Excited? You can be – in each question you will learn even more about these two kindhearted people

This interview has been my heart’s desire since I had the idea for my blog. All the more I’m happy to finally share it with you today. 

Birds of a Feather! This is the duo Amy & Ryan, two thoroughbred musicians who are based in Switzerland. Music is their life. It’s accompanied both since childhood. 
They got to know each other 10 years ago and decided to dare a new start in 2014. 


Since then they’ve released many singles, EP’s, cover songs and in 2019 their debut album You Are Music

Their music impresses with their incredibly harmonious singing, 
hopeful, positive lyrics, romantic, and always again cheerful, stirring melodies. 
Their music belongs to the genres Folk/Pop/Country. 

So far, I’ve only met a few people who are so incredibly positive, their joy of life is absolutely contagious and you just have to love Amy & Ryan.

Their love of animals and the joy of nature are a very helpful balance to their sometimes stressful everyday life. It gives both of them new energy for their greatest passion: performing their songs on small and big stages. 

There and in weekly live streams on YouTube they inspire their audience and make them happy.

1. We’re looking forward to your second studio album. What will be special about it and when are you planning the release?

We’re currently collaborating with a young songwriter, actor, writer and film producer from Los Angeles. So some of the songs will be inspired and influenced by this amazingly creative and talented artist.
And of course, we will work with our beloved producer Ger McDonnell and the three outstanding Irish musicians Esa Taponen, Daragh O‘ Toole, and John Colbert again.
We’re planning to release the new album in late 2021. 

2. You’ve just released some fantastic cover songs. What inspired you to choose these songs? Is it your musical idols or certain memories that are connected to the songs?

We’re huge music fans ourselves. There are so many songs and artists that accompanied us through good and challenging times.
We first heard Calm after the Storm while driving home from Stuttgart late at night after our first radio interview at SWR 1. That song is connected to this „flying high“ or „everything’s possible“ feeling after something extraordinary happened.
O (Fly on) is our spring lockdown song. Chris Martin ended his very first „Together at home“ live stream concert with that gem of a song. We immediately fell in love with the track and wanted to cover it. Finding out that the key didn’t fit our voices, we decided to record our own piano-banjo version of it. 
We’ve been playing some of these songs live at our concerts for many years now and felt it was high time to record them in our own „Birds of a Feather“ style.

3. How did the contact to your producer Ger McDonnell come about? In which studio was your debut album recorded and why did you choose this place?

We took our time searching for a producer we’d feel comfortable and nevertheless challenged to work with.
We contacted several studios and producers in Ireland, England, and even Canada via Skype. We then went on a three-day exploring trip to London and Dublin to meet up with three of these producers.

We clicked immediately with Ger McDonnell. We are so grateful to have been able to work with him. He’s the kind of producer every band is longing to find. He’s got an incredible feeling for music, knows exactly how to get the very best out of you, has a heart of gold and his many tremendous talents are astonishing! 

Ger came up with the idea of recording the debut EP in „The Mill“ studios in Swords (Dublin). It turned out to be the best couple of weeks of our lives. 

4. When did you discover your love for music and start learning instruments, singing and finally writing songs (key experiences)

My father used to play the guitar in the evening when I was a little kid. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, listening to him picking House of the Rising Sun and Greensleeves.
He wasn’t the greatest guitar player, but he sounded as good as Mark Knopfler to my ears. He certainly didn’t know back then, that these after-work sofa picking sessions would change a little boy’s life completely.

I was told, that I didn’t stop crying at my first day of kindergarten until the very moment the kindergarten teacher took her guitar and started to play a few chords. She said that I stared at the instrument in awe and that all of a sudden the sadness in my eyes just disappeared. 
Years later, when I saw Sheryl Crow on tv for the first time, I wanted to be like her… a woman who could play so many instruments and sing as beautifully. I was so inspired. It took me many more years though to find the courage to  not only sing but also play the piano and guitar on stage. Ryan was the one who encouraged me to do so. 

5. From the content of many of your songs you can see that there has been an important break in your life that has moved you to a new start. Your impressive song Birds of a Feather has the same name as the name of your band. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

We’ve been performing on both big and small stages in various places and countries before meeting one another at a band rehearsal for our former band, which was signed to Warner Music Central Europe.

Both of this band’s studio albums were awarded with gold status. We joined soul singer Seal for a duet, opened up in sold-out stadiums for the rock legends Status Quo and went on tour with The Overtones in Germany.
Despite all the excitement, we both ended up feeling mostly unhappy. We learned a lot about the bright and dark side of the music industry. Unfortunately a huge part of it wasn’t about music but about the versions of ourselves that others wanted us to become. It’s hard to break it all down to a few sentences, but it was very hard to look in the mirror during those years. We ended up playing a role for the sake of success trying to please everyone around us. 
But to find out that the two of us were the only ones longing for musical improvement and development was the straw that broke the camels back. Music was and is our life! 
The song Birds of a Feather is about the moment we made the hard decision to leave a successful band behind so that we could stay true to ourselves and start from scratch as independent artists. 

 6. How does your songwriting process work?

We are the “music first“ kind of writers.
Sometimes Amy plays a little something on the piano, and then we find a vocal melody together, or the same thing happens when Ryan plays a lick on the guitar or banjo.
It also happens every now and then that Amy wakes up Ryan in the middle of the night with a song idea that she dreamt of.  Writing the lyrics to the songs takes the most time.
We always try to write genuine lyrics about personal issues, things that hurt, move, inspire, or bother us.
Ever since we wrote our first song together, it felt like magic.
We couldn’t even imagine writing songs without each other anymore.
We can’t wait to show you guys the songs of our upcoming album!

7. What kind of music do you listen to when you’re on the tour bus?

Here’s a list of some of our favorite artists :
Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Mark Knopfler, U2, Passenger, Keb’ Mo’, Sheryl Crowe, The Eagles, Ed Patrick, Jack Johnson, Mumford & Sons, Damien Rice, Hans Zimmer and all kinds of score songs, Kruger Brothers, Lady Antebellum, Travis Meadows, Sting, Brandi Carlile, hawaiian slack key guitar songs and MANY more. 

8. How do you manage to keep yourself fit for your tours?

We both go for runs in the woods regularly – sometimes even in the very early morning before heading off to a new concert. When we’re on tour, we try to keep these runs up. They help us to maintain a clear head and stay fit.

9. Do you prefer to play in front of a large or small audience? What do you think about house concerts?

It’s very different to play at a big venue for a large audience or in an intimate surrounding.
We love it when we have an audience we can „work“ with. The larger an audience is, the more people dare to sing along, clap and dance. The atmosphere on a big stage can be overwhelming and highly supportive for a band. You get into a kind of adrenalin kick that helps you to go beyond your limits. That’s an incredible feeling.

But we also love the personal exchange and intimacy when playing at a small venue. You get feedback right after the concert, right after you played. You get to know the people, hear their stories, and sometimes even make friends. We’ve met so many lovely people along the way!

10. Ryan, you’re a gifted and passionate banjo player. How did your interest and love for the instrument come about? What are the names of the metal rings on the fingers you need to pluck?

I was 16 years old when I first found a banjo in the music store nearby. It warmed my heart the second my fingers caressed the strings for the very first time. I instantly fell in love with the sound.
I walked out and started to work real hard to earn enough money to go back and buy it. I never took lessons but learned all my skills by ear. I’ve been playing for hours and hours every day for many years. 
And the both of us only met because of my banjo.
The metal rings are called «finger picks».

11. We also learned a bit about Zoe, your manager. How did the contact to her come about?

We’ve been close friends with Zoe for many years. The moment we decided to go independent, to start something we could really be proud of, even if it meant to leave everything behind, she was one of the very few who immediately supported our decision. She’s helped us in any way possible… she’s been a constant light. 
She’s always there for us and has worked so hard to give our songs wings to fly. She has a heart of gold and is the keeper of our dreams. We will never be able to express how grateful we are that she’s a part of our lives. 

12. What are your ideas for the future regarding your musical development? Do you have any projects planned with other artists?

We’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign to fund our 2nd studioalbum: https://www.birdsofafeathermusic.com

In April 2021 we will fly over to beautiful Ireland to record our new songs.

We’re also currently collaborating with a young songwriter, actor, writer and film producer from Los Angeles. So some of the songs will be inspired and influenced by this amazingly creative and talented artist.
And of course, we will work with our beloved producer Ger McDonnell and the three outstanding Irish musicians Esa Taponen, Daragh O‘ Toole, and John Colbert again.

AND there are lots of concerts coming up in 2021. We can’t wait! :0)


I’m very impressed and fascinated by your honest and open answers. Thank you very much for your very interesting and touching interview! I wish you continued success with your crowdfunding project, which has got off to a very good start so far and promises the best chances of success. 

I’m looking forward to your new fantastic songs, have fun with the studio recordings of your second album in spring. 

For your future, I wish you further on healthy success, lots of positive feedback and staying power to pursue your ideas and goals.

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