Ryley Grayson doesn’t like to get caught up in discussion about labels or musical genres. Him and his band, West & Run, just want to play the music they like and let the cards fall where they may.
Alive and kicking in one form or another for the last three years, West & Run has toiled away in the West Michigan music scene, slinging a high-energy, peppy brand of rock that many might call pop rock.
But, when you really lend a critical ear to the foursome’s latest release, New Kid, you can finally start peeling through the different dimensions to these squeaky clean rockers.
“I think we definitely (have been labeled) pop punk, especially when we started in 2010,” said Grayson, who sings and plays guitar for the band. “I wouldn’t say we’re completely changing our sound. We’re just growing up and listening to different music and have different inspirations.”
Grayson and his crew wanted New Kid, which was released on Sept. 6 of this year, to make a statement.
“We tried to make that as definitive as possible for our band,” Grayson said. “Our current lineup — we’ve only been together for about a year now.”
New Kid was the third release for West & Run, but their first full-length. They recorded at Feverbell Recording in Grand Rapids with producer Matt Geroux. The finished product was polished, shiny and possibly the band’s ticket to the next level.
The band punctuated the completion of their album with a trip down to Florida for a string of gigs to help foot the bill for the new record.
Whatever the future has in store for West & Run, they’re refreshingly patient about the whole thing.
“It takes so long to actually make it,” Grayson said. “We’re just trying to get out of state more and do more promotion.”
On Friday, West & Run will hit The Magic Stick in Detroit. They return home on Dec. 21 for special charity event at The Intersection, which also features Uncommon Road, The Love Hate, Midwest Skies and Jake Simmons from Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts.
West & Run
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Genre: Pop rock
Sounds like: The Maine, New Found Glory
Members: Ryler Grayson (vocals/guitar); James Reinhardt (drums/vocals); Ryan St. John (guitar); Taylor Robida (bass).