I don’t know what else to say. W. Cryderman’s new album, Grande Masterpiece is strait up awesome. Before the album debuted on July 3rd, I had already put “Gimme a Scare” into my personal list of favs. To say I was interested in checking out the rest of the 10 song LP would be a bit of an understatement. Down right excited would be more appropriate. Take a listen to Grande Masterpiece. By the time you get to the end, you won’t be disappointed.
Listen to the full album on Bandcamp.
Start with some blistering guitars and gutsy vocals, throw in some organic keys and then stir it up with some drum and bass to make it stick to that illustrious pocket and the end result is W. Cryderman. Their creation is a “salt of the earth” sound of harmonious dissonance called Grande Masterpiece. And from its very first note, that sound of genius people like Jack Nitzsche and Bruce Botnick crafted back when the world was…well still a crazy place, fills you like an old familiar friend.
Without a doubt, W. Cryderman has truly released a great album. But that should come as no surprise. The band is a super-group of sorts. It’s members; Ryan Christopher Parks and Andrew Macy (B. Hamilton), Ryan Holzer (Billy Talbot Band, Even Stills) and Raj Ojha (B. Hamilton, Once & Future Band) are quite accomplished in their individual crafts. The album also features Once & Future Band’s Joel Robinow (Backing Vocals, Organ, Piano), the exceptional singer/songwriter Desiree Cannon (Backing Vocals on “Gimme a Scare”), and the legendary Billy Talbot himself to round out the cast (Backing Vocals on “Gimme a Scare”).
There are so many various strokes of genius dripping off Grande Masterpiece. From the way it harnesses the spirit of everything that made classic rock classic, to its lyrical relevance that seems to foreshadow the insanity we currently find ourselves in. Songs like Limbs combine modern guitar melodies with 70s nostalgia; all while fusing that authenticity of lyrical relevance. Their other video single “Maybe Tomorrow” has that Dinosaur Jr. mixed with a little Mathew Sweet vibe. Two things that, frankly, I can’t get enough of ever. I could seriously go on and on, but enough of that.
I had the pleasure of a phone chat with the band’s co-founder, Ryan Holzer, during another lazy Sunday of quarantining here on the west coast. At the time, only “Maybe Tomorrow” and “Gimme a Scare” had released.
Read our Interview with Ryan Holzer
FTLOB: Recording the album…let’s start there.
Ryan H: We tried to track everything in single takes, as much as we could.
FTLOB: You mean like no scratch tracks or overdubs?
Ryan H: Yeah, we always try to keep it as live as possible, and then lay the vocals over that. Billy (Talbot) really hammered that home when we were recording his stuff. It’s all about the live recording.
FTLOB: Where do you record?
Ryan H: This one we recorded at our rehearsal space in Jack London Square.
FTLOB: Oh, nice. Is the space always set to record?
Ryan H: No, but Raj was recording some tracks for Once & Future Band. We all share the space so it’s kind of like, once the mics went up, we all went into studio mode for awhile. It got a little tricky with all the gear…and some times it wasn’t ideal with all the scheduling, but ultimately it was a really great experience. Ryan, Andrew and Raj are all in B. Hamilton and so Raj basically recorded all three albums.
FTLOB: Wow, sounds like he was busy.
Ryan H: Yeah, he’s a busy boy. He’s actually almost done mastering ours. Considering everything that was going on, he moved mastering from the space to his house. So he’s been doing that.
FTLOB: You’ve also got some great talent helping you out on this.
Ryan H: Yeah, Desiree Cannon sings some on Gimme a Scare.
FTLOB: She is really great. And then Billy Talbot, who you also play with sings some too.
Ryan H: Yeah, I actually met Billy through MySpace. We didn’t live that far apart from each other at the time, so we decided to met up. I guess we’ve been playing together for about 10 years now.
FTLOB: As far as W. Cryderman, are you guys thinking about new stuff? Have you even been able to collaborate?
Ryan H: Not really no. It’s a little weird to think about doing much of anything right now. Especially since we haven’t been able to practice. Some bands are fortunate because they were already living together before all this started. Nothing really changed much for them in that way. But for us, it’s like if someone said “come play on Saturday”, it might be kind of ugly. At the same time, the music’s there and we want to share it.
FTLOB: So, what have you been doing in the mean time?
Luckily, the guy that I collaborate with on music videos lives in my building. We actually share a yard, so I see him a lot. Our dogs are best buds. We’ve made a couple of videos and have some more in the works. But really, I’m looking forward to the day we can start playing again.
We are too Ryan!
Check out more W. Cryderman on
Find Maybe Tomorrow on our New Indie Music playlist!