(Drums, Percussion), Virgo
Brandon F. Ryan has always liked to say he wasn’t born with a drumstick in his hand, but “found one in my crib not too long after.” He remembers listening to his father’s old reel to reel tapes growing up, and hearing the drums leap out at him in every song. It was the only instrument he seemed to have ever heard when he listened to music. It was here that his interest greatly developed. After years of pleading with his parents, they finally conceded and allowed drums in the house. First it was a rented snare drum from the local music store, and then an old set of Ludwigs he bought for 150 dollars from his hard earned snow shoveling money. He was thirteen at the time. From here on Brandon glided through his middle and junior high years, even winning the regional spelling bee in sixth grade. His love for drums continued to blossom and he spent most of his free time in his small basement bedroom teaching himself to play, pounding along with his vinyl favorites such as Boston, The Beatles, ELO, and many more. This continued throughout the entirety of his high school years, that and talks of putting a band together with his friend and singer, Tim Goldrainer. Upon his graduation from the famous Cincinnati Elder High School, Brandon started classes at the University of Cincinnati in the following fall. Although an excellent student with academic awards, Brandon still dreamed of being paid to play the drums on a regular basis. A few short months later, he threw caution to the wind, dropped out of UC, and with the help of his father, began to get some paying gigs. The Menus were now official. And they began to work. Hard. At the time of this writing (2001), that was eighteen years ago and Brandon continues to use his drums as his source of income. Looking back, he has witnessed The Menus and him go from young, naïve rookie musicians to the well established and successful organization they are today. He realizes to have survived so long in such a normally shaky and not always reliable profession requires a few things. A little bit of luck, the right people, natural chemistry, the under-estimated ability to survive a crisis, an immobile professional attitude, and sheer, unfaltering determination. He is grateful for all of these. The Menus was, and is, the only band he has ever been with. From hairless armpits to balding scalp. Knock on wood.