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The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


"...Until We Fall..." - released January 2003
"Sexless" received airplay on WLZX 99.3 out of Northampton, MA. Various tracks from "...Until We Fall..." received airplay on WCCH 103.5 out of Holyoke, MA.


Feeling a bit camera shy


"Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, RISE is gonna kick some ass!" Truer words couldn't have been spoken about this hard rock band emanating from Western MA. RISE has seen its share of ups and downs, its successes and failures. The mark of a true survivor though, is getting up again after you've been knocked down. RISE has been knocked down, but they are on their feet again and fighting back with a vengeance.

The first incarnation of RISE that the public came to know consisted of Tony Cruz on bass, Brian Quinn and Mike Oberly on guitar, John McDonald on drums, and Matt Despard on vocals. It was with this lineup that they recorded the 2002 album, "...Until We Fall". Local journalist, Donnie Moorhouse, called the release, "...a model for what local bands can produce. A major label could pick this up and release it as is." RISE played only a handful of shows after the release of that album before McDonald decided that he could no longer play with the band due to personal reasons.

Two months of searching, and growing restless for more stage time, RISE finally found Jason Mastorakis to replace McDonald in June of 2003. It was Mastorakis' efforts and networking that led to an abundance of shows. It was with this lineup that RISE played New England's LOCOBAZOOKA - United We Rock! The last weekend of Spetember 2003 saw 30,000 music lovers descend on the Fitchburg, MA airport to see over 50 bands on four stages. It was an experience that everyone in the band still looks back on today and enjoys.

However, less than a year later, disagreements within the band about the direction that should be taken led to the departure of Mastorakis and Despard. Most bands can recover from the loss of a drummer. In fact, RISE already proved that they could. It is much harder to recover from the loss of a singer, especially since thier voice tends to be associated with that band.

A few months after the departure of Mastorakis, Matt Raymond started playing with RISE as a fill-in drummer. This came after the breakup of his own band, Nitronine, a band that RISE had played with on many occasions. While Raymond was filling-in, a succession of singers had passed through the band. Most didn't last very long. Only one made it to the point to play a show, on April 1st, 2005. He didn't stick around much longer after that. Raymond left soon after as well to pursue his own project.

During this downtime, the remaining members of RISE, Cruz, Quinn and Oberly, spent that time writing more material. They used the time to grow as musicians. Oberly even began learning the engineering side of the business, working with Dave Pine of Pine Trax in Holyoke, MA. Just when the prospect of finding new members was becoming bleak, September of 2005 brought the audition of Joe Walsh on drums. Like all auditions, RISE had him play to a crowd pleaser, Casting. The energy that was infused in the performance convinced the guys in RISE to offer him the job on the spot. With that position filled, RISE was renewed in their quest for a full band. Hoping that they would not have to wait long for a singer to appear, thier wishes were answered in November.

Another alum of Nitronine, Tom Connery got word to RISE that he was interested in getting back into the game. Wasting no time in bringing him in for an audition, RISE was not disappointed. However, Connery did not want to fall into the same problems that he had with his previous band, so he was hesitant to agree to join right away. After about a week of working together, and realizing that they were all on the same page with regards to the direction of the band, Connery became a full member of the band. RISE was complete once again.

Wasting no time in getting down to business, RISE began working on new songs to showcase the new sound and eneergy of the band. Just three short months after Connery joined the band, they began recording the follow-up to "...Until We Fall" at Pine Trax in Holyoke, this time with Oberly handling the bulk of the engineering duties.

They have also returned to the stage, playing the Cabot St Pub in Chicopee, MA as well as Geraldine's in West Springfield, MA. However, the highlight came in March when they opened for the band, RA, at the Pearl St Nightclub in Northampton, MA. Pouring every ounce of energy they had into thier performance, they won over the crowd and left them wanting more. If that show is any indication of what is in store for RISE, they have a very bright future ahead of them.