William Ryan Key has been keeping busy these last few years. Aside from his much beloved solo EPs Thirteen and Virtue that he released to thunderous acclaim in 2018, he’s been hard at work on multiple projects, one of which he announced this week. “With so much changing for touring musicians, as well as my desire to really start cultivating a career in scoring for film and television which requires me to be home in the studio full time, Patreon felt like an awesome way to keep releasing original music to fans, and be able to play live music for people as well,” he says, presenting his new project on the popular artist platform. His Patreon creator page can be found here: https://www.patreon.com/
While his two decades fronting the much loved alternative band Yellowcard offered him mass adulation and his solo EPs gave him a new direction to explore, his true love of film scoring was itching to come out. While it was something he was working on behind the scenes while he was touring the world on his solo material, the current COVID-19 pandemic and its shelter-at-home initiative gave him the time and space to explore this direction. “I have always wanted to compose music for film and television. I have never truly pursued it, but it’s always been there.”
Utilizing Patreon’s subscription-based content platform, Ryan will be inviting fans to dive into this world alongside him. “I have several peers who have found great success with Patreon so I wanted to give it a shot. Every month I’m releasing a new song, playing a live stream acoustic set, doing a live Q & A session, and some other perks as well,” he says excitedly.
Kicking off this week, this project already has its first presentation. “The first song, ‘Face in a Frame’ takes me even further into the world of ambient synth and piano driven music,” he explains. “I think Patreon is a really cool way for fans to be involved in creative development and evolution. I plan to continue to explore new sounds as I go with these new songs.”
In addition to the music side, Ryan has also diving into the world of podcasts. Well-known to fans as a mega-fan of the Star Wars universe, he has started “Thank the Maker: A Star Wars Podcast” (anchor.fm/thankthemaker) which bills itself as “a podcast about heroes, princesses, scoundrels, hokey religions, ancient weapons, and all things Star Wars.”
“A couple of years ago my good friend Adam Russell (Story of the Year bassist) suggested to me that we do a podcast together about Star Wars,” he recalls. “We have bonded over our love of Star Wars for many years so he thought we should put that love to use. I was so busy at the time and couldn’t commit but, finally, in February of this year, I jumped in and we released our first episode.”
Immediately drawing a wide audience of not only fans of their respective bands but by Star Wars aficionados as well, the podcast took off. “Just a couple of months later, we were joined by a third passionate and knowledgeable voice in Nick Ghanbarian (Bayside bassist) as a full time co-host,” he adds. “The three of us have had so much fun building this community of like-minded Star Wars fans.” Now 22 episodes in, their shows take deep dives into the mythos of Star Wars, its characters and its story arcs and often inviting special guests to join into the conversation.
Thank the Maker has quickly become a place where listeners can come for a shot of positivity and thoughtfulness in the Star Wars universe,” he explains. “Also we can’t believe the guest list we have attained for the show. Guests include producer John Feldmann, Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, Emily Swallow who plays “The Armorer” on Disney’s The Mandalorian, and Ashley Eckstein who voices “Ahsoka Tano” on Star Wars The Clone Wars animated series. Our listener base is growing every week and we can’t wait to see where the podcast takes us!”
Always keeping himself busy, Ryan has even more plans and projects to reveal. But for now, his Patreon campaign and Thank the Maker are keeping him very busy. Always thankful to the fans who have been followed him through his career, he concludes. “I want to extend all my gratitude to everyone who has continued to support me in all of my many endeavors. Thanks for everything, always.”