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I learned from The Clash to let in what we love...

This song wasn't calculated, it wasn't hard or labored over. It just kind of appeared. The short of it is, after getting home from a tour together through Texas, Doug Lancio and I went our separate ways to decompress. A few days home, I wrote a poem called "Are You the Matador?" It was exactly the words you'll read below (and hear in the song), a poem to a kind of existential wanderlust and sorrow... And hope. Simultaneously, without me knowing, Doug had created this sexy and spooky and deep piece of Spanish noir while getting sounds in his studio sorted. It was all performed and recorded by Doug. He's a wildly talented human. So... I went over to his place for a visit and a catch-up a few weeks after we got home, and he played this amazing music for me. It was just after Halloween. The weather was starting to break. It was perfect and felt like a color of deep red earth and burnt orange. I said, "Man, Doug, I love that. You're not gonna believe this but I just finished this poem..."

I don't know how these things happen. But that's what you'll hear here. And to me, while I love the song and the strange magic of how it came to be. I feel now that it's more important that I offer "Are You the Matador?" with a spirit of acknowledgement, affection, thanks and welcoming to Hispanic and Latino people, and their cultures. Here's to love and inclusion. Always.


Are You The Matador?

Are you the matador?
Or are you the bull?
Are you the weapon,
Or a tool?
Or are you a third thing,
Something like air,
That's felt and fluid and moving
Like a water that wasn't there?
There’s the seen and the unknown
The perfect haunting every time
The northern wires that get lost and tangled
Between the heart and the feel and the mind

The maps, books, music, love, the death and sex
Your voice gets lower the further you go
The moon crawls across the bed you sleep in
An orange bird hovers at your window
That's you there, isn't it?
I can see it in your eyes like scars,
The barbed-wire of freedom is
Where the dark blurs fractured and constant and jagged at the edges of The threshold of every star
Where the dark blurs fractured and constant and jagged at the edges of The threshold of every star
You see, the barbed-wire of freedom is
Where the dark blurs fractured and constant and jagged at the edges of The threshold of every star

That's what we are


from Fallen Ash & Embers, released October 4, 2019
Are You the Matador was performed by:
Doug Lancio - Drums, Bass, Guitars, Pump Organ and Arrangement
Matthew Ryan - Vocals

Mixed by Doug Lancio
Mastered by Hans DeKline

Music by Doug Lancio
Words by Matthew Ryan

Doug Lancio Music / BMI 2019
Plastic Violin / BMI 2019

For Film & Television interests contact Steve Nice at Steve@nicemgmt.com

More Music, News & Info: matthewryanonline.com


all rights reserved



Matthew Ryan / Strays Don't Sleep / PINES Nashville, Tennessee

In addition to his solo work, Ryan is a member of Strays Don't Sleep with longtime friend, Neilson Hubbard.

In 2021 Ryan decided to offer his solo work as The Pines at Night to clearly enunciate the collaborative nature of his music.

Devotedly independent, Ryan offers moody & honest work that's now rich with a long list of beautiful songs.
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