Little King is: Ryan Rosoff (Guitar and Lead Vox), Manny Tejeda (Bass and Backing Vox), Eddy Garcia (Drums)
Where are you based?
As of this interview, I am living in Tucson, Arizona, having recently moved from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Manny still lives back in Rehoboth, and Eddy lives in El Paso, TX (where I have produced 6 going on 7 albums). El Paso is home away from home for me, as I lived there for about 15 years, graduated from college, had two kids, two marriages, etc in Chuco Town! El Paso-based is typically how I describe us, but we are now very spread out. Oh...I grew up in Seattle in the 80’s. I’m a gypsy!
What genre would you describe yourself as?
Little King has been around for 23 years, so I’ve heard it all. But the best description I’ve heard is Dynamic Rock. It’s always been my goal to cover a lot of genres and dynamic ranges within one album, and sometimes within one composition! In fact, we have a song on our upcoming album (which will be called “Amuse De Q” and is due out in early 2021) that covers blues, funk, metal, and samba... and I love it! I think it sounds very cohesive, and that’s an accomplishment to me. THAT should be the essence of a great Little King song.
Who is your main inspiration?
In most of the interviews I have done in the past year, particularly when Occam’s Foil was released, I talked about Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush. He passed away due to brain cancer in early 2020, and that was a devastating blow. His raw skill, refined crafting of both drum compositions and lyrical mastery, and his general philosophy of life carry a ton of weight for me. So Neil leads the way, for sure. But I’m inspired by the guys in my band, my parents, my kids, and certainly current events in this Mongolian Clusterfuck we call 2020. The title Amuse De Q references the Quarantine, and I feel like if you can’t be inspired by what’s happened this year as an artist, well, it’s time to find another line of work.
What is your songwriting process?
Yeah, so I have always started with the music and made sure it was perfect before I tackled the lyrics. Even though I’m a creative writing major and have been writing forever, I still feel like. Guitar player first. Plus, when you have to sing and play complicated songs live, you damn well better make sure you can play those songs perfectly! Only then can I start fitting the words to the music.
Amuse De Q is no different. I wrote most of these new songs on my classical guitar at 8 in the morning in my bed with the television on. As I watched the world implode around me, I was inspired to dig in and make the best of it, creatively and personally. So I lost about 30 pounds, sold my house relocated with my son (I’m a single dad), Revived and Restructured my corporate event business to be exclusively Virtual, and I quit drinking. It’s been 9 months since I’ve had a drop. That’s a big deal... your friendly correspondent likes to party.
The point of this all is that I rolled those experiences into songs, and the lyrics flowed as freely as the music this time. So we are further along in the process than usual at this point. Can’t wait to share it all. Amused by the Quarantine, indeed!
What made you want to start in music?
I’m too short for the NBA, but that dream died hard at about age 16. The only other thing I loved as much as playing basketball was music, and I figured it was something I. My older brother Matt and I grew up having stereo wars (my poor parents... such good sports). Matt introduced me to a lot of the music I still listen to, and certainly the artists that influence me to this day. Rush, Zeppelin, Floyd, Talking Heads, steely Dan, Iron Malden, The Who, etc.
I would listen to the guitar solos, and I swear that it was like watching a dunk contest! I knew I never would dunk on a real 10 foot hoop (I could get close, but I have small Trump hands), so it became and obsession to dunk on the guitar.
What is on the horizon for you?
Bass, Drums, and 85% of the guitars are tracked for Amuse. I’ll go back from Tucson to El Paso to finish the guitar solos and add some other fun surprises, and then it’s all lyrics all the time. Singing every day, composing vocal melodies and harmonies, and editing the words to death. They are my real legacy, and it’s too important to fuck off. Hopeful that the new album will be released in early 2021, maybe mid-February. I’m not in a hurry.
Who would you most like to collaborate with (alive or dead)?
Tupac would have been a dream, same with the aforementioned Neil Peart. I would love to make a record with Snoop Dogg or having Dre produce. Dre and Snoop on a rock record would be insane.
I think I'd like to have the London Philharmonic on one of the new songs, a track called "How Could You?" Do you have their number?
What is your ultimate goal?
A healthy and productive life for my kids with all of the happiness they can imagine. Having 2 wonderful kids and raising them mostly as a single dad while making records and working a job job has been no joke. I am so proud of them. We were all recently together for a week in El Paso, and there is a 10 year age gap, so they don't see each other as often as I would like. But they are so similar and such cool kids, my heart was and is full. I just wanna make sure I am enabling them to walk the paths that they desire, whatever that may be.
I have had a helluva run, and I am just getting started. I have always wanted to make 10 albums I could be totally proud of. I have 6 now (going on 7), and the first 2 (Transmountain and Time Extension) are really hit-or-miss. I was a kid! So Amuse De Q will be the 5th that I can be totally secure with people hearing. Five more to go!
Tell us your funniest joke!
My Jewish grandmother bought me two ties for my birthday some time ago. I finally went to see her at her house for dinner, and I wore one of the ties.
She opened the door, looked at me, and said "What, you don't like the other tie?"