A Book for DIY musicians by Audrey RyanThe Need to be Heard – A book for DIY musicians by Audrey Ryan.

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The Need To Be Heard is a book for and about DIY (“Do It Yourself”) musicians- those artists who do not have big support teams that consist of labels, managers, and lawyers. It is the story of a variety of artists, both known and unknown, all united by a burning desire to be heard. Through interviews with dozens of artists and people in the music industry, and through her own story, Ryan reveals that our experiences in this business are collective in our triumphs and struggles.

The Need To Be Heard features exclusive interviews with:

Ian MacKaye of Fugazi / Dischord Records

Dana Colley of Morphine

Stephen Brodsky of Cave In

Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors

Mark Richardson of Pitchfork

Lowell Brams of Asthmatic Kitty Records

Dave Godowsky of Rounder Records

Bruce Flohr of ATO Records

Jim Powers of Minty Fresh Records

Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Tom Windish of The Windish Agency

Stephen Judge of Redeye Distribution

and many others…

Audrey Ryan is a New Englander who has performed all around the world, mostly as a “one man-band” multi instrumentalist, using electric guitar, accordion, ukulele, banjo, vibraphone, glockenspeil, drums, and a loop station.



‘Ryan is quite the star here, but she also goes one-on-one with her peers and mentors: Dana Colley (Morphine), Ian McKaye (Fugazi) and the like, plus industry leaders like the Managing Editor of Pitchfork, the CEO of SonicBids, distributors, labels and so on. It’s both a guide for musicians and a peek into the world of DIY. In some ways, it’s a kind of post-modern guide within a guide. It’s easy to lose yourself in the sometimes ramblings of a creative soul. And never, ever sleep with people in your band, especially bass players. They’re trouble.”

-David Day, Editor of the Weekly Dig


THE NEED TO BE HEARD is a book about the nitty gritty aspects of life as a DIY musician. It’s a collection of commentary and interviews with artists and industry experts all orchestrated by seasoned indie songstress Audrey Ryan. Read interviews with artists such as Ian MacKaye (of “Minor Threat” and “Fugazi”), Dana Colley (of “Morphine”), Stephen Brodsky (of “Cave In”) and many many others. Industry interviews disclose inside information on how the music business works and what they are looking for straight from the mouth of top executives and A&R at Rounder Records, ATO Records, Minty Fresh, Asthmatic Kitty, the Windish Agency, Skyline Booking, Pitchfork.com, CDBaby.com, and many others. Plus if you are a musician there are plenty of personal stories to relate to of other touring musician including several comical and sometimes cynical accounts of life as a DIY artist.

Links to excerpts of the book in raw form. All links below are in PDF format.

  1. Commentary on being a DIY artist (Stages of DIY Career, DIY Touring, Band Chemistry,…) – Excerpts
  2. Interviews with Artists
  3. Interviews with Industry Professionals
  4. More commentary — More excerpts
  5. Interview with Ian MacKaye
  6. Interview with Lee Anderson