Editor’s Note: In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Brooklyn indie-pop singer/songwriter Eddy Lee Ryder discusses her new EP “Expected To Fly”, along with mental health awareness and coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. Her songs cut deep and absolutely drive the point home while drawing influences from the likes of Tom Petty to Peter Gabriel to Fleetwood Mac. Her music videos for “Silver Chain” and “Small Apartment” have amassed a combined over 250,000 hits on YouTube. “Expected To Fly” is out now and fans can find it on all available digital streaming platforms. Fans can find Eddy Lee Ryder at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Thanks for being on the phone with me Eddy, as a New Yorker, how have you adjusted with the lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic in your life?
Eddy: It has been an adjustment. I did get Covid right off the bat, so I guess I’m lucky to just get it and get it over with, so I’ve stay extra quarantined for a few months, but now I have antibodies so that helps.
Madness To Creation: What was your reaction when you found out that you had Covid-19?
Eddy: It was funny because I didn’t realize that I actually had it for like two weeks, it was all mild symptoms, I had read an article about losing your sense of smell ten minutes before I actually lost the sense of smell, so I had a very mild case.
Madness To Creation: I’m super glad that you recovered and everything, how have you adjusted promoting “Expected To Fly” and your social media given the Covid-19 pandemic?
Eddy: It’s funny because I feel like the whole world is on pause right now, but I’ve actually been very bad at promoting it, I have to start putting some things up this week. I have to actually let people know that I’m putting it out this Friday(interview was done last week), because I’ve gone into Covid joke world or Covid meme world. *laughs* I’ve never liked the promoting side of it anyways, so this is a good opportunity to learn a lot, so I got a ton of it to learn about during quarantine.
Madness To Creation: You mentioned that you don’t like the promoting side of music, what about it don’t you like?
Eddy: I love creating and singing music and all of that, I just don’t like the culture of it, getting the right images, and the right timing and the right hashtags, I feel that it takes away from the enjoyment of making music, so I’ve been trying to do that the best that I can so people can find my music.
Madness To Creation: It almost feels like “finding the right hashtags” doesn’t make it feel authentic.
Eddy: I totally agree, it’s almost like I have to put away my phone cause I end up scrolling way too much. I think I’m enjoying Instagram more than I ever have before because the Covid memes are pretty funny, so that’s a good distraction right now, but in terms of music, I think there’s too much comparing between yourself and other artists, which I don’t like because I feel like it drowns out your own voice that you’re trying to create too.
Madness To Creation: Do you feel that it plays an impact on your mental health?
Eddy: Yeah, I feel that you get sucked into that, when you compare yourself too much, it’s when you get sucked into that feeling of “I’ll never sing like that person or play like this person”, but that’s not where your gifts are, you have to follow where your own gifts are. There’s too much comparison, you have trouble plotting those thoughts out, it’s whether sitting and creating or being with your friends sitting and creating, that’s when you’re able to access what you’re good at.
Madness To Creation: As an artist and a musician, what do you feel that you’re good at? I’m giving you the opportunity to brag about yourself a little bit. *laughs*
Eddy: Well, I’m a very powerful singer, so I know right now that whispering singing is very cool and I wish I could do that, but I have a very powerful, loud rock voice, I’m also a very good storyteller in music.
Madness To Creation: Let’s talk about your album. I was listening to your EP this morning and “Silver Chain” was a great powerful song to listen to. Take us into that song and music video, and I have to ask, is Fleetwood Mac a big influence of yours?
Eddy: Yes they are, it’s kind of funny because I love singing to Stevie Nicks, and I started getting the Stevie Nicks comparison a lot, so right about the time that I was writing “Silver Chain”, I made a very poignant effort to not sound like Stevie Nicks, and to try to find my own voice and try to separate my voice as much as I can, so I tried that and people thought, “wow, you sound so much like Kate Bush”, but Fleetwood Mac definitely is, but with that song, I was going for more Tom Petty in the 80’s, which I was listening to a lot of at the time, and my favorite drummer came in to play drums, he’s in a band.
Madness To Creation: It also has a little bit of that song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” vibe by Tom Petty, I can’t think of the actual song title.
Eddy: That was a big influence when I was recording. I love that song.
Madness To Creation: If Tom Petty was sitting in on this interview, what would you say to him?
Eddy: I’d say he’s my favorite person. I just think he’s the truest songwriter of all-time, I think every artist wants to have at least one Tom Petty cover or influenced by him in their catalog.
Madness To Creation: What’s your favorite Tom Petty song?
Eddy: “Learning To Fly”
Madness To Creation: I love “Runnin’ Down A Dream”. You’ve also released the music video for “Small Apartment”, which is a fun music video to watch, take us into that song, and what was the most fun part about creating that music video?
Eddy: I love the effects with the colors in it, the story is also a true story, so it’s recreating it about my downstairs neighbor, I can’t believe that I don’t remember her name, some of the stories about her were pretty entertaining.
Madness To Creation: What were some entertaining things that she did?
Eddy: Oh, she just came into character, so when we were getting ready, she would just come in the room and begin to scream at us, she was just a blast.
Madness To Creation: You’ve also released the single “There In Dreams”, I know it was a tough song for you to write, was it therapeutic for you to release that single after you got the lyrics from pen to paper?
Eddy: Yeah, well I wrote the song a really long time ago, it was one of my first songs actually, and I think just getting it finished and getting it out there, it took a long time to get it recorded, so just having it out there was a big relief.
Madness To Creation: What are some things that help you get through the struggles in life and what are some of the things that make you happy?
Eddy: I spend a lot of time talking on the phone with friends, from start to finish, I could be on the phone with friends the entire day, that kind of helps me get out of funk, and sometimes writing helps, and sometimes I hate it when people say, “just exercise, it will make you feel better”, because sometimes it’s just hard to get up and do it, but sometimes when you just go for a walk, or even in quarantine doing a 15 minute class on YouTube, you will always kind of feel better in the end, even though it’s hard to get yourself up and do it.
Madness To Creation: Let’s say life is 100% normal right now, what are some things you enjoy doing?
Eddy: Probably listening to music and going out to the beach right now, there’s not really anywhere to go right now, so those are the little things that I enjoy doing during the day.
Madness To Creation: Music is a soundtrack to our life, what are a couple of songs that you can go to and listen to it and never get tired of the song?
Eddy: Jackson Browne and Kate Bush, but that one I usually have to do alone because most of my friends don’t like Kate Bush.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to “Expected To Fly”?
Eddy: Not sure, my band doesn’t have the right equipment to do an Instagram Live show, but I’ve been thinking about doing a parking lot show, where it’s socially distant, where we’re kind of together but pretty separated.
Madness To Creation: Like in your neighborhood or something?
Eddy: Yeah, somewhere close where everyone is pretty spread out, but it would be fun to make that happen.
Madness To Creation: Thank you so much for taking the time, and I’d love to have you come out when the fog lifts.
Eddy: Definitely! I love what you guys stand for and thank you so much for taking that stance on mental health.
And there you have it! Fans can check out the “Expected To Fly” EP below:
- Photo Credit: Hailley Howard