Super City in the Super City
This band comes from the wonderful city of Baltimore, MD, my own hometown. Dan and Greg met in highschool biology class, and the rest of the band slowly trickled in, forming one dancey group of guys, five to be exact, Dan Ryan on vocals and guitar, Greg Wellham on vocals and guitar, Jon Birkholz on keys, guitar, and vocals, Brian Brunsman on bass and vocals, Ian Viera on drums and vocals. They have released two albums with massive popularity, one of their songs has over a million plays on Spotify. They quickly started gaining lots of recognition in the Baltimore area, booking shows at The Ottobar, The Metro Gallery, and The Windup Space.
This band has had pretty creative ways of booking shows as well. In our interview with them, which only six minutes recorded, (I blame apple and their crappy storage) they described a last resort tactic they have for getting a venues attention, and it allegedly has an 80% success rate. I can’t remember if it has an exact name, but I’ll just call it, The Meryl Effect. The band sends a fourth or fifth follow up email with a video montage of Meryl Streep's best acting moments. And more often than not, it got the band booked at a few spaces. I don’t think that every band needs to start doing this, but connecting on a personal level with them in some way could help you book a band.
Lightning and thunder was cracking down all around us, and it started to pour. It was quite funny when everyone’s phones started to go off with a flash flood warning, and Sam Gallant, the show host for WTMD radio station, crashed the interview to get out of the rain.
I asked the band a few more questions, one asking them to describe what Baltimore is like as a music city. Jon took the lead on this question, and described it as a tight knit community that isn’t super industry focused. We then started talking about the music industry itself and what kind of advice they have for people just starting out. Jon continued, describing it as one step at a time, and to never stop going at it. Always fight for a bigger gig, always watch out for big opening slots, and never stop trying. Greg added to never fall for the scams. Plenty of people email them everyday saying “You need a manager, give us $5,000 and we will make you famous!” Stay away from the scams, everyone!!
We talked some more, and focused on memorable moments as a band. Of course, releasing all of their singles and albums was more than memorable, but their album release show for their album Sanctuary at The Ottobar was unlike anything they’d ever expected. Greg recounted taking pictures of the line being out the door, and how exciting that was for the band. A packed house for their sophomore album. These guys were so fun to talk to, and very enthusiastic. That didn't end when they hit the stage. Even though it was rained out, the band didn't disappoint. They went up on stage, sang, played, and danced in perfect unison, even though the rain was coming down hard, causing the set to end short. They still brought the thunder, in the thunder.
The band will likely be releasing a few more singles this year, and possibly an EP by the end of 2019. For now, check out their single "High" here! Keep your eyes peeled for show announcements and single announcements, because this band is not one that should go unnoticed. Happy listening!