Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ryan the Guitarist Explains His Departure

This is going to be a pretty intense post, so I'll offer a short version and a long version.

Short version: I am no longer a member of So Many Dynamos.

Long version: A few months ago I was hit with the unfortunate realization that I no longer wanted to be in a touring rock band. I had been bummed out for a while, but there always seemed to be a hill up ahead that I could blame it on and once I climbed over it there would be sunshine. First I thought I was sad because Dynamos took so long to make our record, then because we didn't have a label yet, then because our release date kept getting further away, and then because I was stressed out over my upcoming wedding. But after I was a married man with an album out on a real record label, I was more depressed than I've ever been in my life.

I tried to keep my feelings to myself and push through, but it became harder every day. The smallest things on tour sent waves of anxiety through me; little problems like not knowing where to eat or being late for load-in became unbearable. I started taking things out on the other three guys in the band without meaning to and eventually found it impossible to hide my panic attacks from them.

At a hotel in Salt Lake City on our July tour I told the other guys that I think I need to quit the band, but no conclusions were made that evening. We never talked about it again, even though we were in a van together for three more weeks afterwards. We've never had less fun on tour.

I spent the last days of the tour trying to figure out how to make things work, to see if there was a way that I could stay home and So Many Dynamos could go out with a replacement touring guitarist. A few days after we got home, I sent an email to the guys telling them I needed some time off.

About a week later, we met at a Denny's for coffee and we all agreed that the best thing to do would be to make a clean break, have me completely out and bring in somebody else to be a full time member. They asked how I felt about Nathan Bernaix from Target Market replacing me, and I said, "I feel great about that."

I am incredibly proud of the work So Many Dynamos has done in the time I've been in the band; I still can't believe that I helped create "Search Party," "Let's Move Mountains" and "The Formula." Aaron, Griffin, and Norm are and will always be my three best dude friends, and if it weren't for them I wouldn't have been able to stay in the band this long. I am honored to have played with the bands we've played with, to befriend amazing bands like Maps and Atlases, Cinemechanica, and We Versus the Shark, and to have worked with Chris Walla, Alex Newport, and Jason Caddell. I still love making music and intend to do so for the rest of my life.

And I can't be more thrilled that Nathan Bernaix is taking my spot. He's one of my favorite people, songwriters and musicians. Nathan has been a part of So Many Dynamos since day one. In fact, we met when he came to one of our first practices where we were rehearsing "Airtight" and "This Can Be Useful in Rocketry" for our first show. I can't imagine anybody else doing justice to the job like Nathan.

An infinite number of thank yous are due to everybody who has ever seen, listened to, or cared about So Many Dynamos thus far. I am ecstatic to join the rest of the world in loving this band and being excited about its future. We've always said that our goal was to make So Many Dynamos sort of a science project, creating the band that would be our favorite if we weren't in it. Now that I am not in the band, I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that I love So Many Dynamos more than any other band on the planet.

It's been fun,
Ryan Wasoba


Christin said...

I'll miss seeing you around, buddy.

The tension between you and the other guys has been pretty palpable (yes: it has been) the last few times I've seen you all, so I can't say I'm surprised--truthfully, I've spent the last couple months fretting on whether you'd simply leave, or if the band would break up entirely, but with the distinct impression that one of the two was definitely happening. I was dearly hoping that I was reading too much into little signs. Sometimes it sucks to be right.

Your new direction is music writing and music production, right? I know I sit on a weird line between fan and friend, but for what it's worth: I make a good legacy fan. When you find or create a new band (yes: when), make sure I know. I'll be there to listen.

I'm glad the band is continuing on. It will be different without you, but there's no value judgment on that. You'd better start teaching Nathan how to pull off the tricky bits right now, though.

Take care, dear.

Tor said...


mrstuprigge said...

WOW. This was really unexpected (to me at least). It really sucks that Ryan left but at least SMD is still continuing without him.

Good luck Ryan and please keep us all updated with your future musical endeavors. And good luck So Many Dynamos. I'm sure your new member is more than qualified and I look forward to seeing what you do next!

Eoin said...

Good luck man! I always dug the energy and fun you brought to shows. Let us know about those future endeavors!

Unequal-Design is Dylan C. Lathrop said...

The time you guys came to Cheyenne and affected our little scene so positively is still one of my fondest memories. Glad that I, among many others, will have a memory like that of this band, but can forge new memories with So Many Dynamos still.

Best of luck with the future Ryan! Viva the Dynabros!

James said...

Keep reaching for that rainbow.

Scott Smith said...


The best rock n roll has to be experienced when you have the chance to experience it... I curse my age for being 10 years too late for Nirvana, Jesus Lizard, Smashing Pumpkins in the early 90's etc...

But we made our own rock n roll world that we wanted and got to experience that! Ryan, you are amazing, and the four of you will stay in my memories forever linked to this part of my life. Thanks for all the fun and awesomeness.


Anonymous said...

I think it's really admirable that you admitted your feelings instead of keeping them inside. Chances are the situation would have been much worse for everyone involved otherwise! One's happiness is all that is important in their life, no matter how 'awesome' being in a touring rock band is supposed to be. Anyway, as someone who missed that supposedly great rock 'n roll era, bands like So Many Dynamos have made me insanely glad to be a college-aged music fan in this era. I'll continue to fervently support Dynamos and I'm really looking forward to seeing what music you end up creating in the future, should you choose to share it.

shela said...

we'll all miss you ryan!

-ground zero

Samantha said...

I'm so glad I got to see you guys in KY before this happened. I'm sure very exciting things are on the way for both the band and you. We'll all be staying tuned for sure.


Jonna Mae said...


alison. said...

i had a feeling this was coming. totally sad to see you go. i hope your replacement is as enthusiastic a merch seller. all the best from me and a bunch of kids here in CT who totally dig you guys.

Police Teeth said...

Damn, dogg. Best of luck.

Nick Lucchesi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Lucchesi said...

Good luck Ryan; good luck Dynamos.

Tobias said...

Ryan, I am going to miss your presence when the boys come through town in the future for more reasons than I could name. However, it should be noted that you have always been So Many Dynamos' best blogger. Motherfuckers are going to have to step up. Sayin'.

intrpdtrvlr said...

So Many Dynamos should grab Ryan and Scott Allen from Thunderbirds Are Now! on guitar and keyboards and form an indie rock supergroup. It'd be like Blind Faith but not.

Kidding, of course, but it's kind of a cool idea.

m337m3 said...

Ryan, I connected with you most of all the band mates (Griffin, you're a close second, so SHOES TO FILL), as I'm sure was the case with many of the Dynamos' following. Now I'm going to have to get to know everyone else better!

All the immediate anguish I felt aside, I know Nathan has been a huge part of the Dynamos and I'm really excited to hear what this line-up change is going to do to the Dynamos' sound.

- Minnesota Nick

Anonymous said...