Bassist Spotlight: Ryan Storey (Consequences, Love & Trust, Ceiling, LDB Fest)

Photo: Morgan Newell

Ryan Storey is one of the most humble, and talented people I've met since I moved back to Louisville from NYC. He plays in multiple bands, is a co-founder of LDB Fest, books crazy local shows, and owns Never Fade Screen Printing. He does all of this while he also runs a screen printing company. The trend in these interviews is continuing. Talented, hook writing, bass players sometimes embracing their art, and also saying they think they could be better musicians.

I didn't realize how much all of these musicians' journeys would resonate so deeply with me, but wow can I relate. Be it, family, friends, music, art, work, these stories are amazing. Ryan works really hard for our Louisville community, and you need to check out his story.  

Please introduce yourself to everyone.

Sup everyone, I’m Ryan Storey. I currently live in the great city of Louisville, located in Kentucky. 

What do you love more LDB Fest, playing bass, or screen printing?

LDB Fest (previously MWB Fest) has been a huge passion of mine ever since the idea sparked in my head in 2013. I love playing music and printing, but the fest and booking shows in general is what I love most out of the three. 

Do you play other instruments?

I bought a guitar and bass in the same month last summer and have been practicing both pretty regularly. 

Can you sing and play at the same time?

I’ve honestly never tried, I imagine with some practice I most likely could.

Did/does your family support your music/art?

I talk to my dad maybe twice a year, he knows my involvement in music as far as booking and what not and thinks its awesome but more than likely has no idea I play in bands. He lives on the other side of the country so we aren’t that close. Growing up, my mom never cared about my involvement in hardcore and saw it as a waste of time in my opinion. It’s not like that so much now but I distance myself from her pretty often. I wouldn’t really call her a supportive mother towards me, to be honest. She has been to the fest, I think, twice in the earlier years but has never seen a single band I’ve played in. More than likely, she has no idea that I play guitar or bass.

How do you write your parts for your bands?
Any music I’ve helped write has always been kind of a full band practice, and just messing around. I’m still pretty new at writing music and playing bass/guitar in general. 

What are you playing more of upstrokes or downstrokes? 

When I was first learning bass/guitar I was just hitting downstrokes only. But now that I’m more experienced, and have learned to feel the groove of music. I find myself doing both depending on how fast I’m playing. Generally, I’m switch picking though at this point. 

Photo: Austin Zahn

Do you record your parts on your cell, laptop, or at practice?

My phone is full of recordings but it’s all guitar riffs or full band recordings.

You went from booking shows, and screen printing to playing bass really well fast. Do you have any bassists you are drawing inspiration from?
My favorite bass players to watch perform, and not in any particular order, are:

  • D-Pain (Wicked Garden) 
  • Jake Roth (Cross Me)
  • Jeremy Holehan (Miracle Drug)
  • Caleb Murphy (Inclination)

It's got to be a lot of work for you to play music and book shows!

It’s 100 percent a lot of work and now that I play music it means twice as much equipment that I need to move around to and from shows. Luckily, I have an amazing and supportive partner who is always there to help. 

Tell everyone about the beginnings of LDB Fest.

What is now known as LDB Fest, started because I truly felt a lot of younger bands and even bands that had been grinding for a while from the Midwest were not getting the attention they deserved on a bigger platform. Every fest was just full of huge bands, reunion bands, bands that didn’t need the help. In 2013, I didn’t have a lot of out of state friends at the time. I reached out to a person I didn’t even know, had never spoken to before. I asked Alex Rhema if she wanted to do this fest with me because from what I had seen on the internet she carried the same ideals I did about hardcore and was an extremely DIY person just like me.

While yes, this fest now a days has those big headliners I was just talking against previously. We only do 2-3 each day while still booking 30-40 younger hard working current bands who, you never know, may have never been given the opportunity to play to 400-700 people especially in the Midwest. Alex and I are extremely grateful with all the support this fest has received and cannot believe how much bigger it gets every year. 

What has been your favorite fest show, and what's been your favorite local show you've booked?

It’s extremely difficult to choose a favorite year of the fest. While every year has personal memories that I cherish, more than likely I’d have to say the most recent year of LDB has been my favorite. I feel we really took a step forward as a fest this most recent year. The turnout was absolutely incredible and the lineup had so many of my favorite current bands. Not only that but I grew up on skateboarding and to have the fest at a skatepark this year was just the cherry on top.

Favorite local show… hmm. We’ve done a lot of shows so I’ll give you Top 5 with lineups.

Benefit show we did for Alex (2015)

  • Knocked Loose
  • Ill Advised 
  • Fairlane
  • Breaking Wheel
  • Nine Eyes
  • Miracle Drug
  • Sons of Southern Darkness
  • Consequences

MWB Announcement show (2015)

  • Knocked Loose
  • Damaged Goods
  • Breaking Wheel 
  • Corkscrew
  • Ill Advised
  • Nine Eyes
  • Street Rat

Adam’s Pizza gig (Indy 2013): The lineup on this isn’t incredible but it was an earlier gig of mine and the venue was like a 40 cap pizza joint and like 90 kids showed up and half the people had to watch through windows and it was just an absolutely crazy show. At one point the whole inside was a mosh pit and people were hiding in corners and behind gear. 

  • Take Offense
  • Malfuntion
  • Ill Will
  • Outsider
  • Blind Force

No Luck Records: Midwest Showcase (2015)

  • Another Mistake
  • Social Damage
  • Damaged Goods
  • Detain
  • Purgatory
  • Fairlane
  • No Victory
  • Sons of Southern Darkness

Adam’s Pizza gig (Indy 2013): This was the first time I ever booked Another Mistake. This was also basically the show were Alex and I started talking and I brought her a case of root beer. It has been almost 6 years and I still think about how fun this show was. It is weird to say, but had I not booked this show for Fairlane my life would probably be way different.

  • Another Mistake
  • Fairlane
  • Out of Hand
  • Life Like
  • Ill Will
  • Blind Force

I can't tell you how much playing with drummers like Thommy Browne, Terry Campbell, Chris Daly, Rich Edsell, and Jimmy Santigo Vela, have done for my bass playing. I lean heavily on them. Are there any drummers who are changing how you play bass?

This isn’t something I’ve really thought about yet, to be honest. I play bass in 4-5 bands with different drummers, and I will say I have learned who I play better with based on rhythm and keeping a beat.

What's your bass, amp, and pedal combo?

I play a Peavey Milestone bass, Orange Terror amp, and my pedals are a Boss Tuner, OCD, and an NS-2 which I really just use for my guitar. 

You're playing in new Louisville band called Love & Trust with my dudes, Matt Weider and Thommy Browne (Miracle Drug, Mouthpiece, By the Grace of God). Do you guys have anything coming out soon?

I love this band a lot. Completely different style of hardcore that not a lot of people are doing. Kids around here I feel don’t really get it because it’s not chug chug. Being in a band with dudes 15 years older than me is really cool to because I get to hear old stories and perspectives from people that aren’t completely jaded or stuck in the past for the most part. Jim Barron is also in the band on guitar and is great guitar play so it’s really cool to be a newer musician in a band full of dudes who’ve been playing music for a long time. Jim has been in some of my favorite local bands. We just finished up recording and have a tape coming out on Trip Machine (they’ve done some awesome stuff). We’ve been working on more new songs as well. 

If you aren't busy enough, you are also playing bass in a new band called Ceiling.

Ceiling is a 3-piece, some what of a poppy emo band. To be honest, it’s kind of hard to describe what we are going for. We just get together and write whatever we are feeling. Neriah and Kyle are my band mates and they are awesome. Ironically we are all screen printers so that bring a funny dynamic to the band. We recently put out 2 songs on Bandcamp that we recorded at the House of Wax with Cadillac. We are planning to record 5-7 more songs in August or September. 

Miracle Drug has used you for our shirts since the beginning of the band. Please give everyone information about your screen printing business.

I’ve always appreciated the business from you guys. To be honest, it has been extremely difficult for me to juggle being a promoter/handling Spinellis shows/screen printing/being in bands and trying to maintain a great relationship with Alex while also trying to keep up with my own personal hobbies and the thing that has been most effected is trying to run a business. I love printing but I’ve slowly been pulling away from it some. I almost never post about printing anymore. I’ve become pretty unreliable unfortunately and it’s a bummer. I recently got a new job and I’m trying to transition out of using printing as a main source of income in hopes that down the road it becomes more of a passion again versus something I have to do to survive.

Finally, do you have any parting words for future bass players, business owners, or show booker/promoters out there reading this?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there, and do not be afraid to reach out for help, two things I’m extremely terrible at doing. 


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Tagged: bassist spotlight, ldb fest