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Articles Home » Music Talk » 'Killer Karma' Ryder Interview with James Ryder and Andrew Bloch By Nina McCarthy
'Killer Karma' Ryder Interview with James Ryder and Andrew Bloch By Nina McCarthy

Killer Karma


Interview with James Ryder and Andrew Bloch

By Nina McCarthy

Boston Rock Radio


From Left to Right: Billy Smith (Drums), Tim Freyr (Bass Guitar), James Ryder (Vocals/Guitar), and Andrew Bloch (Guitar)


Ryder is a hard rock band hailing from Queens, NY. Formed in 2016, the band features different talents united in their passion for throwing down in the classic style for a modern crowd.  For those of you from New England, I’m sure you have heard the name or perhaps have seen them at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, MA. Ryder’s first studio album, Killer Karma, is about to hit the airways. Thank you to James and Andrew for taking the time to talk to Boston Rock Radio about the new album and plans for the future during a pandemic.



Can you give us an introduction to the band and how you all came together?

James: Ryder was formed in Late June 2016, with our first show happening in August of that year.  Andrew Bloch and myself started off with Billy coming aboard in April 2017, followed by Tim in October of that year.  This current lineup has been together for 3 years since.

Andrew: I was in a death metal project prior to this and I ended up meeting James at one of my shows. Well, James contacted me about being a session musician for a new project he might be starting up originally, then as we talked it started to form into a band and I became a full time member.


You have your first studio album, Killer Karma, coming out August 5th and you say it’s “classic yet contemporary." Can you elaborate on that description and why this date of release has a significance?

James:  What we mean by classic yet contemporary is that we pay homage to the great rock bands that helped pave the way for this generation of musicians while also adding our own spin on the sound.  It's original music that is influenced but not carbon copied. The reason we chose August 5th as the release date is that date marks the 4 year anniversary, to the day, of the band's first show.  Since that date hold significance with us, we figured what better way to celebrate this achievement than with the release of our first studio album

Andrew: The release date of the record will be our 4 year anniversary. It’s a very important day for us because it is the day our rock n roll journey started.


I'm a huge believer in Karma, so enlighten me on the album title?

James: Since the inception of the band, we have had many hurdles to jump through.  Fortunately, we've come out on the other side for the better.  I always said that we have karma on our side, and the alliteration of the title just had a good ring to it.

Andrew: We believe that everything that comes around goes around. If you’re a good person you’re gonna have some Killer Karma coming your way, but if you’re a horrible person then Karma will Kill ya.

The single "Slave to Love" was released on June 9th. This isn't a newsong to your fans because it was on your live album. What can you tell me about this song that makes it special and what was the response to the studio version?

James:  “Slave to Love” is one of the first songs that the band developed when we first formed.  The version on For What It's Worth captured the raw sound of the band at the time, and for what it was, I liked how it came out.  The studio version gave us a chance to fine tune parts.  I've said before, that the live EP was Tim's first show with the band.  Since that time all of us have grown as individual musicians and a cohesive unit, so we felt it was a good idea to capture that in the studio. As for the response, so far people are liking it, so I don't have any complaints.


What else can you tell us about the album?

James:  This record was a labor of love.  It's a milestone that was four years in the making and the culmination of hard work.  It serves as the end of a musical chapter and the beginning of another.

This album was engineered and produced by Anthony Esposito (Lynch Mob/Ace Frehley/Jake E Lee's Red Dragon Cartel) at Obscenic Arts in Dillsburg, PA and mastered by Roger Lian Mastering. How was your experience working with these professionals?

James:  Anthony and Roger are awesome to work with.  Both have decades of experience and we were fortunate enough to be able to sit under the learning tree while making this record the best we possibly can.  Anthony in particular was instrumental in helping us shape our sound and his influence gave us a foundation to build on.

Andrew: It was fantastic honestly. When we made it to the studio we jumped right into recording and everything just kinda fell in place. It felt like we were putting together a puzzle, everyone working together and doing their hardest to make it sound the best that it possibly could. I couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere to try and grow and develop our sound than the one we were given.

Ryder was touring a lot regionally before COVID-19. How has this pandemic affected the band and what are your thoughts on future touring? 

James:  This pandemic, much like it has the world, has affected us greatly.  We played 3 shows the weekend before things shut down, and we couldn't have anticipated at the time just how this would affect us.  Do I think we will be touring in the future? Absolutely.  The exact date though is still uncertain.  As much as I miss playing shows, the safety of our fans and us takes priority.

Andrew: Well we can’t tour right now, and we’re not entirely sure when we’ll be able to be back on the road, so we’re currently looking into what options we have to keep our fans entertained. At the end of the day that’s all we want. We’re trying to write more music, obviously, but at the heart and soul of it all we want everyone to know that we haven’t forgotten them and we can’t wait until we’re able to be on stage for them again. As for my thoughts on future touring, I’m not sure if it’ll be possible until a vaccine is produced and released for the general public, but I hope it happens sooner rather than later. I miss the road more than anything.


Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Congratulations on your release! Any concluding comments?

James: Stay healthy, stay safe, and know that you are not alone.  At the end of the day, we are all human beings and are overcoming this together.  If our music can serve as a way to help you cope and bring some amount of enjoyment, then I am truly honored.

Andrew: I’d like to give a shoutout to all the amazing people who are helping to keep us alive during these trying times. You’re more important to us than you might understand.



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Boston Rock Radio Journalist, Nina McCarthy, joined the staff in December of 2015 after previously owning her own company that did booking, management, and promotion of local bands in her area. She also has freelanced for over 25 years, interviewing bands for various webzines. Nina currently focuses full time as the Senior Music Journalist and Digital Content Editor for BRR as well as a Committee Member and Social Media Coordinator for the New England Music Hall of Fame. Nina is a very dedicated supporter of music and is a familiar face at many concerts and shows throughout New England and beyond. Contact Nina at

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