I met Karina in 2011 when she accompanied Alex Skolnick on bass for an “UnBlock the Rock” fundraiser in Jersey City. She wasn’t even 21 yet, we had to ask for permission from the bar to let her in. Five years later, she’s touring with Marco Benevento, filling in for usual bassist Dave Dreiwitz when he’s on tour with Ween.
Rykman started playing guitar at 13, adding the bass soon after. In 8th grade, she joined her first band, “False Arrest” started by her friend Bobby just weeks after she got her first electric guitar. “I told him I only knew how to play power chords – he said that was all I needed to know.”
A skilled bass player for Shitkill until 2015, and the current guitar player for Youth Posse, Karina learned by playing with accomplished musicians or playing along to records. Her early influences include Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, but as she grew up, her tastes in music expanded greatly. “I listened to tons of punk and metal and funk and hip hop, and then got really deep into Phish and the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead in early high school. Now I’m sort of an amalgam of everything – I love the Talking Heads and I love Funkadelic, but I also pledge allegiance to the Beastie Boys and Slayer and so far beyond.”
I caught up with Rykman in her NYC apartment, in early September. An unexpected yet perfect mix of rock and roll prodigy and toy buddha, Karina exudes joy and humility. Her rhythm is zen, and her future is bright, illuminating the path to musical bliss.