Band: Wayne Supergenius
Members: John Fritchey, guitar; Tony Melchiorre, drums and vocals; Mike Passariello, bass and vocals; Trent Peechatka, keyboard and vocals; Tony Ryder, vocals and guitar; and Sal Saunders, pedal steel
Who we talked to: Ryder
How did you guys get together? I knew (Melchiorre) and (Fritchey). They were in a band called The Pollens. (Passariello) and I were in a band called Cole. When Cole broke up, we still wanted to play, and so I called (Melchiorre) and (Fritchey) to see if they were interested. (We've been) playing together I think for about 10 years.
Where did the name come from? Wayne Supergenius is a character from a kid's Nickelodeon television show from the '90s called "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." That was a great, crazy show. Michael Stipe was on it. Iggy Pop was their neighbor's dad. It was a bizarre show.
Can you describe your sound and style? We're a rock band, but a rock band more in the classic sense. We have such eclectic tastes and a lot of different influence and I think we bring that all to the table. I think what we really end up sounding like are the band we grew up listening to . . . like a county-rock Beatles of sorts.
Who are some of your influences? We're also really influenced by the early county-rock pioneers like Gene Clark and Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman and all those people. Soul music is a huge influence. I kind of discovered (Parsons) in a backward sort of way. He had this term called cosmic American music, the fusing of country music and soul music.
Are there any other contemporary artists you guys like? I'd say Radiohead is pretty huge for us, although I don't think anyone would ever confuse us with anything like (them). We don't sound like Radiohead, but we really admire what they do. I think Wilco is (also) a pretty big influence.
What is your take on the York music scene? It's not that there aren't places to play. A lot of the bars tend to have the bigger cover bands. That's great. They found something that works for them. We tend to do a lot of opening spots for bands. That way we're able to play what we want to play. We don't have to have our set list approved by any bar owner. We play our originals. I've hear that it's difficult (to play original music) everywhere. We've played down in Austin (Texas) and have friends who say it's the exact same way down there. We have friends (in New York) that say it's the same way there. We're sort of forging our own path.
Like any local groups? We play a lot with Parallax Project and the Dan Kibler Band. (We're) all in the same boat. We've been at this for years . . . and now we are kind of creating our own scene. It's pretty exciting to see it happen. When we were younger, we would bitch and moan about the fact that there wasn't any place to play. And now, nobody really cares because we're not getting signed. (Laughs) Now we're out there doing it because we believe in what we do.
Do you have a best memory? Hands down, the best memory was playing with Dwight Yoakam (at The Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach, Del., in 2006). (He) is a songwriting hero of mine. A big highlight was having 1,000 people . . . singing back to you and accepting us.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF