Enjoy this great conversation with Ryan Van Poederooyen and make sure to get on my VIP list at the bottom of the page!
This episode is with Ryan Van Poederooyen. Ryan, also known as RVP, is a world-class drummer, best known for his work with Devin Townsend. Among other things, Ryan is an educator and motivational speaker who inspires people to live a life of purpose and happiness. RVP has been recognized globally for his excellent musicianship in major magazines such as Modern Drummer, Rhythm, and others. His accolades and endorsements are too many to list here. Recently Ryan formed Imonolith with Brian Waddell of Devin Townsend’s Project and has been the primary businessman in the band.
Ryan points out that heavier music is often negative leaning and his strives to promote more positivity through all that he does.
Ryan was taught from a young age to look at the positives in all the negatives.
Taking “calculated risks” has been an important practice for Ryan. He has taken huge pay cuts to do what he loves. His new band Imonolith is one in which he is a full writing member and is akin to a business start up where there is no certainty, but there is an adventure.
Ryan says he is very happy with what he is doing and that is more important fundamentally than temporary financial fluctuations.
Ryan shares that if you always shoot high, at times you will land a bit short of that, and other times you even surpass your goal, but either way you will achieve far more than you would if you had been thinking small. He is not living with any “what-If’s”
Ryan basis his success on his happiness level and by his estimation, he is doing pretty well.
Ryan shared his “9 Steps to Living a Life of Purpose” which can be downloaded here for free. they are as follows:
Believe in Yourself
Enjoy The Journey
The three things that Ryan points out are the recipe to success are to believe in yourself, take action and never quit. If distilled down to just one, it would be just take action.
Ryan discusses that breaking your goals down into bite-size steps is the key to making any goal possible. He applies this to teaching his students as well.
Ryan fills three quarters of his cart with produce when he shops. He tries to consistently put good things in his body. He does believe in indulging when appropriate though, such as holidays and when traveling to experience the joy of life. He feels deserving of letting go since he is usually on point with his diet and fitness. He believes diet is more important than any other aspect of health.
He eats in a balanced way and emphasis that carbs are important and shouldn’t be demonized. Being a drummer, he can really use the fuel.
On the tour rider, Ryan always requests fresh produce and unsalted mixed nuts. He has bananas before going out on stage for the potassium and fast energy. When he needs to buy food out, he chooses a restaurant with healthy options.
At home Ryan love his coffee and even has 2-3 cups daily. He also loves grapefruits, crackers with peanut butter, protein shakes, and smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables. He eats lots of fish for his protein.
Ryan is a big fan of beer and loves to try new ones when he travels. He doesn’t even drink for getting drunk, he just drinks for the flavor. Moderation is key for him.
After a back accident, Ryan gained 50 lbs over the subsequent years. His doctor gave him the simple advice of “calories in equals calories out” and with that, he dropped all of the excess weight in a few four and a half months. These days he uses MyFitnessPal for counting his calories.
Ryan works out in a 5 day split with one body part per day. He splits it up into chest, legs, arms, back and shoulders. He focuses on heavier weight and lighter reps to build strength. He also does HIIT cardio for 30 minutes three times a week. He shared that steady-state cardio burns some muscle so he avoids it. He takes weekends off. Ryan’s workouts seldom exceed 40 minutes. He stresses that he always cools down, warms up and stretches. He raves that this does wonders for his performance in drumming. Devin sometimes has the band soundcheck the entire three hour set, so he needs to have serious stamina.
Aside from gym workouts, Ryan also enjoys playing sports such as tennis, hockey, and jui jitsu as well as hiking and other nature activities.
When touring, Ryan loves to wake up early on the bus, go out and explore the city he is in. He loves photography and invested in a nice dSLR camera and captures many moments that he can look back at later. To get some exercise in on the road, he tries to find a gym, but usually has exercise bands with him.
Ryan points out that keeping a healthy diet on tour has prevented him from getting sick, even when everyone else had filled ill.
For supplementation, Ryan just takes vitamin C since his diet rich in nutrients.
Ryan shares is “Four Fives” method to goal setting. You set goals for every 5 days, 5 weeks, and 5 months for your 5 year plan. The idea is to take a daunting goal and break it down into tiny, easily achievable steps.
For productivity, Ryan is always taking notes, following to-do lists and puts things into his calendar. He juggles a lot of things but claims it is controlled chaos.
Taking breaks is important for Ryan. He likes to do small getaways often and periodically go on longer trips so that he can fully rest and rejuvenate in order to come back even better. He believes you will live the best life ever if you load it up with wonderful experiences.
Do what you do and love what you do is another bit that Ryan lives by. He enjoys all the little things. He says you will work that much harder at things you are passionate about.
In Imonolith, Ryan is the guy in the band who is more business oriented and helps the band in that way. The band functions democratically and everyone gets to vote on decisions so no one gets bitter. One thing that has helped the band is having an external successful producer whom the final decisions lie with. This way the band won’t get bitter about some member getting their way at the expense of another.
Ryan spoke on the importance of engaging with your following, whom are the very reason you are able to make a career in this industry. He does his best to really be there for fans who want to meet him and interact with him online. He says treat your fans like your friends, he prefers to call them supporters.
For marketing, Ryan is planning contests and giveaways to promote Imonolith’s debut record. He ultimately believes the best value he can provide the fans is by directly engaging with them via live streams where he answers questions directly and in other ways as well.
Ryan already achieved his main goal of making a living off of music, and in the future wants to able to retire from music as well.
In closing, Ryan said that the music industry is really what you make it. He basically said you should take all of the action available and really maximize your chances of succeeding. He says you should only be competing with your former self. He continues, “Be the best version of yourself, and you will always have the best chance of succeeding.”