I read somewhere that Ryan just wanted to get out of LA for the new record, distance from the divorce. Hence the NY recording.
Here's more on the impact on the band:
'“My best friend Johnny T. [Yerington] still lives in New York and I always write my music with him. I knew that I was going to write a record about how all this stuff had happened - or a deep record - I'd gone to New York and I really felt comfortable there. So once I'd started there I just had to continue."
“In the middle of the sessions Charlie came over but the rest of my band didn't give a shit. We're not a band anymore... but not because they're 'wrong' people, there are just people that are down [for things] and some that are not. And I'm a lifer and so my thing is, we'd be on the road and two and a half weeks would open up and I'd say ‘I’m getting on a plane and going to New York, I'm going to go and make music - if anyone wants to come that'd be cool’ and they didn't really want to.... and I get that. I don't hold it against them. So I was just like, 'cool I'm gonna play all the instruments on the record then!'. Except for the song ‘Do You Still Love Me?’… that's from one week of recording with The Shining. It was the only useable track from a week and a half. We had two weeks booked with the band at Pax:Am and it just didn't work. The way we were were on the road just didn't translate on record."