Their passion for music and their closeness during the COVID-19 pandemic brought the Ridgewood group together.
Ridgewood members include Matt Dauphin on bass guitar, Charlie Peters on lead guitar, Bennett Hair on drums, and Elliot Stanford on rhythm guitar and vocals. When they first started playing during the pandemic, they were all living on Ridgewood Heights Drive behind campus.
“Bennett, our drummer, technically lived across town, but he spent so many nights on our couch we just thought of him as a roommate,” Peters said. The name Ridgewood was chosen because it unified them and also appeared in their individual lives, coincidentally being the name of an old family barbecue recipe.
“’Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk and ‘The Getaway’ by Red-Hot Chili Peppers, these two albums made me interested in music and having the chance to play drums in front of people made me love music. There’s nothing quite like watching people have a good time at a pace that you’re laying down, ”Hair said.
Ridgewood began in the midst of a long-term global crisis: a pandemic, the ongoing struggle for human rights, and general unrest. Like many artists during this time of darkness and unwanted silence, they were driven by a common goal, to bring creativity and art to the face of feelings of fear and uncertainty.
“My passion for music grew out of listening to the Beatles with my parents when I was younger, and then I really started to cultivate myself when my brothers introduced me to punk rock in my early teens. For me, music has always been about telling stories and turning emotions and feelings into art, ”said Peters.
If you wanted to categorize their music, it would be easy to say that they are a garage rock band. However, each member brings so many different subgenres of rock and roll, from old blues to arena rock and everything in between. Their musical influences include FIDLAR, Green Day, Blink 182, Mom Jeans, and Remo Drive. Their setlists contain a very diverse playlist of a combination of covers and original songs.
“My passion for music began[ed] develop when I started listening to metal, grunge and punk in high school. I’ve always loved the energy and reality of heavy music, and playing music I realized that I could give that energy to anyone who wanted to listen to it, ”said Dauphin.
Ridgewood writes and performs some of their own songs, most of their original songs written by Charlie Peters or Elliot Stanford. Since each member has their own unique talent and musical preferences, Ridgewood strives to be a collaborative environment and include all members’ ideas to create a more complete sound.
In any artistic outlet, each person has their own reason for playing music or writing poetry. This is similar to why basketball players feel more comfortable with a ball in their hands and a countdown timer. “Ridgewood started out so we could do what we love. We all wanted to take this opportunity to help our generation voice their grievances, ”the group said.
“I’ve always had a fondness for music, I was in kindergarten music lessons when I was still living in Washington and my dad is a drummer, so I grew up playing his kits. I pursued music a bit in college, but I really found my place when I started entering Green Day. After listening to their entire discography relentlessly, I branched out into more seedy and filthy 1970s punk and fell in love with the west coast punk sound, ”Stanford said.
Upcoming shows include Pantana Bobs on October 29 for the Project X event, a new venue in Boone on October 30, and Barzarre on December 10 with the Beach Tub group.