Ryan Holman’s musical influence extends beyond the video and recording series ‘Hear Here’
Ryan Holman is a cofounder of Hear Here Presents, which is a live music-video series based in Milwaukee. Holman and his partner Jenny Vanderheiden created the series. He operates as the connector and producer behind the platform, while Vanderheiden works on the art direction, design and graphics detailing.
Since the inception of Hear Here Presents in 2015, the team has shot 48 videos and released 37. That means Milwaukee still has a lot to look forward to from this series.
Holman moved to Milwaukee almost eight years ago, initially in pursuit of becoming a comic. He joined ComedySportz and performed stand-up at local venues such as the Comedy Cafe.
After a year performing stand-up in Milwaukee, Holman asked some local bands if he could open for them or perform between sets. “Within two weeks of me thinking about asking, before I had a chance to reach out to anyone, my buddy John Phillip, who was playing with Trapper Schoepp and the Shades, invited me to open for them for at an album release show at Yield. That ended up going so well that they asked me to do the same at Cactus Club a month later — and believe it or not, that went great also.”
The day after that show, Cactus Club owner Eric Uecke called Holman and invited him to run a monthly comedy show. Holman found the venue’s setup awkward for stand-up comedy. “We did one month that was comedy only, and it felt a little weird because there weren’t chairs. We wanted to treat it like a rock club, so I started booking featured bands on the show to play up to what the venue was intended for.”
As a comedian performing in rock venues, Holman became acquainted him with the local community of musicians. “I remember seeing the Fatty Acids at Art Bar or Blessed Feathers at Mad Planet, and I fell in love with the scene immediately,” he said.
SHARING SPACE AND A DREAM
While building relationships with musicians, Holman and Vanderheiden revisited their idea of owning their own venue someday.
Influenced by La Blogothèque’s Take Away Shows, Audiotree, KEXP and NPR’s Tiny Desk series, the couple wanted to create a platform in Milwaukee with a similar sensibility. “All of these things around the country are so inspiring. It connects you with music that you may not have heard.”
Michael Marten, lead vocalist of The Cavewives, told Holman about a new studio space in Walker’s Point where his band had been practicing. It turned out that another friend of Holman, William Gardiner, had been using the space to record and store his music equipment. On top of that, his videographer friend Brendan Jones also shared the space to work on video projects and store equipment.
Holman eventually reached out to Gardiner and Jones to see if they’d team up with him and Vanderheiden to start a live music-video project. Both of them liked the idea, and Hear Here Presents found its original location and founding members.
Dead Horses at Hear Here Studios.