Interview: Matt Ryd

Pop-rocker Matt Ryd may be one of the most broadly liked people – personally and musically – in the entire Chicago singer/songwriter scene.  As a dedicated member of the open mic community, an active YouTuber, and the first host of the New York Songwriters Circle’s Chicago showcases at Schuba’s, Matt has carved out a unique place for himself over the past three years.  Now, for the first time, Matt has a band behind him in the live setting and a new album dropping soon, so it should be really fun to watch what happens next.  Get in on the ground floor everyone!

Just before my move to Seattle and his move to a new apartment in Rogers Park, Matt and I got to sit down and talk about Chicago music, community, and the people who make all the difference.  Here are a couple text excerpts from our conversation, followed by all of the audio in fun-size-chunks.  You can hear Matt Ryd’s music on the MidByNorthwest Radio Player.  Right now I’ve got his song “Healed” up there, which was featured on an episode of Scrubs, but as soon as Matt’s new album drops (for which I am very pumped), that will be updated.  Enjoy!

“The more I’m involved in [the Chicago music scene], the more I realize that it’s even bigger than I understand . . but you can get a connection with [anyone in it] without having to try too hard or dig too deep.”

“The biggest example of a music community that I’ve experienced in Chicago is the open mic night at Uncommon Ground . . . Ive made great friends through that open mic because we had something to come back to over and over again, some reason to keep meeting – and a dedicated location [that] we would all make our home base.  That’s something I would love to see on a broader level.”

MH:  “By what road did you come to Chicago, and what are your thoughts on the music scene?”

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: Chicago]

MH:  “How has your perception of the Chicago Music scene changed over time?”

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: Perceptions over time]

On playing with a band (love-fest):

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: Band]

MH: “What are some inhibitors to true community around music, in your experience?”


On positive community and the patron saints of Chicago music:

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: Community Saints]

MH: “With the knowledge and wisdom you have now, is there anything you would have done differently when you first started playing music in Chicago?”

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: If I knew then…]

MH:  “What advice would you give to someone who is moving to a new place to do music?”

[audio:|titles=Matt Ryd Interview: Advice]


Matt Ryd will be out there at the end of July.  Here are the dates (visit for show details, and get a bunch of free music when you sign up for his mailing list):

July 29: Boston, MA
July 30: New York, NY
July 31: Washington, DC / Bethesda, MD


  1. Thank you to both “Matts” for your kind words. I am so proud to be involved in the original music community here in Chicago and I am looking forward through CAUDog Records which is producing Brian Walker’s new album as well as Jane Thatcher’s, and Jeff Churchwell’s new albums, and CAUDog Productions with Ashley Wolf heading live bookings and Hannah Frank, our Publicist and creator of our posters, press releases, and artist EPKs.along with Leigh Evin McCullough managing our events furthering our support and nurturing of the Original Music Community here is Chicago.


    Michael Teach, Founder/Host