The Ruby Suns Profile

Gareth Shute
21 Dec 2016

The Ruby Suns is the musical moniker of Ryan McPhun, who has taken the group from Beach Boys indie pop to leftfield world music through to experimental electronica, always seeking to invest the music with unique sounds and tones. His early work led to deals with Memphis Industries for the UK/Europe and Sub Pop for the US/Asia, which saw the band release four critically lauded albums and spend five years (2008-2013) touring regularly across the planet.

McPhun started out playing drums and guitar as a kid in Ventura, California. “I think it mostly came from wanting to emulate Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl at the same time. I started playing both drums and guitar when I was twelve by dubbing my Nirvana CDs onto tape and taking my Dictaphone out to my neighbour’s shed – they were kind enough to let me put my drums in there. I’d try to play along on headphones as best I could ... The move to New Zealand was partly one of convenience. I’m a citizen and half my family lives there. But also, my girlfriend at the time, daughter of one of my dad’s mates from Mt Roskill Grammar, was a Kiwi. I don't think I had any clear musical vision at first. I just wanted to make stuff and then see what happened.”

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The Ruby Suns in the USA during the Christopher album tour
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The Ruby Suns: Ryan McPhun, Alistair Deverick, Graham Panther
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The Ruby Suns standing next to the wreck of their burnt out RV
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The Ruby Suns at Camp A Low Hum 2010
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The Ruby Suns: James Dansey, Ryan McPhun, Graham Panther, Alastair Deverick
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The Ruby Suns’ RV on fire
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Ruby Suns - Sleep in the Garden (2007)
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The Ruby Suns - Desert of Pop (2014)
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The Ruby Suns onstage at Enmore Theatre, Sydney
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The Ruby Suns in Vienna
Photo credit: They Shoot Music
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The Ruby Suns - Mojave (A Take Away Show, Paris 2007)
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Ryan McPhun and Bevan Smith
Photo credit: Christopher Andrews
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Ruby Suns tour poster, Norway. Based on artwork by Amee Robinson
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Ryan McPhun and The Ruby Suns filming a session for La Blogothèque in Paris
Photo credit: Blogoteque
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The Ruby Suns performing at Homegrown
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Amee Robinson and Ryan McPhun, The Ruby Suns
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The Ruby Suns in Minneapolis
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The Ruby Suns listed in a Time Out London Critics’ Choice
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The Ruby Suns - Kingfisher Call Me (2013)
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The Ruby Suns - In Real Life
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The Ruby Suns at Camp A Low Hum
Photo credit: Rachel Brandon
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Amee Robinson of The Ruby Suns in the Lil Chief “ghetto” garage
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The Ruby Suns arriving in Australia
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The Ruby Suns, L to R: James Milne, Harry Cundy, Olivia Kember, Mark Stebben, Ryan McPhun, Amee Robinson. Lying down are Gareth Shute and Mark Stebben
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Gareth Shute (foreground) and Mark Stebben playing in The Ruby Suns
Photo credit: photo by Ian Jorgensen/Blink
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Ryan McPhun in a promotional photo for the 2010 album Fight Softly
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The Ruby Suns - Cinco (2010)
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Amee Robinson and Imogen Taylor of The Ruby Suns, in the Lil Chief “ghetto” garage
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Ruby Suns poster
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The Ruby Suns - live on KEXP, 17 February 2013
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The Ruby Suns soundchecking in Wales
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Cover art for the 2008 Ruby Suns album Sea Lion
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Ruby Suns - Tane Mahuta (2008)
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Ruby Suns at the Pitchfork Festival
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The Ruby Suns - There Are Birds (2009)
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Labels:

Lil' Chief Records


Sub Pop


Memphis Industries


Pop Frenzy

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Members:

Ryan McPhun - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums

Alastair Deverick - drums, vocals

Bevan Smith - keyboards, bass, guitars, vocals

Graham Panther - keyboards, bass, vocals

Amee Robinson - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, saxophone

Imogen Taylor - keyboards, flute, bass, vocals

Mark Stebben - bass, vocals

Edward Castelow - drums, vocals

Gareth Shute - guitar, bass

James Dansey - drums, vocals

Olivia Kember - keyboards

James Milne - drums, vocals

Harry Cundy - trumpet

Gus Franklin - trombone, keys, drums

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Trivia:

‘Oh Mojave’ was used for an online campaign for Microsoft in the US, but Ryan later turned down a lucrative offer from McDonalds since it went against his vegetarian principles.

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