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Canton-based band aims for hard-rock stardom

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CANTON - Rensselaer Falls resident Ronnie Vegas said his metal band Tyrade narrowly missed the opportunity to advance in a competition that might have led to a performance at the 2013 Grammys.

But Mr. Vegas, the band’s lead vocalist, doesn’t view that experience entirely as a negative.

“We’ve gotten more ‘likes,’ more comments on our Facebook page, and it’s led to networking with other bands,” Mr. Vegas said. “Other good things might come through that.”

Fans of the self-described “country-metal” band Tyrade nominated the band for the Gig of a Lifetime contest to perform at the Grammys. The band came in second place out of 258 bands in the mid-Atlantic region, after shuffling between first and second place in the final hours before voting ended, Mr. Vegas said. Had the band won in its region, it would have been pitted against artists from five other regions across the nation for the chance to perform at pop music’s signature award ceremony.

“Our fans show us so much support. They really go above and beyond,” said Matthew Farrell, Tyrade’s drummer. “Just to be a part of something like that was awesome.”

Originally formed seven years ago, Tyrade underwent a number of lineup changes, but it has remained stable the last four years with its current line-up of Mr. Vegas; Mr. Farrell of Saranac Lake; bassist Timothy Anson of Canton and guitarist Thomas Arquitt of Saranac Lake.

In that time Tyrade has generated a fanbase across Northern and Central New York that Mr. Farrell sees as “crazy” loyal to the band. The next step is to expand that fanbase, which they hope to do with their first-ever tour this summer, across the eastern U.S.

“We went from a (locally-known) band to a (regionally-known) band, and our next step is to become a national touring band,” Mr. Farrell said.

He hopes for Tyrade to tour with some of the big-name hard-rock bands they’ve networked with through shows. Tyrade has played with a long list of famous bands, including Godsmack, Fire Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Killswitch Engage, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Hellyeah.

Opening for these major-label artists, Tyrade has gained the exposure of playing for crowds in the thousands. They played for a crowd of about 5,000 when opening for Godsmack at the Can-Am Speedway in Lafargeville, and they played for about 3,000 opening for Papa Roach in Watertown, Mr. Vegas said.

Playing with the pros is also a bit of a learning experience for the band.

“We’re always paying attention to what they’re doing (on stage) to make ourselves better, (as far as) constantly moving on stage and interaction with the crowd,” Mr. Vegas said. “We basically sound like all the bands we’ve played with.”

Mr. Vegas sees Tyrade as having a sound that appeals to a variety of listeners, saying the band has “converted” country fans to their style of music. The band’s sound alternates between aggressive outbursts of screaming and chugging guitar riffs, and melodic lulls with singing and softer, brooding instrumentals.

“I think our songs reach to a wide range of people. (The songs are about) what’s going on in the world, everything from being lovesick to being angry to having a good time,” Mr. Vegas said.

In August of last year, the band independently released its sophomore album, Uprise, which is available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.com.

The album was recorded at Castle Studios in Utica and mastered at JLM Studios in Brooklyn, the latter of which has mastered albums by Five Finger Death Punch, Black Label Society, Counting Crows and Johnny Cash. The studios were chosen based on world of mouth and the band-members’ desire to record where some of their favorite nationally-known artists have.

“It cost us more to record there, but you know what they say: you get what you pay for,” Mr. Vegas said.

On Uprise, the band sounds tight and shows a strong sense of pop sensibilities. Most songs clock in around three minutes, and their changing dynamics evoke a comparison to Disturbed, Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch. Highlights of the album include the slow-brooding catchiness of “Scud Missile” and the cutting riffs of “Stand Up.”

Currently, each of the band-members still hold day-jobs, but they’re hoping that after a few years of touring they will be able to earn enough from shows to do Tyrade full-time.

“For the next few years, we’re just going to focus on small, realistic goals,” Mr. Vegas said. “Hopefully after that everything will just take care of itself.”

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