SpoonMan Music

Getting to know: Little King


Tones of Home Blind Melon along with The Spirit of Radio Rush abound in the relaxed outpourings of today’s band:

Little King

Introduce your members, what do each of you bring to the band?

I’m Ryan (Rosoff, Guitar and Vox). I write the words and music with the rest of the crazies!

We have a new release of 7 songs coming out 9/3/21 called Amuse De Q.  This is my 7th album since 1997 under the band name Little King.  The lineup looks like this:

Manny Tejeda is my Dominican American brother in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and he plays bass and sings a bit as well.  We met in about 2016 in a bar in Delaware through some mutual friends, and we hit it off. That’s my guy. He and his wife just had a baby!  Manny is as crazy as me and brings incredible ears…he picks things up so very quickly. 

Eddy Garcia is the Drummer and Engineer at Krank Studios in El Paso, Texas. Ed and I have been friends since about 1997, I think. He’s also the founder of Pissing Razors, a killer legendary Texas thrash band from El Paso. He’s also played in Ministry and Overkill. Eddy is kind of a beast.

This is Eddy’s 5th Little King album as engineer since 2003, and it’s his 4th release as a drummer since 2008.  Manny played last time, so Amuse De Q his is second Little King record.

We also had appearances for the second album in a row by David Hamilton on Cello and Christina Hernandez on the violin (they played on Occam’s Foil in 2019 as well.) David also wrote the string arrangements…he’s a badass. Again, both of these folks are in El Paso, TX.

Amuse De Q has a song called “How Could You?” that features Jessica Flores on the lead vocals. It’s the first time EVER for Little King with a different lead vox, and she really nailed it.  We had never met until Eddy recommended her, but we communicated really well and it was on. It’s so gratifying to listen to the way she owns that track.

Also, my son Asher Syrinx played keys on a song called “Set It Down.” Awesome kid and human, super proud of him.  It was really fun to watch him write and rehearse his part while living with my mom and me!  Also brought in Becca Gonzales and Bryan Bowles on vox and hand biz for “Set It Down”.

When did you last speak to your families?

About 5 minutes ago…I live with my momma! At least for another 3 weeks.

She’s 77 and totally in great shape, thank goodness. I moved here to Arizona with my son last September from Delaware. Covid was raging and I was DONE living on the east coast away from literally all of my family other than Asher.

I went to college in Tucson from 1990-92 and mom has lived here full-time since 2000. So, Ash and I bailed here and lived in her house in Tucson and forged a cool bond. I found my own place here, and Ash and I move there at the end of this month, but I’m glad we all had 10 months together. My mom and son will ALWAYS have that.

What are your instrument makes/models of choice and why? Which effects could you not live without?

Gear! I have a bunch of guitars, but my go-to’s are a PRS CE-24 built in 1993 with the small sig on the headstock. Original HFS pickups but with a brass nut. I LOVE this guitar. Cleans, solos, it just has a really distinctive character. I use this for most of the solos on Amuse De Q.

The other main guitar that was the basis for the rhythm tones is this weird ass hybrid that someone gave Ed’s wife at a bar one time. It hung on the wall but was pretty much unplayable. Our friend Jamz Rockmoore is a badass guitar tech (also very old friend of the Pantera bros from Dallas) and he reconfigured it with EMG pickups and a full setup. Duuuuude. It sounds awesome and totally unique…really pleased with the tone of these two together.

Also have a Martin acoustic, an LP Standard from 2001, and another PRS CE-24 I use with split coils.

Amps this time were a Marshall JCM 800 Lead from like 1987, a 1979 or so Roland JC-120, a Fishman mini-loudbox, and a massive assortment of stomp boxes. Too many to name…but I do love Earthquaker’s stuff. Boss as well, of course.

What are the defining characteristics of Little King?

Perhaps you could tell me? That’s probably the best way to go about it. It’s really hard to be objective about those things, for me. I mean, I put a fuck-ton of time into the words and the process of writing and refining songs. There’s a lot of both hemispheres at work, I guess?

Or just really, really danceable! Said no one, ever.

If you could have a DC or Marvel superhero as a member of your band, who would it be and what role would they have? Which band member would they have to fight to get the position and who would win?

Deadpool. Tour Manager. We’d get paid and the band would never die.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m actually woodshedding a bit…like an hour to two almost every day. These new songs – most Little King songs, really – are a challenge to sing and play. I am NOT setting foot on a stage after all this time away and fucking half-assing it.

There’s a standard to uphold for myself, nevermind what our fans deserve. And I’m not there yet. But it’s cool to enjoy the process of getting there, and diving back into playing these songs which I finished recording back in February. Knocking that rust off.

I am also looking at my body of work as a whole and trying to put a setlist together. We had one last year, but touring perished and we put it away. I have a lot of music…what am I supposed to choose? Can I represent every album (the answer is YES). 

Who is your favourite author, which is their best book and why?

You know, I taught Junior English and Lit Mag at a high school called JM Hanks down in Texas for a couple years. They were good to me…left me alone and I worked hard to transfer my love of words to the kids. I think it worked for a good number of them, and I still hear from my ex-students 13 years later.

“Slaughterhouse 5” made a massive impact on me, and I taught that in Year two. Kurt Vonnegut was really an iconoclast and I admire that quality to a really high degree.  Also, that book sends a very anti-war message but doesn’t do it in what I would call an overt way. Subtle and brilliant and also more than a touch fucking crazy. Love it.

When is your next single/album likely to be released? What is it called and where can we get it in our ears? Why should we buy it?

The first single from Amuse De Q is called “Keyboard Soldier,” and that gets ready to release tonight at midnight (7/6/21).  So, I am making sure we get the word out as best I can, and from there I just hope people dig it.  That song is fun and angry and punky proggy and political, and we had fun banging it out in the studio.  The Video is cool, too…directed by Vien Nguyen. 

The second single is “Bombs Away,” and we had fun shooting a video at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson with Nicci Radhe. That will drop on 8/6.

The rest of the album will be released on 9/3, so just hope people care enough to check it out after we put out the first two songs. I things we did really great work, but what the fuck do I know? I FEEL like it’s my best writing and playing, and honestly, that’s totally good enough for me.

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