Brandt Ryan has always had a love for music throughout his high school career, eventually leading him to become part of a band, The Blimps.
Ryan has had to work through a busy schedule. For the past four years he has been involved in the Debate Team, Mock Trial, Science Olympiad, Fermata Nowhere, Young Democrats, stage crew, and a lifelong member of Boy Scouts. He aims to attend Stevens Institute of Technology next year to major in electrical engineering with a minor in music technology.
Stinger: When did you start playing/being involved in The Blimps?
Ryan: I would always go over to [my friends] house and sleep over and we played Rock Band and he actually learned how to play the drums on Rock Band. That’s how he taught himself how to play. We would always talk about, “Dude, we should start a band.” I played the cello. At the time I didn’t even know how to play the bass, and I would always just think like, “Well, what’s a band instrument that I could play that is close enough to the cello,” and then I picked up the bass. So one day, Mason got a drum set, and we were like, “Wait, we could like actually start a band, I guess.”
Stinger: What is your favorite part of being in a band?
Ryan: I really like the possibilities that we’ve gotten to at this point like releasing music, getting out, and getting gigs and stuff. It’s a really unique experience that I never thought I would be able to actually do. And also just being in that group, because a lot of it’s a lot of fun to just work. We work and it’s really project based. We all were always working towards a new goal.
Stinger: How do you guys plan on moving on in the future?
Ryan: After the EP releases on the 21st [of May] we plan to release singles here and there. We might work on another EP, but we’re not sure, but we definitely want to put out a little bit more content before we go off to college. And then when we go to college, we’ve talked about it a little bit because of COVID, we’ve kind of figured out how to work at least as a recording team kind of remotely. In college we might keep releasing stuff and see what happens.
Stinger: Do you ever have trouble balancing The Blimps and school?
Ryan: Yes, so a big challenge that we’ve had to overcome is fitting all of our schedules together because we have a lot of stuff that we have to work around but we just found time. Wednesdays and Sundays pretty much just work for us and we just found that time to dedicate to The Blimps. I treat The Blimps as if I’m doing a sport. You’ve got to practice, you’ve got to show up to practice, you’ve got to put in the work outside of practice sometimes. If you treat it with that kind of dedication, it’s not too hard because it’s just like another activity.
Stinger: How long have you been in Boy Scouts?
Ryan: Well, I joined Cub Scouts when I was in first grade. Boy Scouts and the crossover is in fifth grade. So, yeah, it’s been a while. And I got Eagle on Dec. 7 I believe.
Stinger: What did you do for your Eagle project?
Ryan: I built a welcome sign for a nature preserve called the Fulmer Tract Nature Preserve, and then I built bee houses around the nature preserve to attract Mason bees that are good for flowers and stuff, and I planted bee friendly flowers around the welcome sign.
Stinger: Any advice for underclassmen?
Ryan: I’d say just take every opportunity that you can. I’m really glad that I just took every chance that I had to try everything that I could because high school is the time to find what you like and figure some stuff out. If you want to try something and then you end up not liking it, you know that this is the time to do it. Yeah, so be an opportunist.
Stinger: How have you changed since freshman year?
Ryan: I feel like I’ve kind of just grown into the things that I like more. When I went into high school I knew a few things that I liked. I knew I liked music but I didn’t know particularly what I liked about it. I feel like I’ve refined my interests. Maybe I’m not as hyper too, I don’t know.
Stinger: What are you most excited for about post-high school life?
Ryan: I like the autonomy of it. I think that’s exciting to me, just being able to just completely venture forth into the world and, you know, [have] new opportunities. I don’t mind change. I kind of like a change every once in a while, so I’m interested to see where college takes me.