Ryan Olson: music mafioso?

MPR’s Chris Roberts recently profiled the band Polica, which has been steadily gaining local acclaim.

But the most interesting character in the story by far was not the lead singer, or the guitarist, or the drummer… it was the producer, Ryan Olson.

The wizard behind the band, Ryan Olson, might be the most eccentric — and disheveled-looking — impresario in the local music scene. Ensconced in a dingy third-floor Minneapolis bedroom studio surrounded by computers and assorted musical gadgetry, and air thick with cigarette smoke, he only agreed to talk about the band if he wasn’t photographed, and if he could digitally disguise his voice. “That’s the way I’m just going to be represented on the radio,” he insists, sounding like a Mafioso in witness protection thanks to the digital processing. “I just don’t want to be on the radio.”

Over the years, Olson has been the creative force behind some of the Twin Cities’ most striking and influential bands, from the eerie electronica of Digitata, to the 25-member, 80s pop-inspired Gayngs. But Poliça might be his most fully realized creation to date — and he’s not even a member.

You can read more about Olson, and his role in molding the band’s sound here. Or you can listen to the story by clicking on the link below:

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