For much of the last three years The Ryan Payne Band, a four-piece Christian alternative band hailing from Chambersburg, PA, has been making a name for itself with area music lovers and, as a result, has garnered a solid fanbase. If you are a fan of indie rock, pop, alternative, or worship, The Ryan Payne Band is likely to strike your fancy quickly.
The Ryan Payne Band’s namesake, primary songwriter, acoustic guitarist, and pianist, is no stranger to music. In addition to playing guitar since age 14, Payne comes from a very musical family—his father has served in both music and youth ministry positions at various area churches while his mother keeps active in numerous choirs. At one point the Payne family even performed as a music ministry, an experience that surely shaped his life’s passion. “I think that time in my life gave me the opportunity to hone my skills,” offers Payne, “and it gave me a chance to minister through music and see its power as a mode for encouragement.” While the backing band has seen a variety of lineups, the current incarnation includes Mitch Benedict on guitars and Rhodes, Nate Shadle on bass, and Zach Myers on drums.
The RPB’s sound is familiar enough to catch your attention yet interesting enough to hold it, drawing definite comparisons to artists such as Downhere, The Fray, and Ben Folds Five. Each song strives to bring the member’s Christian worldview to life without being preachy or cliché. “I want the music we play and the lyrics we sing to encourage people in life and to challenge their perspectives,” states Payne passionately. “I want people to hear truth when we perform. I want believers to be drawn one step closer and non-believers to be interested. At the very least, I want them all to be entertained, but, admittedly, if that’s all they leave with they’ve been short-changed.”
Primarily performing solo shows for youth ministries and colleges, opportunity has been abundant for this young band. They have opened for the blossoming Alexa Joel (daughter of pop music legend Billy Joel) as well as respected crossover artists Skillet and Hawk Nelson. Additionally, the band has found itself performing alongside a variety of today’s hottest artists including Stellar Kart, DecembeRadio, and John Reuben. The band has recently found critical acclaim as well, winning the ShoutFest Battle Of The Bands preliminary and semi-finals rounds for their region. They also performed in the competition’s final round in Franklin, TN.
In a world of gray areas and over complications, the RPB’s message is one of simplicity. “We just want our music to impact as many people as possible. Presenting our message and positively impacting people is the point of what we do.” With eyes wide open the Ryan Payne Band plans to continue bringing its talented songwriting and clear vision to the world for years to come. Will you be along for the ride?