Martin Rybak
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Martin Rybak

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Aspiring musicians -- it is difficult to imagine a college without them, especially when a person is fortunate enough to hear the ones possessed by tremendous talent. Such is the case with the duo Martin Rybak (CGSOM '06) and Tyler Bates (CSOM '07), of the band Martin and Bates.

Often joined by their fellow band members Eric Landers (BC CSOM '05) and Aaron Connor (BU Law '06), Martin and Tyler have played in numerous venues on and off campus. Last week, they performed at the MTV Campus invasion at Providence College. At BC, they have made appearances at Lower Live, The Dustbowl and most recently, last Friday, at The Perch.

Martin describes himself as a singer and songwriter, and excels as both. His song, "Around Corners," perhaps one of his best, sounds like something a person might hear on a popular radio station.

During their performances, Martin, on the acoustic guitar, provides the vocals, while Tyler, on the electric guitar, provides the amazing solos between the choruses. The songs they play are reminiscent of those played by artists Howie Day and John Mayer, two of the musicians that Martin describes as influences for his music.

He sometimes discusses the inspirations for his compositions between songs. For example, he says that "Save Myself" is based on the timely breakup of a relationship, and that "Float" is about adjusting to life after college. The background he gives for his songs helps give the audience a greater understanding of the music, essentially bringing his work to life.

Yet, not all of a musical performance is about the music. Part of what makes a performance great is having a sense of the crowd and relating to them in some fashion, often through life experiences. Performers who have mastered this art can create off a truly amazing experience.

Through funny stories and amusing commentary, Martin manages to bring his audience into the show. His energy and enthusiasm help ensure that the fans aren't just hearing great music, but are having a great time.

His next performances will be on April 28th, at 4:30 p.m. in Gasson Hall at the Arts Festival and at 9 p.m. in The Rat at the Music Guild Battle of the Bands. If you haven't had the opportunity to see him live, make sure you go see one of his upcoming performances.

If you would like to listen to his music, go to www.martinrybak.com. On his website he features the songs he has written, upcoming shows, a short bio and a mailing list signup.

Full Story:
http://www.thebcobserver.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=650&IssueID=18 - The Observer at Boston College


The annual Beanpot tournament generally calls to mind images of the TD Banknorth Garden and rowdy hockey fans. At the Paradise Rock Club on Thursday at 7 p.m., the "Beanpot" was different; a Battle of the Bands final whose competitors included bands from the four Beanpot schools. These bands were Martin Rybak of Boston College, Eighty-Six of Boston University, Blanks of Harvard College, and Project 1.9 of Northeastern University.

BC's own Martin Rybak, CGSOM '06, walked away with the victory. Qdoba Mexican Grill, the competition's sponsor, will thus sell Martin Rybak's CD at their establishments and do promotional work for the band, possibly including radio play. "Battle of the Beanpot Bands" accented the Rice & Beanpot, a burrito-eating contest that benefits the Cam Neely Foundation, a Boston non-profit organization that provides support to cancer patients and families. Qdoba hopes to make the Battle of the Bands the event's future primary focus.

"The bands played about three or four songs each, a 15-20 minute set. We played 'Around Corners,' 'Float,' 'My Own Decision,' and a cover of Billy Joel's 'You May Be Right,'" said Rybak. "The burrito competition rounds were held between each band's performance; voting took place at the end where crowds would cheer for their favorites. I was blown out of the water when it was clear that our band won; it was a humbling experience."

Another benefit of winning includes Rybak's interaction with the NEMO Music Festival, a major networking opportunity for upcoming bands to promote new music. This is a great prospect for Rybak, who has been performing since high school at various gigs, parties, and hotels. While at BC, Rybak's association with Tyler Bates, CSOM '07, led to an acoustic pop-rock duo project. Rybak covered rhythm guitar and lead vocals, while Bates played lead guitar and backup vocals. With the addition of Eric Landers, BC '05, on drums, and Aaron Connor, BU Law '06, on bass, the Martin Rybak band was ready to tackle performances. These included festivals, acoustic open-mic gigs at Lower Live and the Perch at McElroy (now the Chocolate Bar), and their most prestigious performance: the MTV Campus Invasion at Providence College where they opened for Razorlight and Muse.

The band's style is acoustic pop-rock with diverse rhythms and lyrics. "My musical influences have two driving forces: I learned piano, moving melodies, and the importance of lyrics from Billy Joel. Lively rhythms I owe to the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Howie Day, and Vertical Horizon," said Rybak. Other influences and covers include Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, John Mayer, Guster, Duncan Sheik, U2, The Push Stars, and Kotter.

Heavily audience-based, Rybak values enthusiasm and cares about creating crowd-pleasing music that is not pretentious. "To me, that is the best part of a performance: the audience's reaction. Looking into the many eyes of the audience and realizing that they are happy because of your contribution is an amazing experience. I didn't have to get out and perform this song, but because I did, it has such a positive effect," said Rybak.

Rybak has recently relocated to the New York area, where the band continues to book shows in addition to Boston gigs. For more information about Rybak, check out his Web site at www.martinrybak.com. You can there sign up for his mailing list and listen to his music. With his 2002 CD Live in O'Connell House. BC students can support this talented artist - the Beanpot Battle of the Bands champion!

http://www.bcheights.com/news/2006/02/16/TheScene/Martin.Rybak.And.Company.Reign.Supreme.In.Beanpot-1615105.shtml - The Heights of Boston College


Discography

Best Placed Days EP (2008)
1. My Own Decision
2. Around Corners
3. Back To Free
4. Float

Best Placed Days (2008)
1. Back To Free
2. Around Corners
3. Colors
4. My Own Decision
5. Float
6. Another Guilty
7. Shannon Sound
8. Save Myself
9. Matter Of Time
10. Better Self
11. Summer Song
12. Live For The Day

Live At The Paradise (2006)
1. Around Corners
2. You May Be Right
3. Float
4. My Own Decision

Live In O'Connell House (2002)
1. Around Corners
2. Save Myself
3. My Own Decision
4. Matter Of Time
5. Keep Me In
6. Children For A Second
7. The Chris Foley Song
8. The Mikhail Song
9. Crush
10. Piano Man

Demos
Another Guilty
Around Corners
Back To Free
Better Self
Children For A Second
Colors
Float
Live For The Day
Matter Of Time
My Own Decision
Save Myself
Shannon Sound
Summer Song

Photos

Bio

Martin Rybak is a New York pop-rock artist who has been performing at colleges, clubs, and parties in the Northeast since 1998. His band has performed in numerous prestigious festivals, including the MTV Campus Invasion and the Boston Beanpot Battle of the Bands.

Martin's style is lively acoustic pop-rock on piano and guitar, an adult-contemporary mix between Billy Joel and Dave Matthews. With deep grooves, strong melodies, rich harmonies, and original lyrics, his songs are approachable, yet complex. His live performances are always full of energy, with audience involvement and humor.

Some of Martin's musical influences include John Mayer, Pat McGee Band, Jason Mraz, Howie Day, Ari Hest, Guster, Counting Crows, Barenaked Ladies, Duncan Sheik, Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, U2, The Push Stars, Vertical Horizon, The Wallflowers, The Spin Doctors, Matchbox Twenty, Dishwalla, and Kotter.

From a very young age, Martin was always fascinated by music, language, and sound. With his old-school Casio keyboard, he learned to deconstruct and mimic the music he heard around him. It was in high school that Martin became captivated by the sounds of Billy Joel. He learned to play nearly all of his songs, which taught him popular music techniques. At that point Martin began to compose and perform his first complete lyrical works. When he broke his leg in a fateful accident, he was able to spend time discovering the guitar. The rhythmic nature of the instrument opened up new songwriting possibilities.

Throughout his years at Boston College, Martin composed many acoustic guitar-driven songs inspired by the infectious grooves of the Dave Matthews Band. His first band, Greenspan, was a piano-based trio with Tim Dube on guitar and Andrew Friedman on drums. Soon afterwards Martin began playing guitar as a solo artist. In 2004 he started performing larger shows with lead guitarist Tyler Bates, and later bassist Aaron Connor and drummer Eric Landers. In 2005 the group played at the MTV Campus Invasion in Providence, RI where they opened for Razorlight and Muse. In 2006 Martin was selected to represent Boston College at the First Annual Beanpot Battle of the Bands in Boston, which they won.

After moving back to the New York area, Martin began working on his full-length debut studio album. Teaming up with producer Dan McLoughlin (Bosstones, Weezer, Fastball), and acclaimed guitarist Eran Phillips, Martin set out to truly capture his signature sound. Martin was thrilled to be able to invite artists Chris Trapper (The Push Stars) and Ari Hest to add their unique vocal performances to the record.

The album, entitled "Best Placed Days," is a mix of guitar and piano songs that span Martin's songwriting history. The themes are unique and diverse, the music fresh and interesting, and the lyrics honest and natural. The styles range from college grunge to Irish folk to piano ballad, but beneath them all is a common theme: we are all living our "best placed days," whether we know it or not.