Dominant Legs Channels the Tracy Chapman Within
Ryan Lynch, sometime guitarist of Girls and Magic Bullets, brings his budding Dominant Legs project to Amnesia this Sunday. With the help of fellow Bay Area native Hannah Hunt, Lynch makes summery ditties about being young -- at love and life, per the title of their debut EP -- with an undertone of melancholy, as though remembering from moment to moment that youth and summer both fade away. (Try to guess which one comes back!) Below, Lynch speaks about finding his songwriting, uh, legs. Also, hockey.
How did Dominant Legs come about?
I had recently quit playing guitar for Magic Bullets right around the same time I got laid off from my office job. I used the free time to work on my own music and start fresh. I met Hannah about a month before the first Dominant Legs show and she asked me if I was interested in any help with the vocals, keyboards, etc. We've been working together ever since.
What inspires you to write these songs that doesn't inspire your other musical endeavors?
Well, I never wrote any lyrics or vocals parts for Magic Bullets and I am not doing so in Girls either. So, Dominant Legs is the first musical endeavor I have been a part of where I've been able to be creative in terms of vocal melodies. It's also the first time I've been able to express lyrically whatever weird thing may be going on in my head. I feel like the person who writes the lyrics is always at least a tiny bit more attached to the material. If you are writing the lyrics and music at the same time, the subject matter shapes how the song ends up. Sound is very persuasive and usually enough to inspire a project, but the songs become dear to you when you have written them for a reason. I've always had inspiration to make music, but now I have the opportunity to put down what those reasons happen to be within the lyrical content. I have a voice now, I guess. And that is a big deal to me. It's also the first time I've been able to nurture my Tracy Chapman influence.
How much San Francisco is in these songs?
Not much. I'm a Redwood City boy. But the support from the other bands in San Francisco is one thing that keeps us going.
What else are Dominant Legs songs about?
You mean, other than my relationships with women? Well, some of them are for my family, a specific family member or friend going through a tough time. A lot of the early Dominant Legs songs were about sports. Mainly the San Jose Sharks. These songs haven't been released. I don't think many people would appreciate the sentiment unless they were a San Jose Sharks fan. The best fans in the world, by the way.
What plans and ambitions do you have for the project?
I want to build on the line-up. We've added a drummer and there are plans to make Dominant Legs a full band.
What can we expect from this weekend's show at Amnesia?
Two of my favorite bands from the Bay Area. Expect Young Prisms to sound beautiful and expect Holy Shit to do something unexpected.
What are your current favorite and least favorite things about San Francisco?
Favorite thing = Terry Malts. Least favorite = the wind.