Tonight Jeff gets to chat it up with Ryan Lambert from the Monster Squad! We talked with Andrew Gower recently and soon we will be talking with another actor from the Monster Squad, let’s see if we can get the whole gang on the show!
This is only part 1! Stay tuned later today for part 2!
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Ryan Lambert Interview – Part 1
[00:00:00] Jeff Haas: hello listeners. Let’s polar our country today on the show. We had the fantastic Ryan Lambert. How are we doing today, mr. Lambert?
Ryan Lambert: Fantastic. I guess, according to you, I’m the fantasy Island. Well,
Jeff Haas: like, I will say I’m a huge fan of yours.
I’m a kid of the eighties, so, you know, that means monster squad for me.
sure. and looking back on some research I did on you, you’re not only just an actor, but you’re also a musician as well. Right?
Ryan Lambert: True. more so actually, you know, I had my professional acting career was maybe.
Let’s see 12 to about 19. And then I quit to play music because that’s what I really wanted to do all along, even from the beginning. and so from 1989 or something like that to present day, [00:01:00] I’m a musician. I mean, I’ve been in, I’ve been in multiple bands and, recorded and I have albums out and toured and rehearse after everyone got off work every day and three times a week in our own rehearsal space in LA and San Francisco.
And that’s kinda what I’ve been doing. I mean, that’s not, I, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. Acting was a really small portion of my younger years. And now I’m back in LA. from San Francisco after 15 years, pursuing that world again. Good timing too.
Jeff Haas: So, yeah. And unfortunately you pick the one time when no, one’s unfortunately able to go to tourists, I guess.
Ryan Lambert: Right, right.
Jeff Haas: Have you considered doing either a virtual tour or what I’ve seen in a few places, they do the social distancing type of audience. Have you considered that or is that basically once you have those, that few people with social distancing allowed in a space, maybe it’s not worth doing [00:02:00] the concert.
Right? I would do
Ryan Lambert: that. I would do that. there’s so many obstacles right now that have absolutely nothing to do with, the virus. At all really, I’m I live in LA now and my band is in San Francisco. kind of spread out a little bit because, this incarnation of this particular band kill Moi, was a big band.
It was, it was a four piece band with a three piece horn section. So it was a little odd. And on a stage, especially when you’re playing like small San Francisco venues. when I lived there, you know, we would tour and play shows around town all the time. But, at this point now it’s like, Oh, this guy’s over here, that guy’s over here and everyone’s sort of spread out and also in different projects as well.
that band isn’t technically broke up because somehow. among this whole catastrophe that’s happened, in 2020, we’re managing to put out a record. [00:03:00] it wasn’t re courted as well. Part of it was recorded in January. but a lot of it was reported like years ago. So we’ve been sort of messing with it and mixing it and mastering it.
And I went up and did some more vocals on it and got a few, a virtual horns to come in, from their house and record and then send the files to our producer and put it all together. And it’s being mastered as we speak right now. So I’m not sure if I’m going to put that out in December or I’d like to put it out in 2020, because I think that’s, I don’t know.
ironic or something, but,
Jeff Haas: is this the first new album since homie motherfucker came out?
Ryan Lambert: Yes. So this is, not thematically necessarily, but, we’re calling this one. No, seriously hold me motherfucker. So it’s a bit of a CQL. In the sense that it’s like, kind of like this band to sort of wrap it up it’s little ten-year or whatever.
So, [00:04:00] we’re going to put it out. I just listened to like the final mixes a couple of nights ago. And, I’m pretty proud of it. It’s different. It’s definitely, maybe not everyone’s taste, but, you know, we tried. Really hard to stay away from like our indie rock roots, as far as like, you know, playing one note to the whole thing, just droning on and on, and, you know, shoot gazing, email shit.
Not that I ever really did that, but most of the bands we played with were like that. I wanted to do something a little more grandiose kind of throw back to like wings or Billy Joel or even something like that, or, you know, Neil diamond. Even my band made fun of me because it was sort of like my project.
And they were like, really? And like all of our other bands, I’ve always been. Just us. I abuse it. It’s like now we have to really concentrate on things and give you a lot of space to other instruments and other sounds and things like that. Whereas, you know, when you’re just playing in sort of like a punk band, it’s just like, wonder if you ever wonder if you ever [00:05:00] go and everyone just starts playing, you know?
this was like, you know, you pull out here, you don’t do anything here. Just like, leave this breath open. And so it was the first Kim wall record was like that too, but this one really kind of takes that sort of concept into the stratosphere
Jeff Haas: now. well, one of the things I said, I did have some questions, about your band.
One of the, the Ammonites I did, I really do like is a January’s, our song gonna start a song on it’s called January. Sorry. yeah. And when I did, I really did, like, in that song that you said. or I don’t know if you’re, if you are the writer of that. I know you’re, I think two people are listed on under lyrics for it.
Ryan Lambert: Oh, really? Who’s the other, that’s all me. I believe. I usually I’m usually the sole, lyricist. and I usually bring a lot of like, you know, skeleton versions of songs and then we sort of piece it together, but Mo but mostly like as a band, we do that, you know, we [00:06:00] kind of just come up with stuff or someone brings something in, I’ll start singing over it.
So melodies, occasionally, I’ll bring a full song, but mostly lyrics are from my own, wacky brain.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. And w with alerts, I think it was really interesting. You wrote, you said I, or you wrote, I got everything, but I never had Januaries and I think that’s a great lyric. And I was wondering what you went by, where that lyric originated from that idea of, I never had January, I think, well,
Ryan Lambert: I’m sort of a subconscious writer.
I don’t think like I’m going to write about this thing and write a story about that particular subject. I think it’s more like I have the melody already in my head. What’s going to fit in that melody. What can I use and what emotion am I feeling? As I put the pen [00:07:00] to paper, sometimes it takes me, you know, a month.
Sometimes it takes me six months to write lyrics. Sometimes it takes me an hour. Just kind of depends on it. but I never been to that. I’ve never been to January’s. I, you know, I think that particular song is about sort of like finding, a new person in your life and maybe trying to do something that you’ve never done before.
You know, whether it’s like. Hey, I’m going to be domestic now, or, you know, we’re just going to be world travelers who knows, you know? and so that like representation of like, you’ve never done something before, I thought January’s was kind of like a perfect, it could kind of fit the melody at first.
I think I had that word first. dada. I thought like, you know, it’s a recognizable. Word, which is always good and songs and things like that. Whenever, when someone hears something that, you know, it’s like, I know that word or that’s my [00:08:00] birthday or something. It just kind of hits you in the gut.
But like, I think for the most part, it’s just you know, I’ve never done anything in January. Nothing ever happens for me in January. Let’s try something new.
Jeff Haas: That’s cool. And when you are doing your writing, are you disciplined? Like you write at this time of the day or is it when
Ryan Lambert: hell no way.
I don’t have a set time. I mean, I do that with like sometimes if I’m like writing a screenplay or something, I’ll say, you know, set this time side as like a job and do that. music is completely different for me. you know, I’m one of those kids that like, I always tell people, like, when they say I want to learn to play guitar, I’m like good luck.
But like, no, you just learn and you just, I got one and now I’m going to just learn. It’s like, yeah. Yeah. But there’s so much more just like sitting down with a teacher or like a book that you have, or you’re listening to other songs and trying to emulate them. If you want to actually learn [00:09:00] to play. Like that thing needs to be in your hands all the time.
Like just twiddling around on it while you’re watching a movie, not like trying to like play a song or anything, but just have it in your hands. Have your fingers on the strings, have the pick in your hand, or if you’re not using a pick, have your fingers on the strings and just always have it with you.
Like that’s how I don’t really do that too much anymore because it’s like, I kinda know how to play as much as I want to. I don’t, I’m never going to be fucking Eddie van Halen. So like, no, I mean, who can, but, I know I’m not, that’s not my style of playing anyway. I’m a rhythm guitar player. Cause I’m like the lead singer and the, you know, so I leave that, those jobs up to like real guitar player.
But, you know, if you know, three chords before it’s in the truth, you know, you can play whatever you want, play any song, any Bob Dylan song for sure. But, You know, I, yeah, I don’t have a discipline a [00:10:00] set time for writing music. but at least once or twice a day, there’s always a guitar like sitting right next to me is actually right now it’s my new ukulele, but, which is shaped like a watermelon, which is really cool and painted language.
it’s really weird, but, it’s just there and I’ll let you know, I’ll go, Oh, Hey, what’s up buddy? Like, I’m watching like, you know, you know, the new season of blot, like blind man or whatever, and just like plucking on things, whatever. And then if like something I hear at court, I’m like, well, wait, I like pause whatever I’m watching and go.
I think I got something. And then that’s.
Jeff Haas: Now in the age of, obviously cell phone number, house. Do you ever record yourself in case that inspiration hits before you need to go, you want to go back and try to pick up on it? Or is it, you know, are you able to just like to remember what you’re doing at that moment?
Ryan Lambert: I’ve probably, I’m not sure, but I’ve probably exhausted the memory on my like voice notes.
I don’t even know how much you could put on there, but it’s like, it’s [00:11:00] going like, Hey man, I think you should delete some stuff. Like go back to like, You know, 2011 get rid of some of the stuff over. no, I actually like I record, yeah, I do a lot of voice notes stuff.
sometimes I’ll just write down chords and like write a little description, like it’s in this, it’s in this signature and it’s, sounds like, I don’t know. It sounds like the, soundtrack tonight, living debt.
I’ll know that I’ll be like, Oh, I know what that sounds like. So I’ll go. Oh yeah. Oh it’s Oh, these are the chords. If I’m being too lazy to hit a button on my phone and record it for real.
Jeff Haas: That’s awesome.
Ryan Lambert: w
Jeff Haas: one thing I always tell my students I’m a high school English teacher and what I always tell them what I was telling my students about writing is that normally, if you want to be a good writer, let’s say going to be a good poet or novelist or short story writer, book, writer, whatever lyricists you want to.
Develop yourself in other writing, John Rose as well. Do you write [00:12:00] anything, when you’re not doing, do you like, do you do poetry? Do you do other types of writing as well?
Ryan Lambert: I do a lot of, I do some short story writing, but that’s kind of just for myself, almost as practice for life. I write screenplays, I’ve written a few screenplays before I read a lot of short.
Short films. you know, I just come up with an ID and I’m like, Ooh, yeah, that’s eight pages. I got this and I’ll just rip it out and then send it to a friend and they’ll go, this is great. Or they’ll say, this totally sucks. You should throw this away. or we can fail or let’s fix this. I know how to fix this.
The ending is terrible. Let’s do that, whatever. But, yeah, my, I don’t really like, I mean, you were asking if like I go outside of like John rhe or whatever, or who I like what I usually do. I think my themes are pretty consistent. Like I’m not going to sit down and go, I’m going to write a science fiction, Western.
if I did, it would like have a theme inside of it that I actually was trying to tell. [00:13:00] Yeah. And it would just be served that setting, I guess. But, for the most part, I liked it. You know, people always ask me, you know, cause, I guess I’m like in the horror world, you know, from when I was 15, so everyone thinks like, Oh, you’re a horror guy.
And I’m like, I’ve never written a horror thing in my life. Like I like, you know, and people like always, Oh, it’s Halloween. He must be watching all the Halloween movies. I’m like, no, I’m watching a Cassavetes marathon right now. You know, things about people. I like stories about people and, you know, I believe me, I’m very versed in the horror world, film and novels and literature and things like that.
So I’m there. I got it, you know, but I don’t need to like, see Freddy versus Jason again, like. Yeah. And I don’t mean like, again, like for the second time, I’d be like, Oh, I’m watching this because it’s just what it is. I don’t really like this movie, but I’m at Halloween nerd, so I’m going to watch, [00:14:00] okay. I don’t really get that thing, but there’s, you know, I think I saw once there’s 11.1 billion films that have been made.
Seriously. Yeah, it’s
Jeff Haas: insane. It seems higher than I would have thought.
Ryan Lambert: I know I was freaking out. I’m like, Oh my, because someone wants to call me. I was at a party and I’m like, I’m going to make him my points. Watch every movie out romaine. I was like, hold on. And I looked at my phone. I said, you’re going to watch 11.1 billion movies.
I have to watch like 50, you put, you probably have to watch like 500 movies a day or something. It’s like, so
Jeff Haas: Yeah. Mandy is in a Washington. You have multiple TVs going at once.
Ryan Lambert: What’s that like
Jeff Haas: as Mandy is in the Washington movies where you have multiple screens playing at once different things.
Ryan Lambert: Speaking of Louis. Gotcha.
Jeff Haas: So think kind of cool. on your, on the website, Kilmore band, camp.com you do have the album, it looks like, cause I was listening to [00:15:00] it for free all the, all the, I mean, I think that’s fantastic. when your new album comes out, are you going, is it going to be also available on your side?
where are they gonna be able to find it?
Ryan Lambert: actually, that’s something that we are talking about right now. We’re definitely putting it up on everything that we can, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, all those it’ll go up on all that. We haven’t really decided that we’re actually going to like, you know, print up.
CDs yet. at this point it’s like, I don’t know why that doesn’t seem, I mean, there are like, you know, collectors in this world that like to have the thing in their hand. you know, I know a lot of kids that like, you know, I’ve got three walls of VHS. I’m like, why I’m like, you’re insane, but I get it.
It’s a collection thing. And that’s what they like. So they like to see it on their shelves, you know, this kill wall record, that kill wall record, you know? So if they have. Both next to each other. I understand that, but we don’t have any plans to actually print anything up physically, but it’ll be out on [00:16:00] everything if you like follow us on whatever we, you know, Facebook and things like that.
or just follow me on Instagram, which is Ryan Lambert. One, one 11. you’ll see that. You’ll see it. I’ll I’ll I’ll tell you where to find it.
Jeff Haas: Well, the other thing I noticed, and maybe I just didn’t, Yeah, this wasn’t good at the search. I did not find anywhere where I could read your, the lyrics.
Is that available somewhere or would that be made available? So the lyrics to your album is readable for us.
Ryan Lambert: Not that I know of, but someone actually tried to get me to do that. Can you write up all the lyrics? I’m like, Oh, take pictures of my notebooks. I mean, I don’t know that might be even cooler, but you won’t be able to read it.
Crashes and chicken marks, but like, Not there. There’s nothing now from anything that I’ve done in the past. and maybe that’s a good idea to do on this new one and just have it available somehow also, I think when you do those, like when you sign up for those sites, you know, Spotify, Amazon [00:17:00] music, iTunes, Apple music, I mean, and like, you know, they, they ask for that, like, that’s one of the things you can give them.
And files. Yeah. Cause if you’re wanting, when I’m listening to Amazon music or something, like you can hit lyrics and they’ll just they’ll scroll with the song. So I think that’s like an option that you opt in on if you want it.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. I must admit as, I’m one of those, music listeners who, if there is a song that I like.
I do want to read the lyrics, partly because I enjoy it. But also from my perspective as well, sometimes I don’t know if I’m hearing the lyrics quite right. I like knowing, you know, this is exactly what is in the, in that song.
Ryan Lambert: Absolutely.
Jeff Haas: I’ve been surprised a few times.
Ryan Lambert: Yes, of course always. Oh my God.
There’s like, there’s a few out there that are, you know, so well-known. For being like the wrong lyrics that people sing [00:18:00] constantly. I believe there was a book a long time ago called excuse me, while I kiss this guy. And then it had like all of them then like the pages of like lyrics and the right lyrics.
And then where people thought I was or something. but you know, I’m I write the lyrics, I sing the lyrics and then there for you, you do what you want with them. I don’t care what the song is about. It’s about whatever the fuck you want it to be about. I honestly, like I, I’m not gonna, you know, I’m not Elton John or Paul Simon in that sentence, or it’s like, this is about this.
And you can kind of tell it is, I’m not here to like tell you a tale. I’m just sort of, kind of trying to like evoke an emotion. as a whole, as a band, as all the music and the lyrics and the vocals are kind of just part of that. It’s not trying to like, you know, I mean, a perfect example of that is, as Tom York and Radiohead, I mean, put on a radio and record and you write down malaria, tell me what you think he [00:19:00] is and what you think that song is about.
Cause you ain’t going to, you’re not going to know and you’ll never know because he doesn’t know. He’s never going to tell you. yeah, the flip side of that is, waste is where it’s like, you know, maybe dating myself I guess, but like that long ago, isn’t it?
Jeff Haas: Yeah.
Ryan Lambert: And they’re still around now as a band, but like they’re separate projects, but, you know, I remember seeing an article, an interview with, with, one of the Gallagher brothers and they were talking about the lyrics and he just shrugged and said, I’ll fuck it now.
Like what’s wonderful about, I don’t know. It just like the lyrics just work. Like he just put in words to fit the melody. I kind of like that to Kurt Cobain. Kurt Cobain did that too. It was all like stream of conscious stuff, you know? And then he kind of piece things together and took lyrics from other songs and put them in this song.
Cause it fit better in this song and he’s kind of put it all together and then it made sense to him.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. Th those abandoned the nineties [00:20:00] called fuel. I don’t know if you know who they are. they were on alternative rock for awhile
Ryan Lambert: fuel. Yeah, I play, I think I played with those guys.
Jeff Haas: Oh yeah. Yeah. So they have a song.
Oh, that’s awesome. There’s a song that they wrote that for the longest time. I really liked it, but I understood it as Jesus wore a gun. I was like, that’s a really cool visual. And then I probably solved the lyrics, like, Oh, Jesus, Oregon. That’s a totally different songs.
Ryan Lambert: Different meaning. Yeah, absolutely.
I wrote a lyric once that said, Jesus works for dimes with long blonde hair. And I had a woman come up to me at a show once and go, it’s so beautiful when I hear you. Speaking of Jesus and I couldn’t, I didn’t have the heart to like tell her that is absolutely not what I meant. I was actually seeing about a homeless man on the corner of my street, who thought he was Jesus.
And, but, you know, I was just like, Oh, okay, thank you. That’s wonderful that it touched you in that way. [00:21:00] Like, if that’s what it is, that’s what it does for you. I mean, you know, if I would have said, Oh, you know, that’s not what it’s about Karin or whatever, then like, you know, that sort of ruins it for her.
That’s not what art is about, you know? It’s about your own interpretations of things. I mean, you can listen to the boxer by, you know, Paul Simon and tell me that it’s about this thing and I’d be like, great. That’s not what I get from it. It’s like, no, that’s actually the story though. Like he’s actually telling the story.
I’m like, I know, but I th I’m thinking of something else when I hear that song, like it evokes another emotion in me that like, it has nothing to do with what he’s saying. So. I don’t know, it’s all interpretation. So whatever the hell you want it to be, it doesn’t matter as long as you like it.
Jeff Haas: So there’s a whole segment potentially of the population that believes killer Moya is a Christian rock man.
Ryan Lambert: it’s killed law.
Jeff Haas: sorry. My mistake.
Ryan Lambert: Why? As a, you know, the French me, it’s also a play on, you know, I’m [00:22:00] Jewish, so like kill me. Oh boy. I don’t know if it’s a population, but like definitely that one woman. And then when she played, maybe she played it for her family. Let’s go to this wonderful song about Jesus.
Jeff Haas: That’s awesome.
that’d be pretty funny. People are sending you, singing your music at church and you’re like, this is beautiful songs.
you’re going to have to just throw in a couple of more represents of Jesus, just sprinkle throughout the music, just so people can be like, Oh, Hey, see, I told ya, Oh
Ryan Lambert: yeah, no, I, you know, I think on this last record, there’s maybe not references to Jesus, but things that you might think were maybe angelic or something that really aren’t, I’m pretty sarcastic when I write too.
I really like, I, there’s not much, You know, there’s a lot of truth to what I’m saying, I believe, but also a lot of like, wait, Hardy, har [00:23:00] sort of making fun of that situation kind of thing where someone might, you know, take that as something else. But again, that’s what it’s all about you, man.
It’s all you. I did it already. I said, I wrote it. It’s yours. You don’t have to listen to it, but if it’s you want, if you want to. You can do whatever you want.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, I think it’s great to give your audience that kind of ownership. And I find that a lot of writers sometimes have a similar viewpoint of once you release it’s now yours and on some level that’s why discerning books.
so sort of the comfort con controversy with Harry Potter, with the authors, like, well, right. But now that it’s written, it’s yours as an audience member, you can own it.
Ryan Lambert: Yeah. I just saw a great video side note. this guy comedian was explaining. How Harry Potter is just a complete, utter rip off of star Wars, which is really funny.
Cause I have the TV on right now and Mark Hamill just popped on right when I said [00:24:00] that fucking weird. That’s insane. not that I’m watching star Wars. It’s just the commercial with the surpass. It’s Uber commercial with a survey. basically he was saying like, all right, so this young, I w I don’t know his act or whatever, but he was saying, but he went down the story just regular.
He wasn’t saying it was star Wars or Harry Potter, just going on the story. And I was like, Oh my God, it’s literally the same story. And then this beard had gotten, and he meets this bearded guy and he kind of teaches a magic and they look later on, he learns magic from a more powerful wizard who seems stoned all the time.
And then he, and he meets this girl who kind of, is in love with there’s a lot of tension going on. And, but you know, she’s really like suppressing her feelings for the actual like scruffy friends. Who’s the comic relief. I’m like. Oh my God.
Jeff Haas: Well, if you want to see it even more similarity, check out a book by Neil Gaiman called books of magic with Tim Hunter and Hunter as a character.
Ryan Lambert: I know the game book. Yeah, for sure.
[00:25:00] Jeff Haas: Yeah. Yeah. That I don’t see how there’s not a copyright issue there somewhere.
Ryan Lambert: Well, I mean, it’s all based on like, you know, myths and things like that.
Anyway. I mean, you know, You know, you can go read all the old ma I mean, it’s almost this sort of Jesus is going back to, we’re talking a lot about fucking Jesus on this thing. I need to stop that,
Jeff Haas: which is funny considering we’re both two Jews.
Ryan Lambert: Hey man. Woo.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, that’s a good point. Very good point. So, yeah, so we are talking about it’s a very Jewish podcast at the moment.
Ryan Lambert: Got we can, I can go full Jew if you want, but like urban Jew, Larry David Jew.
Jeff Haas: Yes. So wait, so which of your passions came first? Music or acting?
Ryan Lambert: music. I was like a little, I was like a little, Yeah. I, you know, when I was in chorus when I was like little, like in junior high. I love like, my [00:26:00] dad is like an officiant natto of fifties, sixties, and like early seventies, rock and soul.
Like he, he can tell you who like to, who played tambourine on like a turtles record. It, you know, he knows everything. So our music, our whole house was full of music. Constantly. The record player was going the, dating myself. Now the eight track was going when we were flying down the PCH, you know, the top down wind in our hair.
And like, my dad’s got like Linda Ronstadt blasting on the eight track and the car and a Fleetwood Mac and everything like LA. Sort of a Laurel Canyon. He was like Tom petty. And I just loved all that stuff. And, obviously introduced me to, you know, the Beatles and the rolling stones and all that, all, you know, the who and the kinks and all that good stuff.
but also like everything, soul and even jazz, you know, my [00:27:00] dad was assuming like Ornette Coleman in the car and I’m like, what is this? I’m fine. Like, this is like an outer space. Right. And I remember one time I was laying in my bed and I was listening to cause I had my own stuff too. Cause I’m a little kid.
So I’m listening. I probably like the grease soundtrack with my giant headphones on, you know, in the seventies. And he comes in and he’s sick of that stuff. He’s like, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of this. And he goes in and he puts, he turns, he, he takes my record off. He puts on a dark side of the moon sidewalk.
And puts the headphones on me, makes me lay down in bed and then turns the lights off and closest to the
Jeff Haas: door
Ryan Lambert: and goes, I’ll be back for side too. I was like, okay. And then like the headphones go and it’s like swirling or my head. So I was, you know, I got a shot in the arm when I was really young with music.
So [00:28:00] when I. Started to get a little older. I think I was around, nine when my, when I asked my mom to put me in this like musical comedy troupe thing, and it was after school, not nothing to do with the school. It was like a totally separate thing. It was like, instead of going to karate, I went to like musical comedy school or whatever.
And we would do, you know, I’m a Yankee doodle dandy, you know, when we rehearsed for like, you know, four or five months, and then we would do a show, we would do South Pacific or we would do, you know, but I’m a little tiny kid. It was crazy. We’re doing like, there is nothing like a day and nothing and you know, and, this like this little kit.
So I kind of learned to be on stage through that, true. It was called bill Edwards, stage kids and bill Edwards was a, like my first was my mentor. Really. He guided me [00:29:00] into what I thought was going to be a career in like either theater or, you know, being advanced, like, you know, playing music live, My, I went out on an audition for a musical show because I w because it was a music thing and I’m like, I’m going to do the music thing.
And so I went out on it and, after like three callbacks for it, and like, they traveled across the United States trying to find this kid. I got it. And I was the only, I had never been on an audition before and there I was, and I got the fucking thing. and then I was on, that TV show for five seasons kids incorporated
Jeff Haas: that kids incorporated.
Ryan Lambert: Yeah. So for me, like it started out musically, the thing is like, Oh, I’m on TV. So like you have to get an agent. And then that agent started sending me out on things that weren’t musical. [00:30:00] And I was getting all those things too. I’m like, wait, am I an actor musician? Or am I trying to be a musician? I’m trying to be a singer.
Good. When I was a kid I’m like faking it on kids, inc. As far as playing the guitar, I mean, you can tell him totally not even faking it good. Like it looks terrible. but within that process, I was learning to play the guitar. And by the time I was like 19, I knew how to play. And so that’s when I was like, okay, I’m out and did all these movies and they’d see shows and now I’m wants to do the thing I really wanted to do, but I enjoy, I love acting like I’m a, you know, a cinephile I love, I know a lot more about film and a lot of people I know, I watch at least two movies a day.
I’ll never get to 11 billion. I, I enjoy it and that’s one of the reasons I came back to LA because I was in San Francisco for 15 [00:31:00] years playing bands, being music. And, at one point I was like, maybe I should do play in San Francisco. That’d be interesting. So I joined the theater company, Sheldon studios.
And, you know, I took classes and, you know, we did scenes and then eventually I did some plays and I was like, I think I’m getting that book. And then, you know, the band broke up in San Francisco kind of, and I thought it was time for me to just come back to LA and start working again as an actor.
So that’s where I am now.
Jeff Haas: So, so going back just a little bit to what, as you mentioned, kids, inc, that you did when you started, when you were 13, correct?
Ryan Lambert: The yes.
Jeff Haas: So, and it was the cool thing about that show is that it allowed you to act and like, as you said, did you music, what was the experience like beyond that?
I mean, cause you were. Experiencing I imagined, celebrity for the first time. Well, during that show, [00:32:00]
Ryan Lambert: yeah, like after that first season aired, like then it was like teen beat city.
Like, why am I on the cover of magazines? This is really weird. I don’t know. I didn’t freak out or anything. It was fun. You know, when you’re that age, you know, think about anything that like the downside of any of that, all you’re thinking about as, wow, I’m having fun and people like what I’m doing.
And like I’m with my friends, singing and dancing, and they just have me pointing cameras at us and then they air it on Disney channel, you know? It was hard to go to Disneyland at that time, around that time, it was really like, I couldn’t walk around Disneyland, which was, you know, in hindsight is hilarious.
Cause now I could walk around there and people be like, get this like bomb out of my way, you know? But, yeah, that was interesting. You know, I’d be standing in your trap to your in line and some like little girl goes and then [00:33:00] like, mom goes, excuse me. I was wondering if you were like on a show called get appropriately.
Yeah. So then all of a sudden, like the other people would come around and then all of a sudden the security comes and goes, what’s going on? And I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. And they’re like, you need to come with us. And then I got to see the whole underworld the lab because of that stuff.
Jeff Haas: that was kind of that’s awesome. Yeah. No. What were you attending school the same time you were in kids incorporated?
Ryan Lambert: Yeah, cause we shot in the summer. So when we were done shooting, I would go back to school. Yeah.
Jeff Haas: What was that like in school, knowing that, I mean, you’re Tenneco, celebrity walking around, it was a public school or were you, or was it private?
Ryan Lambert: It’s public. I, yeah, I’ve only gone to public schools when the assets, that’s not my last school was private, but that’s a whole nother actory thing when I’m older. no, when I was doing kids, inc, like I think I was [00:34:00] in seventh grade when I got it. So then I did it that summer. So when I came back for eighth grade, I don’t even know what an aired yet.
So no one, you know, my friends knew, you know, were like he went off and did some TV show or whatever with him. And then, and then by ninth grade it was like, everyone knew at the school, but it didn’t really change much. It wasn’t that big of a deal. I think it would be a bigger deal now. And I also would be a bigger deal if you didn’t live in LA like people in LA act, you know?
So like, let’s say it wasn’t that weird that a kid went off and, you know, did it professionally. we were in the Valley, we were in Simi Valley actually. I grew up in like proper LA in the city as a city kid. And then our, my parents moved to South to Simi Valley. And so that’s where I went to, you know, public junior high.
And, but [00:35:00] still, it’s not that far from like the city of Los Angeles. So, it wasn’t that bizarre.
Jeff Haas: So, and while you’re doing kids incorporated, you got the role of Rudy from monster squad. Where were you? Were they happening at the same time? Because inc and monster
Ryan Lambert: squad, let’s just go with shot. In, I don’t remember.
May I remember when we started that, but it was during my first week of high school. So I was moving from like the junior high and then like I’m in high school moving to like the big high school, Royal high and Simi Valley. And I was there for a week and I got monster squad. And so I had to leave the school and I actually had to leave the school because they [00:36:00] wouldn’t give me my work for my set teacher.
So we had to find like a school that would do that. And that’s when I, we talked to a bunch of other child, actor, parents and stuff like that. And they said, Oh, this. There’s this little school in Hollywood called Excelsior and they cater to that. They like give you packets to give to your set teacher. And so I had to drop out of like my big, huge high school with a football team and a basketball team and, you know, prom and all that I had to drop out of all that.
To do the monster squad just for ninth grade. But I wound up staying at that little private school. Anyway. I actually, 10th grade was that I went there 10th or 12th grade. Yeah. Well that’s, what’s that?
Jeff Haas: Why were they refusing you give work to your stage teacher, the other school
Ryan Lambert: go around each teacher.
Ryan needs his work each week. It’s like, Oh, what are you special? Like, why do we have to do [00:37:00] this for you? Like, we’re not getting the extra. you know, we treat all the students the same and then just cause he’s going off to work, like in their eyes, I was leaving the school. Like I’m not coming to the school.
I’m like, yeah, but you still want to be in the school. Like, that’s not how it works. And so, yeah, I just had to bail. I mean, it was there for like a week. I literally was there for like a week.
Jeff Haas: That’s insane. When I teach at a therapeutic high school. And especially during this as learning, we literally had TAs driving students on their work to their house and dropping in terminal boxes.
I can imagine a teacher being like, nah, we’re not coming to work. It’s not worth the effort.
Ryan Lambert: no. This was the nineties. This was like the late eighties or whatever, you know, like they don’t, they didn’t care about shit. Like is there like much less minimum ways that even the teachers get now? Like they didn’t even care.
I mean, they, I don’t even think they do. I think we went into like the administrations [00:38:00] asked and they were like, they just said, no, I don’t think it was like an individual teacher said, no, it was just like, we’re not going to go around each day and get all of his work and put it in a packet and like ship it to like the teacher on the set of the monster squad.
That sounds that’s way outside of our, like what we do here, you know,
Jeff Haas: that’s crazy.
Ryan Lambert: Yeah.
Jeff Haas: It is. It seems sometimes when you hear stories like that, it understands why some people don’t like teachers, let me some stuff like that.
Ryan Lambert: Hey man. You know, when I lived, when I lived in San Francisco, I worked at a private school.
I worked at the administration and private school and, you know, I worked with every department there, and also, you know, knew every student and knew every parent because I was so involved with every department. And, I really got to see the ins and outs, how, like how that whole production works and it gave me a completely different new perspective [00:39:00] and new appreciation for what, What learning means, you know, and the shaping of minds.
If, you know, if you’re, if you’re passionate about your work, despite the being treated poorly in this country, I think that, you know, you can really make a difference. And I’ve seen it firsthand. I watched kids. I was there for eight years. I watched kids, you know, come and go from kindergarten and graduate.
In eighth grade, I saw who they were. Some of them were a little shits for sure. But there were definitely some that I was like, wow, like you were this little crazy little girl and in preschool, kindergarten, whatever. And now like you’re going to go off to this, you know, amazing high school with like this knowledge that.
Like was, you know, that you brought on yourself really, like you wanted to fill your brain and he did it, [00:40:00] and you got a lot of help doing that. I think if we have more teachers like that, it would make it all more wild, more worthwhile.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, I will say as teachers, some of us definitely do try.
it is a tough gig,
at least a high school teacher in a therapeutic school, in Providence kids with emotional problems and whatnot.
Ryan Lambert: Right.
Jeff Haas: It’s tough. It’s a little, it can be soul crushing at times, but yeah, I do. the moments where you do. I have a student who does say, you know, you know, that I inspired them to do something.
it is, it does feel good. And you can carry that with you. And like you clutch onto it, like, like a kid with like a Teddy bear. You just holding onto like that. That’s saying that you inspired me for life the next year and two year again,
Ryan Lambert: right? Oh God. Yeah, for sure.
Jeff Haas: And it’s like, I got, I’ve heard it a few times.
and like I said, it’s nice. so that you catch on to that positive influence that you get from centers as well. And I don’t know if teachers and schools always appreciate how to be, give and take it is where teachers need, you know, it’s [00:41:00] nice when a teacher hears something positive from a kid and the kids seem like they’re into it, that allows the teacher to get into it, energize each other.
And it’s kind of nice in that way.
Ryan Lambert: Sure. Of course. Beautiful. But,
Jeff Haas: so anyways, so when you were making monster squad, you were two years older than the other main cast. was it a kind of a weird situation for you? Cause you’re kind of, you’re Aussie too young to be around the adults who are, you know, much older and the kids are kind of, even though was only two years.
That’s the, is between, you know, this kind of big two years back in, you know, in when you’re that age it was difficult or were you able to just fit in completely.
Ryan Lambert: Well, it wasn’t supposed to fit in. Like that was kind of the point was my character. he wanted to fit in, offset. I mean, when I first got there, I think I just looked around at these kids and was like, what are these little shits little fucks I got to work with for a couple months?
- We got along really well right away. Andre and I hit it off pretty well. I used [00:42:00] to go and shoot like bone arrows in his backyard. He had like a little set up and, you know, I had even gone to like professional bow and arrow training before the show, before we started shooting. And, you know, it was more.
helpful just being in his backyard with him, showing me, you know, his techniques and that, because he was like, he knew how to do it. yeah, he, he knew how to, he knew how to Andre knows how to do everything. It was like he was on the, I mean, Andre was like on the, his college basketball team. Like he, you know, up he’s, he’s almost, you know, He’s add he plays golf like every day right now, if you wanted to teach me tennis, which I wanted to learn how to do.
yeah, so it was easier to just do that in his backyard. So yeah, as friends, I think, yeah, it was mostly me and Andre that hung out the most. [00:43:00] Brent was very, green. And want it to always be involved with everything. And he was such a great kid. didn’t really hang out with Robbie too much.
Ashley, I didn’t even know she was there. We’ve actually talked about that recently. It’s really funny. who else was in the monster squad? Who else was actually like Eugene? Like he wasn’t there for me. Yeah. Yeah. I was just kind of, I was alone. I was on my own basically.
Jeff Haas: Well, I’ll definitely, Andre was very cool.
I actually got to interview him last week and he was a, he’s a fun conversation.
Ryan Lambert: Yeah, for sure. He’s got stories for days.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, it was a fun conversation. And like I said, I asked him. Yeah, I see what I should ask you. You definitely said ask about the music. I was like, definitely. thanks Andre.
So, Well, as obviously, you know, as you mentioned, you played Rudy and Rudy in that movie seemed to be the kid that everyone wanted to be [00:44:00] watching that movie. And I remember watching that movie because when I came, when we came out, I was about seven years old. Might’ve watched him when I was eight, depending on when my father finally allowed me to watch it.
Because, like I said, it would have been 1987. I’ve been seven years old. So he may have held out for a year. I’m not really sure. I can’t remember that far back, but, obviously everyone watching the movie, at least who are my age, wanted to be Rudy, you know, you looked up to Rudy, he was the coolest, most bad-ass character.
in the, you know, in the movie, was there a particular actor or role you modeled that character after?
Ryan Lambert: I mean, it’s an amalgamation of all of like what you think, you know, the obvious would be, you know, Marlon Brando, obviously James Dean I think was like the first name that they threw at me, but I’m like, yay.
I got it. I know what that is. I know Jane. I was already obsessed, but mostly, I don’t know. There’s an interesting story. if you have, yeah,
Jeff Haas: I definitely got,
Ryan Lambert: When [00:45:00] I went into wardrobe for the first time and the wardrobe woman had, you know, like five or six jackets for me to try on which one’s going to look the best on camera.
So she would put one on me and take like a Polaroid and look at it and go, yeah, I like this one’s good. And then, you know, switched them out, take a bunch. And then, she put this one on me and she said, Oh yeah, this is this, I think this is the one I’m going to think about this for a minute.
But like, I think this is the jacket. Let me take a picture and actually taking the picture. I’m like trying to move my arms. And I said, I don’t know. I don’t really feel comfortable in this one. It doesn’t feel like something I would wear. And she looks and she like looked me right in the eye, like really close.
She said, you’re not playing you. And I was like, Oh my God, like light
Jeff Haas: bulb.
Ryan Lambert: I need to like, do some mental research on this. [00:46:00] I mean, I know I’m 15. But I know what I’m doing. I obviously got the part in like a big film or what it was supposed to be a big film. and it’s made me reevaluate who this person was.
And so like, yeah, exterior, Marlon Brando in the wild ones, James Dean, yada. But then I started thinking like, wait a minute, like when you think about James Dean’s character in rebel without a cause. He isn’t that cool. He literally isn’t, that’s the whole point of the movie. Like he’s just rebelling against his parents and he hates everyone and it has a lot to do with his family and he kind of is a loner and he gets in a lot of trouble for that.
Of course, like he gets the girl, obviously, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But, I don’t know, like at, in that day and [00:47:00] age, you would have said like, what would he have been like, they would have said like, Oh, maybe he’s like Marlon Brando’s like Marlon Brando kind of played like the toughie.
You know, he was always like leather jacket has got a cigarette hanging out and it’s cool. But these guys, this, these character, all these characters, they just want to like be accepted. Something happened to them in their lives, where they just need to like play there, having to make up a character for themselves.
And they become this persona of something that they’re probably not underneath at all. So I always say to people that talk about this, you know, when they want to know about this character, I say, take the glasses off, take the cigarette out of his damn mouth. Take the leather jacket off and the, you know, the tight jeans put them in some shorts and a t-shirt and like put his hair down, like cut his hair like that.
That’s probably him. it’s just Ryan Lambert was wearing [00:48:00] wardrobe, but Rudy is probably also wearing wardrobe. Because, like, why would someone like that? If he was like the coolest thing on earth and like God’s gift to women and all that stuff, like, why would he go hang out with a bunch of children in a tree house?
Jeff Haas: Right. Like
Ryan Lambert: this kid wants to be part of something. Like, I mean, the line that I was, you know, antiquated with him as far as you know, is it sums him up perfectly when Phoebe says I heard he killed his dad. It’s like this throw away line. She’s not even on camera saying it’s, as I’m like rolling away. I heard he killed his dad and it’s like, wow, like there’s some stories about this kid that, and no one knows the truth, but the truth is probably a lot more simpler than you think it is.
Jeff Haas: Would it have been better in your opinion or worse if the, after you spend [00:49:00] time giving him a true backstory
Ryan Lambert: for us? For sure. We’re going terrible. Like a scene when he went home and like a standard, like get our hair Rudy and like burn them with a cigarette or something and like, okay, we get it now. He’s his, dad’s an asshole.
He doesn’t have a family. It’s like, he’s. You know, he’s not a bender from breakfast club, you know what I mean? yeah. That guy had a shitty life. Maybe this kid doesn’t have a shitty life. Maybe his mom died when he was young. Who knows? I don’t know what the story is. Or maybe he just like. Doesn’t as like fucking crazy personality disorder.
And like, you know, like this is his thing. Maybe it’s a schizophrenia and this is one of his characters. I don’t know.
I don’t want to burst anybody’s wellbore cause it’s so surface-y rad. Because like when you just watched the movie and you’re a kid, it’s like, yeah, that kid’s, bad-ass Lisa slow with a cigarette and drinking a beer, like, well, that’s cool. It’s like, yeah, but does he [00:50:00] have a motorcycle? Like the kid in the bad news bears, like, why didn’t I get a motorcycle?
He just has a bike.
Jeff Haas: And I will say as for Rudy, I think my favorite scene, and I think that a lot of it had to do with, especially when I first saw the movie. growing up, I was definitely a kid who would get bullied a lot. Okay. Which is which a little bit like a Horace, obviously in the movie, not for the same reasons, but obviously being picked on doesn’t really matter with reasons are, yeah.
Ryan Lambert: nerd probably. Right.
Jeff Haas: I was definitely the awkward nerd kid
Ryan Lambert: nerd. Or were you like a computer nerd or like movie nerd, like star Wars people, group, guy.
Jeff Haas: I would have been, would’ve been the eighties. I think I was just someone who didn’t know how to interact with other people. I was kind of shy and not, didn’t really just know what to do.
Right. So that kind of weird. So I wouldn’t say I was a computer guy because back then, I don’t think I even would’ve been on a computer and [00:51:00] I definitely wasn’t necessarily a movie. I mean, it might’ve been a complicated a little bit, but. Huh,
Ryan Lambert: but you said six and 87.
Jeff Haas: I was seven years old in 1987. So I’m almost 41 now.
Ryan Lambert: Okay. Okay. Got it. Yeah. All right. Okay. Got it.
Jeff Haas: So, yeah. So when, so at that point I would have been, bullied. I mostly, it was just, an inability to know how to interact with other kids at that point. Right. So it was always that kind of nerd, you know, and like shy. So, and I think, and watching that movie when Rudy comes over and protects horrors from EGA and makes even eat the damn candy, that was one of the great moments, like as a bully kid to go get that guy, you know, I think it established Rudy so well as a character.
and just that moment made you automatically route for Rudy and you get a sense of him right there.
Ryan Lambert: Yeah. I mean, when, I mean there, forget Rudy’s backstory, as a whole, [00:52:00] like, what’s that story? Cause he says, let’s see, I met my friend Horace. Yeah. It’s like, what are you, what, where did that come from?
No, he’s in junior high, you know, how does he know Horace? Like, what’s that backstory? Like, do they live on the same block? Do they live next door? Like what? We don’t know any of that stuff. Why is he defending? Is it just because, or is it because of something specific to do with that particular kid? Does he really easy protecting maybe horses, his brother.
Oh, my God.
Jeff Haas: The only thing I realized in that scene too, which was kind of a big deal is that Rudy’s honestly the tough guy and he was obviously terrified of Rudy, but I thought to myself, yeah, but Rudy’s tough, but he’s hanging around with elementary school kids. It was tough in junior high round junior high kids.
Ryan Lambert: I’m thinking that’s exactly you’re on the right wavelength with me. Yeah. We were on the same [00:53:00] path in that regard. Same thing, you know, it’s like, Maybe that’s why he goes that way. Cause it’s like, he’s the tough guy in this regard, but when he’s the other way, he’s the one getting bullied at his school.
If he goes to school, you know, I mean, who knows, you know, you can make up anything. Like we can go, we can, you know, go back to music in that regard too. it’s for you. You decide.
Jeff Haas: That’s why I
Ryan Lambert: keep it open. I’m just kidding my interpretation. And I’m not like saying, like I said, I. I specifically said these things in my head when I was 15, you know, I just sort of had this epiphany that maybe I’m not play.
Maybe he isn’t who you think he is.
Jeff Haas: And yeah, and I, it would change the character quite a bit if he hangs around the, the elementary school to protect Horace. Um, because you know, that’s where he’s, that’s the only place where he is like the tough guy that wouldn’t change the character.
Ryan Lambert: Love it. I love it.
I love this. I love it.
[00:54:00] Jeff Haas: Talk to us at our Fred Decker and be like, you know, you gotta have, um, like a minute short where you have Rudy the junior high years, you know,
Ryan Lambert: I’ve talked to Fred, you know, you could, you can ask Fred the same question he asked me and he’d just go interesting.
Jeff Haas: yeah, eventually I had to talk to, uh, Fred Decker. Um, I know, um, in, in about two or three weeks, we have, um, Dunkin rider coming on on the interview as well
Ryan Lambert: for gear
Jeff Haas: regear. Sorry. I’m I’m I really am shit with names.
Ryan Lambert: I can sell it here.