Book Release - "Whale" by Matthew Ratzlaff

Heatwave Radio recently recorded the book release event of Whale: The Oral History of Canadian Drumming Prodigy Ryan Loerke. Due to technical difficulties we are unable to share the entire event, but we’ve included some details from the event below.

Interested in picking up a copy of the book? It’s available at Mosaic Books and at

Matthew Ratzlaff grew up in Kelowna during the heyday of the local music scene during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was an avid concertgoer and friends with many of the musicians, especially Ryan Loerke. During his undergraduate psychology degree at UBC, Matthew joined the team at the universities student newspaper, where he was a writer, interviewer, and photographer for articles on topics such as local rock concerts and social issues. He also completed courses in freelance journalism and creative non-fiction. During medical school, Matthew self-published an interview-style book through Lulu Press called The Width of a Piece of Paper: A young man's experience as a care aid for people with mental disabilities.

Since 2014, Matthew has relocated to Winnipeg to pursue postgraduate training in psychiatry through the University of Manitoba, where he has received hundreds of hours of formal training and practice in interviewing techniques for psychotherapy. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Emily and cat Georgie.

Ryan Loerke has called Kelowna home since 1990, and has been an avid drummer for over 20 years. Since 2001, he has been a member of over a dozen local bands in a diverse range of genres, such as pop punk, post hardcore, folk rock, instrumental post rock, and hardcore punk, and has been involved with over 15 album recordings for his drumming, synth, and electronic sampling.

At the young age of 18, Ryan became a professional drummer when recruited to Kelowna's major label-signed rock band Stutterfly. Over the years, Ryan's bands have toured extensively in North America and overseas, including the Vans Warped Tour in the US and the Loud Park Festival in Japan. His bands have been signed with major American labels including Maverick Records with Stutterfly, and Tooth and Nail Records with Secret & Whisper, and sold tens of thousands of records internationally. His songs and music videos have been played on North American TV and radio stations and have been featured in the soundtracks of American shows and movies. He has performed at hundreds of local shows over the years, including local music festivals such as Wakefest, Center of Gravity, Parks Alive, and the Red Bull Tour Bus Show.

Ryan lives in Kelowna with his wife Rebecca and dogs Bobby and Howard.

Listen to Ryan’s drumming below!