There are plenty of artists who claim to be inspired by British Invasion bands, but their impact on Ryan Oyer doesn't end at the buttonhole on his Beatles guitar strap.
Mr. Oyer recently released "Come Together," his debut album, and the influence of the Fab Four and Oasis, themselves disciples of The Beatles, permeates all 11 tracks.
Q: How did you start playing music?
A: I started singing when I was really young. I remember Mom and Dad putting on Beatles records and Elton John records and some Queen. We had the old '80s stereo system with the huge speakers and glass-covered dual cassette deck with a record player on top. I used to stand in front of the glass and pretend I was John Lennon and mock-play guitar with my little ... fake toy guitar.
Q: Other than The Beatles and Oasis, what artists influenced you?
A: Elliott Smith, Wilco and Bright Eyes, as well as Conor Oberst solo stuff.
Q: Your song "Rabbit Hole" has become a fan favorite. What was the inspiration for that song?
A: My ex and I were splitting. I had the music before I had the words, and it started out with this really slow, melodic thing going on. I think I sat down and wrote the words in 30 minutes. It was just one of those songs that just went "boom." My ex-wife's name is Amber ... and the lyrics were very much Amberisms. People can take whatever it means to them, but to us, there are all these little inside jokes.
Q: When did you realize you had written something special?
A: I knew it was super catchy, especially after I played it for friends. I came out to Tremont Tavern (and) played it like three times, and people started singing along. It was a weird feeling like, "This is something I made. How do you know it?" But at the same time, ... I would be smiling during the chorus and barely able to sing because I was just happy that I was getting the attention from it.
Q: Audiences love "Rabbit Hole," but what track is your favorite?
A: I'm particularly fond of "Dear John." I love the way it sounds. There are bits I like about every song, but that one I'm particularly happy with.
Q: What's next for you, musically? Any other projects in the works?
A: Right now, we're going to try and gig and promote "Come Together." I'm not sure whether the next one will be an EP or a full-on record. I already have songs that didn't fit in with this group that I'd like to put on a second record or an EP.
Name: Ryan Oyer.
Hometown: Ringgold, Ga.
Family: Sister, Erin Oyer, 13.
Education: 2002, Ringgold High School; 2005, Chattanooga State (associate's degree in arts).
* Nickname: "Ryan-o" and "Oreo".
* Pets: A bunny called Baby Blue -- named after a lyric in the Oasis song "Let There Be Love."
* First car: A blue 1984 Camaro.
* Second car: A blue 1995 Firebird.
* Favorite color: All varieties of (surprise) blue.
* Quote he lives by: "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination" -- John Lennon.
* Favorite book: Anything by Chuck Klosterman.
* Favorite albums: "Figure 8" by Elliott Smith, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" by Bright Eyes, "(What's the Story) Morning Glory" by Oasis and "Revolver" by The Beatles.
* Celebrity he'd love to meet: John Lennon or Noel Gallagher.