Sam Ryder has told NME of his past fronting a Texan hardcore band called Close Your Eyes.
- READ MORE: Sam Ryder: “Eurovision was the perfect point in my journey to throw all the chips on the table”
The pop star and UK Eurovision entrant is NME‘s Big Read cover star for Christmas 2022, and talked about his Number One album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ as well as his journey to get there.
Ryder began playing in the band The Morning After as a teenager – he described their music as “Iron Maiden wannabe… not as good” – saying: “It was really fun. I have such fond memories of, like, thinking I was writing these songs that were going to change the world but [which] really weren’t.
“But that’s an important part of being in a band. I think when you’re that young, you’ve got to have that belief that you’re doing something good.”
After that, the singer linked up with Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes as their frontman. He explained: “I was a singer, songwriter [and] really part of those guys. And it was a hardcore punk band, which was something totally new for me.”
Of how he joined the band, Ryder went on: “I heard they needed a singer so I sent them a clip of me singing. In that scene, there are so many singers who are really great at screaming – you know, the hardcore punk vocals. I wasn’t necessarily great at that, but I was good at clean singing.”
He said he stood out as a candidate because “there weren’t as many strong clean singers on the scene. And I just thought, ‘I’ll deal with the screaming thing as and when it comes!’”
Discussing his stint on 2014’s Warped Tour with the band, Ryder told NME: “I was the only person on that tour who managed to shower every single day.
“The showers on that tour – they’re the grossest thing on earth, you don’t want to go near them,” he says. “So instead, I’d walk the perimeter of the stadium [we were playing at] and try to find a little faucet or a tap. I’d be rooting up the sprinkler system if I had to!”
This month (December 9), Ryder released his debut album, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’. Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “The odd well-intentioned platitude hardly spoils an album of killer choruses on which Ryder’s infectious likeability shines through at all times.
“Next time he might want to chuck in a few more curveballs, but for now, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ sounds like the beginning of what could be a really stellar career.”
Ryder has also revealed the impact a surfing accident had on his life. The accident happened when the Eurovision runner-up was on holiday in Hawaii four years ago, and led him to re-evaluate his life, pushing him to put more effort into his music career.