interview. Oh Ryan’s Sam Warmington unpacks ‘Take it Easy’

"The song was written a couple of summers ago. At the time everywhere you looked there seemed to be some kind of wildfire, flooding or record breaking storm"
27 February 2024

A musical satire on climate change and creative authenticity

Sam Warmington, the songwriter and frontman of Dublin-based band Oh Ryan, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind their latest single Take It Easy in our special conversation. This track, laced with satire, tackles the serious global concern of climate change and the bizarre world of its skeptics. Emerging from a blend of irritation and serendipitous musical moments, the song harmonizes cheerful tunes with weighty subjects, designed to captivate the audience while avoiding a sense of burden.

Warmington discusses the band’s DIY approach to their music video, emphasizing resourcefulness and authenticity. The video, made on a zero budget, aligns with the song’s message and showcases the band’s commitment to creative expression.

The frontman hopes Take it Easy will prompt listeners to reflect on environmental issues while maintaining the band’s signature energy. He highlights the band’s evolving sound, experimenting with different styles to avoid repetition and ensure each track stands out.

As for the future, Warmington teases Oh Ryan’s continued growth and the upcoming release Tangerine, promising more engaging, thought-provoking music. He attributes the band’s appeal to their looks and genuine connection with fans, aiming to provide an escape through their performances.

In conclusion, Oh Ryan, led by Warmington, is making waves with their unique blend of music, message, and humor, inviting listeners to both enjoy and reflect.

Sarcasm by it’s nature is kind of fun. Also, people love to gossip, and can get really passionate and high energy when they do

What inspired Oh Ryan to tackle the issue of climate change in your new single Take it Easy?

Honestly, climate change deniers. They’re fascinating. I can never tell if they’re joking or not. The song was written a couple of summers ago. At the time everywhere you looked there seemed to be some kind of wildfire, flooding or record breaking storm. In Ireland in particular everyone was going crazy because we had record breaking heat and were on the cusp of yet another hottest summer ever! I should mention as a people we are not best suited to heat. Despite this you still had people all over Instagram and YouTube spouting on about their latest climate change conspircy theories. I kind of just thought it would be funny to write from their point of view in a satirical manner.

Can you explain the creative process behind blending a sunny, summer vibe with the serious subject matter of global warming in your music?

With this song the music kind of happened first. My roommates were out so I had the house to myself. Naturally I was dancing on the couch, playing my guitar and messing with some loop pedals and the main riff kind of fell out of me. Mostly by accident. I was probably trying to play something else. Most of my writing happens like that. By accident. Anyway, the riff sounded so upeat, sunny and warm that it felt like a no brainer to tuen it into a summer bop. Which of course turned into a summer bop for the end of the world. Making fun of climate deniers just became an added bonus.

How did you achieve the balance of conveying a thought-provoking message without losing the high-energy and catchiness of the track?

I think that comes from the direction in which I chose to write it. Sarcasm by it’s nature is kind of fun. Also, people love to gossip, and can get really passionate and high energy when they do. This song is kind of my “can you believe how silly those climate change deniers are” gossip. I think that’s more intersting than if I’d written “the earth is getting hot and we’re all going to die.” It would have been a bit of a downer and people tune out. It can be overwhelming. But, by being satircal and sarcastic about the whole thing, I hope people stay engaged and hopefully get the message.

What was the inspiration behind the DIY music video for Take it Easy​?

Pure, unadulterated business skills. We calculated that in order to make any kind of profit from our music video it would have to cost -€1 to make. Instead we settled for a budget €0. The set is literally made from cardboard, paints and bedsheets that we had lying around the house as well as other random objects we could find. The crew was also just us: I was video and lights, Ben was wardrobe and Steve was continuity. Or was he? Overall we’re really proud of what we accomplished and think it works really well as a visual guide for the song – which these days with Instagram and TikTok marketing is quite important.

As Take it Easy explores the paradox of societal apathy towards environmental challenges, what message do you hope listeners take away from the song?

Well there’s two ways this could go. Either they hear our message and decide to rise up against climate change, or they go the route of the characters in the song and just “take it easy” whilst the “world goes crazy.” Obviously we’d prefer the first one, but as is the way with art, once it’s out in the open it’s out of the artist’s hands how it’s interpreted.

With your signature sound of infectious guitar and bass hooks, how do you approach the songwriting and production process to ensure each track stands out?

I think that possibly comes from a fear of repetition. I hate repeating myself. Wait… Did I already say that? But with every track we try a different style or vibe. And yes, vibe in the professional sense. “Goofy” is very slow and groovy. “I Quit My Job” is a little more indie rock and punky. And our latest single “Take it Easy” has more of a quirky indie-pop kind of feel. We also have some disco-rock songs in our setlist at live shows. Even exploring different musical textures can be quite exciting. I’m sure we’ll hit a point of repetition at some point, maybe in a couple months when we finally sell out.

How would you describe your perfect day?

Ohhhh. I shouldn’t.

What would your fans say they appreciate the most about you?

Our looks? We’re a very good looking band. That and we’re not trying to sell them something. Well we are. But not in a classical sense. We just want people to come to our shows, dance away their problems and leave with a smile on their face. Stop me when I get too cliché.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Leona Lewis – Keep Bleeding Love. What a banger.

As this is your third single, how does Take it Easy reflect the evolution of Oh Ryan’s music, and what can fans expect from your future projects?

I think this recording wise Take it Easy is our most soild song to date. We finally found our groove and rythm in the studio. Which means, drum roll please, that all our future songs will just as good if not better! In fact our next single “Tangerine” is in the process of getting mastered as we speak.