Ryan Halsey has gathered quite a name for himself as a talented up-and-coming drummer, performing with many of Bridport's local musicians. With the aid of his friend and lighting technician Lewis Aburrow, Ryan has undertaken a project on a grand scale; and he needs the help of the people of Bridport to achieve it! Their aim is to create a video encompassing not only one, but three, drum covers of Skrillex songs, and with Lewis' expertise, make them into a visual feast, to be posted onto the internet. They are in the process of raising money in order to secure the Lyric Theatre, who have generously allowed them to use the space for a small fee. They hope that with a little town spirit, they can create something which will bring some more attention to Bridport's wonderful music scene, and from what they told me, it promises to be something rather special. I caught up with the pair to find out a little more...

D: So why don't you start by telling me a little about yourselves, what you've been up to and what you're bringing to this exciting project?

R: Well, I was working full time in a factory and then I decided after doing that for a year, and playing drums for around 5 years and doing Music at A-Level that drumming was what I wanted to do in life. So I decided to go to London, and I did a one year diploma which was an eye-opener, and I learnt a lot in that year. I started teaching a few lessons here and there, and then Logan Carter approached me and then we started a function band: him, me, Jinder and Martin... I feel very lucky to be able to play with them. And I now play with a country band called ‘No Country for Old Men‘, and I’m also playing with a pirate band called the ‘Black Wreck Music Project‘; they’re acoustic but are pirate themed, which is something different.

L: I like lighting and musical theatre, special effects; and its pretty competitive in Bridport, a lot of people are into it and there isn’t that many places to go do it, so when Ryan asked me to be involved I was like, ‘hell yeah’, so I’m here for lighting and the effects on the video. We’re aiming to make it look as polished and professional as possible, and Ryan appreciates all of this side of it.

D: So tell me more about this project that you want everyone to get on board with.

R: Well, I’ve been doing some Youtube videos myself, and I often do covers of other songs, and I’ve been looking around and even the some of the other drum covers have millions of hits which is incredible, and I thought to myself that I’d love for that to happen to me. I do it for me, and to catalogue my progress but it would be amazing to get to that level. So then I looked at some artists’ I’d like to cover and Skrillex for me is quite an interesting artist, and I really like his ethos; he makes music because he enjoys it. So we decided to do 3 of his tracks, two of them are quiet heavy in terms of the sound and one in particular is where I’ve programmed in the parts I’m going to play over the top to compliment the track. I had the idea to do the songs, and then I thought that if I was going to go to the effort to do something a bit different and make it original, that I should do something with the visuals of it. Normally with these drum videos, its just one tripod and a camera and I had the idea to make my video in a film; to make it artistic and something amazing to look at. So I started thinking about venues and the first place that came to mind was the Lyric Theatre, and I’ve always been intrigued by it and when Lewis and I went down we were totally bowled over.

L: Apparently it was an X-Rated cinema just before it closed at one point, and nobody knew about it!

D: I had no idea about that! Wow, definitely learning something new everyday through all these interviews!

R: We just loved the idea of taking a really modern style of music and putting it into a really old setting with loads of history. We went down and spoke to them, and they seemed more than happy about us using it. I then began thinking that rather than using static cameras, we’re going to need help with people filming, so then I thought about making it a communal project, to try and get all of our friends involved and anybody who wants to be a part of it, to have their contribution so the end result is something everyone can be proud of.

L: There are a lot of people with some amazing skills around here, who would be great help.

R: I even spoke to that Stephen Banks, who did the ’Bridport at Night’ video, and he seemed really interested; there’s a lot of creative people around here. Music wise, we have people like Billy Bragg and PJ Harvey; its a magical place. Me and Lewis have been meeting up once a week to begin organising it, but we want to get more people involved. I really want it to be a showcase of Bridport, and what we as a community can achieve. Not just young people, or older people, but everyone.

D: So what ideas have you got for the finished video?

L: It’s going to be incredible...

R: We’ve looked at what Lewis has so far, and we have so many ideas for it; strobe lighting and that sort of thing, I want the lighting to really spell out what’s happening with the sound. I really want everyone to come together and build something amazing.

I think this could be a great opportunity to open some new avenues and throw people together to work on something that will be a great product. If only one person watches it, great; if a million people watch it, that’s amazing; but we’re doing it for the same reasons whatever the outcome; for the experience. Certainly for any film-makers and musical theatre students, I hope this is a chance for them to show their talents.

D: So when is all this happening?

R: So we’ll be shooting in three months, which gives us some time to get it all together and work on it all but the pressure is on.

So, there you have it; why not offer your support, or offer up a small contribution towards this amazing project, or even offer to head on down on the day, give a little of your time and take up a camera!

You can keep up to date on the project at
https://www.facebook.com/RyanHalseyMusician

or offer a small contribution on their Sponsume page:
http://www.sponsume.com/project/skrillex-lyric

And check out some of Ryan's previous videos on YouTube!

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