The Rocks Off 200: Ryan Dickson, Laid-Back and Out Loud
Photo by Keith Hatch/Courtesy of Ryan Dickson
Who? Earlier this year we took a look at Kevin Choate, the percussive half of The Snow Indian. Now we shine a light on his partner Ryan Dickson, who keeps the melody throbbing live and hard on guitar and vocals. He favors a '90s alternative method that calls to mind Weezer's more frantic moments when he plays, but that antagonistic sneer in his vocals is pure Alice Cooper. The team makes a potent mix.
Before his current gig, Dickson played bass in a band called Zach Nuchols and the Madhatters, then moved on to lead guitar in the Jobe Wilson Band. All that time he dreamed of starting The Snow Indian, but just didn't feel that he had the experience and chops to set off in that musical direction until recently. The guitar has always had a hypnotic fascination for him, and making music has utterly taken over his life. Now he's just happy being able to perform and write with his best friend.
Home Base: For writing, Dickson has to be alone. It doesn't matter where it is as long as he has some space away from other people. For playing, he likes Mango's and Notsuoh for the kind atmosphere and the good bartenders.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: A fairly easygoing guy, Dickson doesn't really have any specific grievances. He just comes out to play loud, and hopes people dig that.
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "Well, I was born and raised in Baytown about 20 minutes east of Houston," Dickson says. "So I'm from this area, but growing up I hated Houston. When I started becoming a musician, my love for Houston grew. Cactus Records was my only reason for coming to Houston in the early days...Ha-ha, that was in 2008, and then I moved to Austin for about five months.
"I sorely missed Houston," he adds. "The city has a lot of heart, and a lot of really badass people!"
Good War Story: "The Snow Indian was playing a show in Baytown," opens Dickson. "We got to the show really early and it just so happened that there was a liquor store right next to the place we were playing.
So we started drinking early. I downed a lot of SoCo plus a bunch of beers and got so wasted that I had to lie in my truck till we played. I just sat there chain smoking and listening to Led Zeppelin till it was time to play.
Two hours later it was our turn, I got up there and gave the worst performance of my life. It just so happened that one of our buddies was filming it. So if you are on YouTube and want to see this, there are two videos of the show.
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, III/IV
- Neil Young, Zuma
- Rich Robinson, Paper
- Black Sabbath, Sabotage
- Voivod, War and Pain
Best Show You Ever Played: "Our last show at Notsuoh," he says. "The crowd was super into it, and we dedicated it to Ric Flair."
The Snow Indian plays Thursday, November 21, at Super Happy Fun Land with A Disco For Ferns, Blast Dad, Cornish Game Hen, Height, and Al Lover. See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
Crystal Toliver, Source of That Yello Echo You Hear Mr. Castillo, Song-Sniping DJ DJ Big Reeks, The Chief Waxaholic Melane Gutierrez, The Coffin Queen Folk Descendent Kevin Taylor Kendrick Eloy Contreras, Deathrazor's Sharp Thrash Vocals Robert McCarthy, Guitarist From Beyond Justice Tirapelli-Jamail, The Manichean's "Quiet One" Charlie Horshack, LP4's Guitar Warrior Kathryn Hallberg, Little Girl Gone Tessa Kole, PuraPharm's Voice and Vice Richard Griesser, Vintage Camera Hound With Enviable Archive Downfall 2012, Sci-Fi Metal Storytellers Kevin Choate, Drum Like You're Screaming DJ Rockwell, Booth Pimp and Party-Rocker Ash Kay, the Freakouts' Punk Vocal Head-Butt Pat Kelly, The Godfather of the Suffers Michelle Miears of BLSHS, Siren In the Machine DJ Remix, Genre-Hopping Mix Maniac Kahna, Brutal Nation's Metal Booking Queen DJ Ill Set, Enemy of Wack Tracks Shane Tuttle, Updog Owner and Album-Cover Designer Electric Attitude, Renegades of Funk Sama'an Ashrawi, Trill Gladiator Recon Naissance, A Rap While Matt's Guitar Gently Weeps DJ Klinch Asks, "Can You Dig It?" Jose "Chapy" Luna, Percussionist Con Corazón Love Dominique, Wicked Heart R&B Chanteuse Chris Gerhardt, Mastermind of Giant Battle Monster The Jobe Wilson Band, the Boys From Chambers County Kimberly M'Carver, Missouri City's Nightingale DJ Panchitron, Stirring the Cumbia/Moombahton Melting Pot D.R.I's Kurt Brecht, Thrash Zone Supervisor Sloan Robley, The Last Houstonian Banshee Jack Saunders, Dealer of Grit & Jangle Richard Ramirez, Noise God and Black Leather Jesus Mike Meegz, Scoremore's Houston Lieutenant Jacqui Sutton, Houston's "Jazzgrass Lady" Robin Kirby, Silk and Sandpaper Songwriter Billy Dorsey, Grammy-Winning MARATHON Runner David DeLaGarza, Don of Tejano Stars La Mafia Jason Puffer, Your Psychedelic Sex Panther Tobin Harvell, Fitzgerald's Unflappable Floor Manager Walter Suhr, the Straw That Stirs Mango Punch! Tony Garza, La Orquesta Salmerum Founder OG Ron C, Chopstar King of the Purple Dome Football, etc., Giving Emo Back Its Good Name Angela Jae, Renaissance Artist Shellee Coley, Voice of the Northern Woods Blaggards, Houston's St. Paddy's Day House Band DJ Meshak, Hongree Records' Sound Selecter K-Rino, South Park Coalition's Southside Maven DJ Candlestick, One Niceguy and a Very Busy DJ Danielle Renee, Only Beast's Destroyer of Walls Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales Kristine Mills, Houston's Brassiest Voice Brian Davis, Punk Drummer, Horror Composer Elroy Boogie, Top-Notch Turntablist Sean Ozz, Wizard of The Abyss Alyssa Rubich, Angel of Instability Alphonso "Fonz" Lovelace, Righteous Drummer Frank Zweback, Funkmaster General OG Bobby Trill, Bombon Beatmaker Beau Beasley, Organist for the End of Time Rapid Ric, Mixtape Mechanic Dwight Taylor Lee, the Wandering Bufalero Coline Creuzot, Soulful Pop/R&B Singer Cristina Acuna, Cactus Music's Twitter Fingers Clint Broussard, Blues In Hi-Fi Man Now Back On FM Nortnii Rose, Houston Ska's Greatest Hope Ramblin' Chase Hamblin, the Man Who Will Be Paid Chris Alonzo, Bringing Night Flight to Facebook
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.