Dryland: For the music, for the band
Published in the January 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine
by TOMMY CALDERON
At first glance, Bellingham’s Dryland is a heavy sludgy rock band that released an EP and have been playing shows over the past year, but when you take a closer look it quickly becomes apparent they’re a super group of Bellingham’s musical past.
To keep it short, the members’ history is some parts Black Eyes and Neckties, The Cathoholix, Totalizer, Leatherhorn, Baltic Cousins, Rookery, The Mark and many more; needless to say, they have some experience.
Dryland began when guitarist and founding member Ryan Clapper had a handful of unused guitar riffs and decided to put them to work, he said. Clapper got in touch with a few friends to get the ball rolling and recruited Luke Greer on drums, Hollie Huthman on bass, and Bradley Lockhart on vocals. Most recently the band has also added Luke’s brother, Ryan Greer, to play guitar.
Dryland’s success up until this point is a result of each member’s continued love of playing music, they said.
“Music is just part of our lives and by this point it’s just something we’ll do forever,” Lockhart said. “Even practice is fun, we look forward to stepping into a room and taking a step out of normal life.”
Creating the band has brought more than music into their lives as well, Huthman added.
“The relationship with bandmates is so different than any other in my life,” she said. “There’s this familial feeling that has come along with being in this band.”
Their history and gained musical ability up until this point has been part of what makes the band highly functional, Huthman said.
“We’re a little more experienced in how to be a successful band,” she said. “We have a graphic designer (Lockhart), we have me who knows how to promote stuff, and on top of that most everyone has been playing music together since they were teenagers.”
When it comes to the music, Dryland’s music is a departure from what these musicians have been used to writing, Clapper said.
While the music is heavy it’s the most mid-tempo these musicians have ever written and played, Lockhart said.
“When we first started, we didn’t really know what kind of band we would be but after writing our first song “Secondhand Smoke,” and few others, we found our sound,” Clapper said.
Huthman addressed the change by stating, “It seems to be a trend with people that play heavy music as they get older; it gets slower, more simple and maybe more effective.”
This newer style of writing caused the band to focus more on the music and the feeling they put behind it, emphasizing they play less notes and play them longer, Lockhart said.
While the writing is a collaborative effort for the band, it is usually spearheaded by Clapper with musical parts and Lockhart’s lyrics.
Lockhart’s writing has also been a departure from the norm for him, he said.
“A lot of previous writing for other bands I’ve done has been more personal, but Dryland lyrics have been almost completely fiction,” he said.
Inspiration behind a lot of their lyrics ranges from Greek Mythology, literature, movies and even phrases Lockhart hears, he said. For example the song “Tradewind” was built off of Lockhart being told to “Keep my rats in your prayers,” by someone he met at work.
“She was very serious when she told me but she had no idea that she had told me one of the most metal things I’ve ever heard and of course I wrote it down right there,” he said.
Dryland plans to play a lot more in 2016 along with releasing a full length album, the band said.
When reflecting on the past year , Lockhart said, “I feel like the people that are into our music aren’t necessarily people that have been into music that we have written in other bands and it’s been exciting to see.”
LIVE SHOW: See Dryland perform Jan. 23 at the What’s Up! Awards Show at the Wild Buffalo. For more about the band, follow them on Facebook or see drylandheavyband.bandcamp.com.