really rises to the top, are beautiful products that you are excited and proud to own. The joy of being able to create those products, fills me with hope. And we all need some hope. We believe that with the ease of consuming music, some of its luster has been removed. People simply do not value what they can get easily. We believe that part of what keeps our community back is by not taking the time for presentation and passion. That passion should show. It should be obvious. Dollars are not easy to come by, we want our fans to be excited to lay down their cash for something they can truly take pride in owning. Something that was given the time and attention to detail the level of that art deserves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
At Hookworm Records we believe that the passion of music first shows in live performances. 2020 has been a very difficult year, because almost all of that was stifled because of Covid-19. We are all hoping to a return to some kind of normalcy in 2021. When that happens, the places in Phoenix that shine to us are the places that showcase live music from original performers on a nightly basis. Our go to places are Last Exit Live, Valley Bar, The Rebel Lounge, and Crescent Ballroom. You can find great Arizona live music almost any night at at least one of these fine establishments.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Hookworm Records has benefitted very much from being part of a community represented by KWSS 93.9 FM. KWSS is one of the premiere local, independent, FM radio stations in the country. Certainly in Arizona. Our team has participated directly in countless KWSS sponsored events and activities, and Dani Cutler and team are amazing at bringing the love to the local community. We are very inspired not only by the exciting projects that we have lined up, but also by the opportunity to give back to this wonderful community of artists. We would not be able to do that as well without the support and dedication of the wonderful folks over at KWSS FM Radio in Phoenix. Because of this, we have plans to premiere all of our vinyl only, original music on Dub’s White’s Private Reserve, which is a KWSS radio program dedicated to vinyl. KWSS rocks!
Ryan B. Clark