Forming a new pop-punk band in Cleveland, Ohio, is a treacherous road filled with daunting obstacles along the way. Chris Norris (bass/vocals), Justin Grossman (clean/unclean vocals), Jeremy Ryzhevski (guitar/vocals), and Kaytlynne Lloyd (drums) of Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes take the hurdles they encounter in stride, considering them challenges to be overcome.
Find the one thing you do well. Norris was never a good student and thought he was not good at anything. Music brought him a sense of accomplishment. He enjoyed creating and felt he finally belonged to something greater than himself. For Grossman, music was all he had left. He explains, “I didn’t have much growing up. I wasn’t really good at anything. Music came along and I found my heart. I found my calling”. Finding the one thing that made him happy pushes Grossman forward, no matter what stumbling blocks he encounters.
Location, location, location. One of the most difficult issues a new band faces is getting on the right shows. Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes have been denied by mainstream pop-punk bands who do not use local bands as opening acts. Being on the bill with musicians outside their genre brings a whole new set of problems. The fans at a post-hardcore metal concert gave positive feedback, while stating that pop-punk was not their kind of music. The song, “Fifteen” describes the conflict in trying to find your place. The lyrics say, “For years I’ve been hoping for a better life/But it never seems to come around/I’m stuck here in this town trying to find my way out/But these walls just won’t break down”. Musicians can work or wait for years and never see their dreams realized, but it does not stop them from trying.
Creativity does not follow a plan. While the business side of music requires much thought and careful planning, writing songs for the new EP evolved naturally. Mapping out a course for music often leads to frustration and disappointment. Ryzhevski explains, “It doesn’t always go better when you have a plan. There is no room for something to go wrong”. Letting a song come together, by allowing each musician to add their part, produces a more cohesive sound with less pressure to achieve pre-determined goals. At times, even the instrument you play can stray from your original choice. After years of violin lessons, Lloyd wanted to learn guitar, but it never came naturally to her. A close family member taught her the drums and it was love at first beat. She describes, “It sounds corny, but you can feel when it’s right. It just feels natural to play drums and I wouldn’t trade it for the world”. A willingness to try new avenues of creativity bring an organic sound to the music of Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes.
Set sail. I have seen Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes on stage many times and have always been intrigued by their stage presence. The easy banter between the artists is as enticing as the intimacy of the lyrics. Based on individual and extremely personal experiences, the words spell out feelings we all have from time to time, leaving the audience unified in their shared reaction to the music. Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes will release their first EP, aptly named Set Sail, this month with a Release Party in Cleveland. They continue to perform at local shows and would like to tour this Summer. Like sailors embarking on a new journey, Tomorrow’s Dying Heroes have ‘set sail’ to bring the best pop-punk music to fans near and far.