My name is Ryan and I grew up in a little town called Hirwaun. I lived there most of my young life, until I started touring. I was in a band called Funeral for a Friend, which I am again now. We’ve been dragged out of retirement; it’s fun.
I Ieft the band in 2011 to go into artist management. I was living in London until 2018, working at Raw Power Management. Then I started my own management company called Future History Management, and we’ve been here since.
I started my management career when I was still in Funeral for a Friend. There were so many cool bands in Wales that I wanted to help – like Tiger Please who became The People The Poet!, Straight Lines and Cuba Cuba who became Safari Gold. By 2011, I wanted to do it full-time. That brings me to where I’ve ended up.
We were going to do some Funeral for a Friend gigs back in 2020, but because of the pandemic we ended up being on tour in March 2022. I was waking up and spending as much of the day I could on the management stuff – I had bands in America at the same time as Australia and the UK. I was working until soundcheck and then onstage with the band.
We still have little one-off gigs. We played with My Chemical Romance in Sophia Gardens in May. We toured with them back in the day, so we're looking forward to that. And Download Festival in June.
Even before I started managing, we [the band] always placed a lot of importance on shining a light on other Welsh artists. If you go through our old tour posters, it’s very seldom that we didn't have a Welsh artist on there – like The Blackout, Kids in Glass Houses, Straight Lines, Attack Attack and Dopamine. The bands were so great. A lot of them have gone on to tour the world.
Getting into management was motivated by being in Funeral for a Friend. There were all these small victories like the first magazine you're in, the first time you put out a CD, sign to a record label, or do your first headline show or tour in Europe. I wanted to relive them. That's a great incentive to do what I do: to be able to share those moments and live vicariously through the bands I'm working with.
There are a lot of things that I'm proud of. I've got Holding Absence in America on their first US tour at the moment, and another band out there called Loathe. It's nice to show the world what we're doing in Wales. I’m also proud of working with Bullet for My Valentine – they became the first Welsh act to get a number one album in Australia. That was awesome.
There definitely seems to be a lot of good stuff coming out of Wales. I think we've also got good infrastructure, which helps. You’ve only got to walk down Womanby Street in Cardiff and you've got Clwb Ifor Bach, The Moon, Tiny Rebel and Fuel. There’s Hobos in Bridgend. In Swansea, you have Sin City and The Bunkhouse. And then you’ve got Tenby, which is having lots of shows, and Newport with Le Public Space. It’s always felt like a very supportive scene where people try to lift each other up.
The team at Creative Wales have been really helpful in terms of accessing funding and support, and it’s ongoing. They were extremely helpful with the Momentum Fund application for one of our acts, Those Damn Crows. That’s helped them make a world-class record with world-class producers, studios and mixers. It went in at number 14 on the official UK album charts, and they headlined Cardiff Castle. Everything that comes from them is a great debt to Creative Wales. And that's super exciting for me.
Want to discover more about Ryan's work at Future History Management? Visit their website.