Flagstaff four-piece Flight of Ryan have just fastened their seatbelts, stowed their tray tables, and taken off on the mission to establish a following in Phoenix and beyond.
Though drummer Anthony Wallace, bassist Danny Pabst, and guitarist Colin Bresnahan went to high school together, the band didn’t form until they met vocalist Sam Voas while attending Northern Arizona University.
“Up to that point, we had no one who could sing at all,” Wallace says.
Even with a lead singer, they initially didn't discuss the possibility of starting an official group.
“We never talked about what we wanted to do, we just met and started [playing together] and it all felt very natural,” Voas says.
Eventually, Flight of Ryan formed. As for the band’s name, Wallace, Pabst, and Bresnahan tell a story about a high school friend’s pet parakeet who escaped and never returned.
“One day, a door opened, and it just flew out,” Voas says. “It was Ryan’s flight.”
The band released debut album From Cocoon last month, a half-hour collection of bouncy electronic tracks — perhaps you heard album opener “The Twilight” after seeing it on this list—and dreamier, more ethereal cuts like “Do or Die.”
“Now that it’s done, we want to spend the next year getting it out,” says Wallace, though he noted the band’s ultimate goal is that their music reaches as many people as possible.
“We want to get the music on the album, on TV, and in movies," he says.
Flight of Ryan’s sound is much like their formation: unplanned. The members cite the commonality of lifelong musical surroundings.
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“We leave it up to the listeners to design what it sounds like, but there’s nothing that we’re going for,” Wallace says.
They’ll have the chance to meet those listeners on the tour they’re planning for this coming December and the five-day “mini tours” that are also on the agenda. However, before hitting the road, the band will stop here in the Valley at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale on Saturday, June 13.
So put four best friends and instruments into a room and let them create, and you’ll get Flight of Ryan: an electronic indie rock project aiming to fly the coop.
And to think it all started with a parakeet.