Those who are repeat attendees at metal shows are likely to know Mr. Ryan Dyer. The intrepid editor, writer and photographer – most commonly known as one of the cornerstones behind Absolute Underground – is at most of them, a drink in one hand and his camera in the other.
After taking his certificate in Print and Online Journalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Dyer got the editorial gig as Music Editor at Absolute Underground, a bi-monthly magazine which distributes in Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, Seattle and more. The magazine has covered tattoos, music, horror films, skate culture and art since 2004, and every issue is chock full of Canadian content.
“I find that people like to experience [shows], but sometimes when it’s over, it’s forgotten,” begins Dyer while sipping on a caesar at the Palomino. He recalls writing due to the desire to remember the frequent shows he was attending. “I don’t like that, it should always be remembered. So, I wrote for about three years off and on, and then I went to SAIT, where I learned the craft basically and photography, and putting it together… so after SAIT one editor quit and I did my practicum as editor… and I just continued afterwards.”
For someone who has done more interviews than he can count, Dyer is someone from whom it is remarkably difficult to get full-sentence answers. He jumps from topic to topic, though he is engaging and modest while telling us about his metal origins, love for horror, and day job making bong advertisements.
“I was five. The first band that I liked was Alice Cooper because my mother had a VHS of Alice Cooper. It instantly fascinated me.”
The videos likely also spurned his rabid love for hardcore horror films, which he covers extensively for both Absolute Underground and Toronto-based Rue Morgue magazine, for which he began freelancing last year. Later on in the interview, he recommends watching Canadian horror films like Gutterballs (2008), Hobo With A Shotgun (2011), Father’s Day (2011), Videodrome (1983), and Black Christmas (1974). Another film he referenced… well, let’s just say you should avoid 2008’s Vomit Enema Ecstasy unless you’re REALLY into Mayura Hoshitsuki.
“That was it. And then AC/DC as well… those were the first bands… [My mom] was an ‘80s metalhead,” he says. Alongside his coverage of a plethora of local shows, he has recently taken his mom to Bison b.c. and Hanzel und Gretyl, and is now working on flyers for local shows.
“That’s what I like doing,” he says, showing me a poster on his computer. It features a chilling image of two children’s faces that appear sewn together being pulled apart for the Kyokyts/Abriosis show on August 10. As usual, he’ll be there, snapping photos. If you’re interested in photos of your own band, make sure you inform him of your upcoming show.
Contact Dyer on Facebook for a show poster creation or if you’re interested in debating ultra violence in horror film. The cost for flyers generally runs in the $30 range. You can also email him at email@example.com.
By Sarah Kitteringham
Photo: Ryan Dyer