Backroads With Phyllis: Episode One: Dryvel

Shoe Gaze, I Love That Genre: A chitchat with Dryvel

By Nathan Ryall and Mel Says

I drink beer and rock out to Dryvel, reads the beer coozie that drummer Matt Marriott tosses our way; and we can tell without even hearing this band that we are going to like what they have to offer. And while some of the BRP crew is more familiar than most with the Lansing/Waterford pop rock outfit, others of us had no idea what the matching 1040 tattoos on past and present members meant until we had the pleasure of sitting down with these purveyors of the party.

Take a small house in a large college town. Add a rotating cast of cohabitants and couch dwellers; shake over rock and roll music and float a massive amount of high proof liquor right on top; serve with a 30 rack side car and a post thought of going to college. This is the recipe for Dryvel (Pronounced dry-vuh l). This recipe is, no doubt, one that has been time tested and proven to develop a sound that is teeming with an unheard confidence; which is very true of Dryvel. But this sound, while confident, is not always the best one and for a band to take the next step they must surpass the basement/garage party band ideal and grow it’s sound just a little more. For Dryvel, this step came with the addition of a fourth piece to their original three piece make up.

The process of this addition was not as simple as throwing a guitar in the hands of one of the many mutants who may have graced the college couches. It was the marriage of the old bassist that set in action the events that would add new bassist John Cottone, and eventually guitarist Ryan McLeod to round out the cast for Dryvel. “By the grace of God, through a Facebook message, John responded to our need for a bass player, and in my opinion gave the band new life,” said Marriott. “Bob and I were having fun being ourselves, we went on a couple little tours. But, we needed a third person, John came in, he had the vocals, and just breathed new life into the band.”

It was right near that time that their old bassist was due to be wed, and the guys wanted to do a little going away show for their comrade; but with Cottone in the mix up, front man/songwriter/axe master Bob Grupido made the decision to put a guitar in the hands of their nearly matrimonial guest of honor, giving the band a whole new dynamic. “We had such a good response, we needed to add another guitar,” said Grupido; enter friend and fellow axe man Ryan McLeod. And with the three piece sound being very hard to do well, it is easy to see why adding another layer of sound would have this reception; not to mention adding another party monster on stage is a sure fire way to add some more energy to the live show.

But that is all old news for this foursome. The horizons for Dryvel look bright, coming off the production of their first music video (which can be found on YouTube titled Dryvel- Colombo Says) the gang of mostly MSU green is planning to hit the studio hard, and recording the rest of a six song EP produced by Chuck Alkazian of Total Sound Recording, who has been associated with acts such as Trust Company and Pop Evil.

At the end of the day we all have every day jobs that we must drudge through on a Monday through Friday basis in order to uncover what mysteries the weekend has to offer. And for most of us these jobs are not the things we dreamt about as we laid in bed thinking, dreaming of greener pastures and what Wild On E’s Brooke Burke looked like under that little bathing suit after a long day of overly significant high school problems. But, when you have the ability to keep that dream alive at whatever level it really seems to make for a happy, unique, enjoyable, overly thankful and incredibly optimistic group of guys like Dryvel. And for us here at BRP, we are elated to hear what the new EP has to offer and to see what comes next for this group of miscreants who have become not only gracious test subjects, but also a bunch of dudes who we would invite over to drink a few cold ones and shoot the breeze (as long as they came prepared with all of their gear, and put on a bad ass show for us all to watch).

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