Big night for the ‘New Kid’

Courtesy / West and Run

Courtesy / West and Run

Shelby Pendowski

Can you imagine spending over seventeen hours in a car with little to no sleep only to arrive to three air mattresses with an itsy-not-so-bitsy spider lurking to fulfill its maniacal purpose? This experience, along with a lobster burn from the Florida sun, began the long journey to West & Run’s new album “New Kid.”

Lead singer Ryley Grayson, an original member of West & Run, said the album is the band’s first full-length album and is the first to show its true essence. “New Kid” is also the first album for lead guitarist Ryan St. John to play alongside Grayson, drummer Jimmy Reinhardt and bass guitarist Taylor Robida—all Grand Valley State University students.

“The last band I was in…one person wrote everything,” St. John said. “One person wrote all the songs and then he brought his demos to us and we learned them. So here, Ryley came in with rhythm, Jimmy came in with the beat, Taylor figured out a baseline and then Ryley and I worked on leads. It was a lot more interactive on my part.”

West & Run took the stage at The Intersection on Sept. 6, although the four bandmates rocked and rolled while a fifth member of the team was missing.

“Matt Geroux is a great producer,” Grayson said. “That is why it says five on our album cover. On our lifeguard house there is the number five. It stands for the band and Matt Geroux, because he is the fifth member of the band for the album.”

West & Run not only spent time recording but also filming a music video for “Array.” The video features all four members doing what they do best: jamming.

All four members consider themselves a family, but each stands out with their own personality, especially at their CD release show where Grayson channelled his inner Molly Ringwald with “The Breakfast Club” style performance. The cheer of friends, family, fellow GVSU students and fans is the exact feedback St. John, Grayson, Robida and Reinhardt hoped for.

Now that the show is done, the band sets forth on the new adventure of touring. It’s already booked to play with Mike Main & the Branches, the Orphan, the Poet, American Opera and Dockside Fever on Nov. 10 at The Pyramid Scheme. Tickets are now on sale. For more information on the band or to download the new album visit or Itunes.

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