Photo courtesy of Alpacka / Facebook

Off the Record: Brendan Ronan

"I don't see myself ever putting the guitar down."

From the moment Brendan Ronan, MCAS '19, first picked up a guitar, he was a changed person. Self-taught, he started the songwriting process at an early age and ever since, he has made continuous efforts towards building up his repertoire of original songs.

Growing up, Ronan spent time listening to the likes of blues legends B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Jimi Hendrix. As Ronan's personal music taste developed, his artistic style morphed into a folk-acoustic sound incorporating heartfelt, soul-awakening lyrics.

"Rock bands like The Black Keys and John Butler Trio also inspired me a lot." Ronan noted. "The folk-acoustic songwriters like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Justin Vernon have a big influence on how I write songs." Similar to the aforementioned icons, Ronan's story-telling lyrical prowess informs on the complexities of life, love, and society.

Around his junior year of high school, Ronan met his current bandmate Mike Nunziante (vocals, guitar, bass). The pair's musical styles meshed organically and they instantly began playing music together. "After awhile we had the idea to start a band and record some of our songs." Nunziante tracked down Brian Roman (drums, percussion), a Berklee student, to join them in their quest to record an LP—and just like that, Alpacka was born.

Ever since meeting Chad Stokes (Dispatch frontman) last year, Ronan (vocals, guitar, bass) has been inspired to emulate Stokes' style. "I love his songs but he's also a down to earth guy who writes about real world issues and stories," Ronan expressed. "Dispatch is definitely the biggest influence on my band's sound...Mike and I have seen them live twice and they have blown us away [with] the passion and energy they play with."

Ronan has been an active member in BC's music scene since his freshman year and hopes to stay involved. Since he is the sole member of his band who attends BC, Ronan has found his niche in the community of musicians. "When I first joined I was really happy that I enjoyed a lot of the music that everyone played and listened to, but it's really the atmosphere and being around such good people that makes it so great." Ronan said. "It's really intimate and not at all competitive; everyone just loves music and is super welcoming."

While it has offered Ronan ample opportunities to play his music, BC's music scene does not mark the end of Ronan's musical journey. "Career or not, I think music will always be a central part of my life. Mike, Brian, and I plan to keep creating songs together as long as we still love doing it."

Alpacka's LP can be downloaded here. Be sure to look out for the group's full album which they are recording this summer.

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