Fit For a King’s Ryan Kirby: How I Learned to Scream
Fit for a King's Ryan Kirby is among metalcore's most well-rounded vocalists of the last decade. Before joining the Tyler, Texas group in 2010, he was a kid who found inspiration within his local heavy music scene and it was at his first-ever show that he decided he wanted to front a band. In this exclusive video, Kirby guides us through how he learned to scream.
The singer starts off by underscoring the difference between the first time he heard screaming or harsh vocals in heavy music and the true catalyst that made him want to attempt this abrasive vocal technique on his own.
"I would say the band that introduced me to heavy vocals was Avenged Sevenfold with their album Waking the Fallen," said Kirby, who explained that he first heard the song on the Madden NFL video game franchise soundtrack, which, for a handful of years, was populated by other aggressive acts such as Underoath, Thrice, Brand New, Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu.
"That's what got me into metalcore and into screaming [music]," he revealed.
As a freshman in high school, Kirby went to see a local band called Broadway, which was fronted by his friend's brother, who was a high school senior. The church gig changed his life as he was transfixed. "I was in awe during the whole set and I was like, 'I want to do that so badly.'"
He later began to scream himself in a band he acknowledged was regrettably named "Escort" (he said he didn't even know what an escort was at the time). It's a bit awkward here, as is the case for most aspiring teenage screamers who still live at home with their parents. Right when he thought everyone was asleep, he laid out blankets in his closet for some makeshift soundproofing and gave it his all.
"They have confirmed with me they did hear me doing vocals and I thank them for not making me feel weird about," laughed Kirby.
We're not going to give it all away, but the rest of the story involves screaming through a bass amp (we've all been there, right?) as well as expanding his vocal range to include lower gutturals in addition to mid and high-ranged screams.
Blood was coughed up along the way, suggesting going against medical advice is not a desirable route to pursue when perfecting your technique.
Watch the full "How I Learned to Scream" episode below. Follow Fit for a King on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify and snag your copy of their latest record, which came out earlier this year, here (as Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases).
Fit For a King's Ryan Kirby: How I Learned to Scream
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