Ryan Downey is a man of many faces and many talents. In addition to being Senior Editor of Alternative Press and the man behind a dozen or so cover stories for the magazine, he is the boss over at Superhero Artist Management where he works with artists and producers including Throwdown, Ross Robinson, Steve Evetts and Zeuss. He’s also a survivor of the 90s hardcore scene, which is how I met him about 15 years ago when he was the singer of Burn It Down and made one of my favorite fanzines, MAG. I would never have guessed that our paths would cross again so many years later in a professional context, but I am happy that they did.
Ryan and I share what I have to think is a pretty rare perspective, which is that although we grew up in the world of “real” hardcore and metal and cut our teeth in a fairly extreme version of DIY culture, we are still involved in music and still stoked on new bands, genres, and scenes.
Ryan rubbing elbows with A-listers like Aaron Paul, Will Smith, and the Governator
I caught up with Ryan to do what old men like us do, which is talk about the old days of the vegan straight edge hardcore scene and how much things have changed since (mostly for the better). We talked about lessons learned from years of being an excessively opinionated member of the hardcore scene, making zines in our basements, why Pierce The Veil and Black Veil Brides are awesome, and much more. This is a long one, but if you’re a fan of old hardcore guys bullshitting with each other, you’ll love it!