Long Walk Home
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Long Walk Home

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




“We formed back in 2002 when all of us were about 15 or so, and it’s taken pretty much up to this point to come to a [place] where I think all of us are happy and comfortable with our sound,” says Long Walk Home drummer Mark Rybaltowski.

Long Walk Home has had a difficult time addressing their “sound” over the past seven years. Not unexpectedly, the band’s five members have found their musical tastes changing, and their collection of three previous albums proves it. “When you’re 14 and you haven’t been writing songs that long and you’re listening to Oasis, Nirvana and Dave Matthews Band, your influences are pretty narrow,” singer and guitarist Julian Booker says with a slight laugh. But with the upcoming release of their new album Heavy Sand , Long Walk Home has finally solidified their sound and ethos.?

“Over the past year or so, we’ve been mislabeled a lot. We seemed to continually get booked into bills with bands that don’t really fit our style,” says guitarist Kevin Ryan. With the writing and recording of Heavy Sand, he says, “It’s not necessarily shaping ourselves around what we don’t want to be, but we get to see what people might have taken us for and get to react to that and built on it and switch it around.”?

Heavy Sand encompasses the many faces of rock music: simple, catchy harmonies interspersed with climactic bridges, memorable lyrics and guitar-and-drum driven melodies. Shimmers of late-’90s indie pop, blues and funk make appearances, and every song is nuanced and modulating.?

“It’s kind of bizarre being on a bill with a bunch of pop-punk bands or straight jam bands,” Booker says. “For some reason, promoters think we’re going to fit there and every time we play, the sound guy comes up afterwards and is like, ‘How did you get this show? What the hell is going on?’” ¦?

- Philadelphia Weekly

"Interview: Long Walk Home"

Fresh off their gig last Thursday night at the North Star, Philly indie-rock quartet Long Walk Home — whose shaggy, off-kilter, occasionally explosive tunes may sometimes remind you of Pavement crossed with Crazy Horse and/or My Morning Jacket — plays the Delaware Music Festival at Dewey Beach this Friday, then concludes its North Star residency on April 22nd. We caught up with singer-guitarist Julian Booker, who talked about being an up-and-coming band in Philadelphia; how much he dislikes being compared to jam bands; and why it’s not really cool when music journalists write stuff like “whose shaggy. off-kilter, occasionally explosive tunes may sometimes remind you of Pavement crossed with Crazy Horse and/or My Morning Jacket.”

Give me three adjectives to describe your music.
Vociferous, sanguine and ashen.

If you had to choose, which is more satisfying: Writing and recording songs, or playing live?
Playing live; writing and recording songs is nerve-wracking.

Finish this sentence: “I always wanted to be in a band because…”
It’s a good excuse to make people think you are being productive.

What goes through your mind in the few minutes before you’re about to take the stage? What about the few minutes after you’re finished playing?
It depends. If we like the band who is playing before us then usually we are just enjoying their show. There is generally too much going on w/set-up and everything to think about much before we kick into the first song. After the show, which songs went well and which didn’t?

What are the pros and cons of being a band in Philadelphia?
There are a lot of bands in Philadelphia, it can be tough to make a name for yourself when folks have so much music to sift through. But also, people put time into music in Philadelphia, you have a shot to be heard, if only you try.

Which do you generally prefer: Playing in front of friends and fans who know the songs and are already into what you do, or playing in front of people who’ve never heard of you before and trying to win them over?
Playing in front of people who know your tunes is a comfortable feeling, it allows you to try things with an audience that won’t walk away, that will say “I really like what you did with that song, or, hey, I don’t think that was very good.” Either way, they are still there, and they are giving you feedback. There is always a feeling before playing a show in front of a new audience that there is no room for that, that you have to be at your best all 45 minutes, or however long your set is. I think that is fun, and it really forces you to play at your peak, I think we all enjoy that.

Who are the bands you absolutely hate being compared to?
Oh. Any jam band, I guess. We all like Phish and the Grateful Dead, etc. But I just can’t figure out why, because we occasionally play a long song or two, that somehow makes us a jam band. Pavement jammed, but I don’t think they were a jam band..then again, we are not by any means Pavement. Also, we get mid-’90s rock and crap like that a lot of the time. I loved Oasis when I was in 8th grade. I don’t think that what we do now has much to do with them.

Who are the bands you really don’t mind being compared to?
I support talking about bands in relation to one another, but it’s doing a disservice to a band to say, “X sounds like Y.” If somebody says, “Oh that progression reminds me a bit of Neil Young,” or, “That harmony reminds me of Grizzly Bear” or something, then I guess that’s pretty neat.

What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked regarding your band or your music?
“Give me three adjectives to describe your music.” Well, actually, that was a command. I don’t know, we get asked a lot of questions at our shows, most of them are probably pretty dumb.

How would you like to be remembered as a band 100 years from now?
I think we would be honored if we were remembered 100 years from now. Talk to most people on the street and they won’t remember a lot of people who were developing what would become the American music canon 100 years ago. How about 50 years? I don’t really know, we’ve been trying to form something that we are proud of for what will be seven years come May. I think that’s all we want, to be really proud of what we’re doing together and to enjoy it.

- Philadelphia Weekly

"Delaware Music Awards 2009"

March 2009 Interview with Spark Magazine

Delaware Music Awards 2009-
Best Alternative Band: Long Walk Home

The Band: Julian Booker, guitar and vocals; Pete Nellius, guitar and vocals; Kevin Ryan, guitar and vocals; Anthony Boxler, bass; Mark Rybaltowski, drums.

Congratulations on winning the 2009 Delaware Music Award for Best Alternative Band. "We're definitely surprised, especially if local bar owners voted for us. But it's great." -- Julian and Kevin

Where does this award rank on the list of your life's achievements? "Definitely No. 1 or 2 as far as what we've done as a band. Especially if there is a trophy. We haven't won a trophy since we were probably in middle school."

Where will you put the trophy? "We're thinking we might tape it to our drummer's base drum, maybe even keep it right up on stage with us. We're thinking about getting a carrying case or we might also construct a homemade mic stand out of it."

Who will get the trophy first? Will it be passed around like the Stanley Cup? "Mark our drummer will go ahead and accept that one first."

What's next for you guys? What are you currently working on? "Actually we're self-recording a new album at the moment, and we have about half the songs planned out already, a majority of which we played at the festival. We're still in the early stages of recording, but plan on having something out definitely by the fall, if not late summer."

Where can we see you playing in the meantime? "We're playing The Flash in Kennett Square on April 10, along with Diego Paulo. That'll be a good show. We've also got a residency right now at the North Star in Philly, and our last show for that is on April 22."

by Ryan Cormier
- Spark Magazine


"Heavy Sand"- 2009 LP
-"In a Red Dress, You Put Your Hand on My Shoulder"- single off "Heavy Sand"
-"Long Walk Home"- self-titled 2006 LP
-"Live Before You Die"- 2004 LP
-"The Liberation EP"- 2003



Long Walk Home is a rock and roll quintet based in Philadelphia, PA. With the release of their latest album, 2009's Heavy Sand, Long Walk Home has taken a huge leap forward in continuing a musical path that has been moving and evolving for over 7 years. With three LPs completed, and a long list of successful performances in the tri-state area, the band now looks to translate their local success to a national level.

The roots of Long Walk Home can be traced back to 2000, when guitarist/singer Julian Booker and drummer Mark Rybaltowski began playing in the basements of their childhood homes in Hockessin, DE. They soon added guitarist/vocalist Pete Nellius and bassist Anthony Boxler to the band, and played their first show as Long Walk Home in spring 2002. After two early recordings, the foursome released their self-titled LP in 2006, and shortly thereafter welcomed guitarist Kevin Ryan to the band. Since then, Long Walk Home has blended southern rock, blues, pop, and improvisation to create an electrifying live show and generate an enthusiastic fanbase in the Philadelphia region.

From headlining the Grape Street Pub on Halloween and New Year's in 2007, to a residency at The North Star Bar in 2009, to the honor of being named "Delaware's best alternative band" by Spark Magazine last spring, the band has gained considerable recognition in the area. Philadelphia Weekly's Katherine Silkaitis describes Heavy Sand as "[encompassing] the many faces of rock music: simple, catchy harmonies interspersed with climactic bridges, memorable lyrics and guitar-and-drum driven melodies...every song is nuanced and modulating." The album features for the first time keyboards by Nellius, as well as plentiful harmonies, and a raw but tight group of diverse songs. From the pop-tinged, well-harmonized "Friday Party" penned by Rybaltowski, to the southern jam-infused "April 22nd," to Booker's anthemic closing track "Anthracite Towns," Heavy Sand has solidified Long Walk's place in the cream of a blossoming music city's crop.