Rock band ‘Ridgewood’ on being created during the pandemic and musical inspiration

Kiley Woods, Staff Writer

Their passion for making music and close proximity during the COVID-19 pandemic brought the band Ridgewood together.

The members of Ridgewood 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 started playing during the pandemic, they all lived on Ridgewood Heights Drive behind campus.

“Bennett our drummer technically lived across town, but he spent so many nights on our couch that we just considered him a roommate,” said Peters. The name Ridgewood was picked because it unified them and it came up in their individual lives too, coincidentally being the name of an old family BBQ recipe.

“‘Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk and ‘The Getaway’ by the Red-Hot Chili Peppers, those two albums made me interested in music and being blessed enough to play the drums in front of people made me love music. There is nothing like watching people have a good time to a beat you’re laying down,” said Hair.

Elliot Stanford plays guitar in the band Ridgewood. (Courtesy of Ridgewood)

Ridgewood started in the midst of a long-term global crisis: a pandemic, the ongoing fight for human rights and general uneasiness. Like many artists during this time of darkness and undesired silence they were driven together by a common goal, to put creativity and art in front of feelings of fear and uncertainty.

“My passion for music stemmed from listening to the Beatles with my parents when I was younger and then really started cultivating when my brothers introduced me to punk rock in my early teens. Music to me 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 they are a garage rock band. However, each member brings so many different sub-genres of rock ‘n’ roll to the table, 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 start[ed] to develop when I started listening to metal, grunge and punk in high school. I always loved the energy and realness of heavy music, and by playing music I realized that I could give that energy to anyone who would listen,” said Dauphin.

Ridgewood writes and performs some of their own songs, with most of their original songs written by either Charlie Peters or Elliot Stanford. Since each member has their individual talent and preferences relating to music, Ridgewood strives to be a collaborative environment and include all the members’ ideas to create a fuller sound.

The band Ridgewood performs for a crowd. (Courtesy of Ridgewood)

Within any artistic outlet, each person has their own reason for playing music or writing poetry. It’s similar to why basketball players feel most at ease with a ball in their hands and a count down. “Ridgewood started so we could do what we love. We all wanted to take this opportunity to help our generation vocalize its grievances,” said the band.

“I have always had a fondness for music, I was in kindermusic classes when I still lived in Washington and my father is a drummer, so I grew up playing his kits. I pursued music a little bit in middle school but really found my footing when I started getting into Green Day. After listening to all their discography relentlessly I branched out into seedier, grimy 1970’s punk and fell in love with the west coast punk sound,” said Stanford.

Future shows include Pantana Bobs on Oct. 29 for the Project X event, a new venue in Boone on Oct. 30 and the Barzarre on Dec. 10 with the band Beach Tub.