AMERICAN BOY interview with Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors

Dave Kai Piper

Photograph by Dave Kai Piper.

The Traitors line up is Mickey Richards (drums) Rob Lane (bass) Carol Hodge (keys/vocals) and Ryan Hamilton (vocals/guitar). ‘Heavy Heart’ on latest album ‘The Devil’s in the Detail’ has uplifting lyrics which could be used over a montage of any sporting event…“How much can one heart hold. Don’t wanna miss a minute. With my heavy heart in tow, we push ourselves to the limit, to the limit”. The mature songwriting runs along the lines of Tom Petty – backed up by a video with great visuals. By great, I mean clean lines with no clutter. Just simple, straight forward storytelling. I asked Ryan where do the ideas come from for your songs ? ’I’ve never been one to sit down and try to write a song. They usually just appear. It’s pretty much always happens with a lyric and a melody. I have to grab a guitar and capture it fast…or I’ll lose it. It’s strange, I know. But I really look forward to those occasionally magical moments’.

How did you get involved in music ? ‘It sort of happened by accident. I hurt my back when I was in college. I was getting restless and bored due to not being very mobile. The strangest thing happened. I woke up one morning and just decided to get a guitar and teach myself. That’s where it all started. I started playing gigs in coffee shops. I grew up obsessed with Classic Rock. I’d say my biggest influences are Bob Dylan and Tom Petty’.


What are your experiences of recording and studio work ? ’I love it. It’s where the songs reach their potential. Taking a demo from, well… a demo, haha, to a properly recorded song, and watching it grow into the thing we all hoped it would be… Yeah, it’s just the best’.

How has the internet impacted on music ? ‘It’s made it necessary to build a career, a following, make and release albums without the headaches of dealing with a record label’.

What are your plans for this year ? ’Oh my God so many. Not sure where to even begin. But I’ll say this. It is very important to me to build a reputation as a great live act. I want our shows to remain great sounding, super fun events that you won’t forget’.

Next up for the band is an 8 date UK tour with The Main Grains. The first date is Huddersfield (15th), Liverpool (16th) Newcastle (17th) home turf for Danny Maccormack. Then taking in Glasgow, Nottingham, Cardiff, Southampton and London (23rd).


Interview by Gary Alikivi January 2018.


Danny McCormack, THE MAIN GRAINS/WILDHEARTS: Death or Glory, 8th September 2017

THE LAST GREAT DREAMERS: Looking For a Kiss, 26th November 2017.

Danny McCormack, THE MAIN GRAINS: Comfort in Sound, 15th February 2017.