The beginning of this spring semester brought lots of snow, class cancellations and the emergence of a new pop-rock singer in the University of Massachusetts student community.
That singer is 21-year-old senior communications major Brendan Ryan, who is set to play at The Collegian’s Paper Jam this Saturday.
“Earlier this semester I wanted to finally start getting my songs out there. I had played in bands and been writing songs all throughout college but never released anything official to the public,” he said.
Ryan then entered to perform in the Battle of the Bands and got in, but he needed a band to back him up. The collaboration happened the night before the event to rehearse, but, despite the short amount of time they had together, the came in third place. “Since then we’ve played some other gigs. It’s been great,” said Ryan of his experience so far.
“It was crazy. The first time we played together, it went really well. I love all the guys in the band. They’re some of the most talented guys I’ve ever met,” said bass guitarist Sean Nolan, a senior at the University of Massachusetts.
When advertising the quartet goes by the name “The Brendan Ryan Band.” Aside from Ryan and Nolan, the band is composed of sophomore lead guitarist Jake Goldman, and freshman drummer Matt “Crisco” Criscuolo.
“Formally it is ‘Brendan Ryan’ and these guys back me. But there is so much input from all of them that when we play, it’s weird not to include the full band on the bill. We hadn’t come up with anything official for it so people booking us just started advertising it as ‘The Brendan Ryan Band,’” explained Ryan.
Ryan describes the musical genre of the band as pop-rock, with an emphasis on pop. In February, Ryan released a self-written and self-recorded acoustic EP titled “Something So Amusing.” In the week of its release, the EP had been downloaded over 500 times.
Big-time names have been among those who downloaded “Something So Amusing.” The vice president of Sony Music got a hold of it. “I hope to hit the studio over the summer with a producer to lay down an official full-out EP,” Ryan said.
“Inspiration for my songs come from everywhere. I’m not ashamed to say that a lot of my songs are love songs, and many I think could be considered ‘Anthems for The Shy Guy.’ I try not to limit myself to any topics. It’s really just what’s being thrown at me in my life at the time,” he continued.
“With the band, I love playing my song, ‘My Last Straw.’ I had written it a week before the Battle of the Bands and wasn’t even used to playing it myself. But the band added so much to it. We do a pretty cool version of ‘Rock Your Body’ by Justin Timberlake [where] we feature Maddy Maggio from Kids On A Hill,” said Ryan of the variety the band enjoys experimenting with.
Ryan has big dreams for the future and is determined to make them come true.
“Music is my only plan as of now. I figure this is the age to try to make it. It’s extremely competitive but if I don’t at least try now, I’ll regret it later,” he said.
Ashley Berger can be reached at email@example.com.