The Departure is a young rock group from Salt Lake City, Utah who are, day by day, getting bigger and stronger in the music industry. They are a five member band now, but the group started many years ago with just their front man and guitarist Ryan DeBlanc, who always dreamed about expressing himself through his passion for music making, and stage performing.
When DeBlanc was in his early teens, he and his sister, Maci, started the band to develop their own creativity and love for music. Ryan was always a kid who knew that his path in life was being a part of the music scene, and never stopped believing in it. However, with time, his sister got more involved in her studies and wanted to go to college to have a proper education, and there wasn’t any other way, but for Ryan to just put aside his music group project…
But Ryan didn’t forget his ultimate goal, and when he was nineteen years old, he decided to continue his The Departure project by recruiting a few other members into the band, finding and collaborating with fellow guitarist Aidan McDonald, who comes with a great music pedigree in Utah, drummer Gavin Allein, with the opinion that music is a vehicle to help and heal people.
The band also features by Dylan Proesch, who is a terrific keyboard player with good knowledge of music structure, and also contributes vocals on many of the band’s songs, and is completed by bassist Max Hedding, who shares the same music making passion as the rest of the band.
Every member of the band has the proper skills and music education to create and perform their best every time they get together, with each of them contributing to the band with the same vision of having their music heard, and relating to people with their songs. The Departure want their listeners to feel connected to their thought-provoking lyrics sometimes, and just enjoy and party with them, other times.
The Departure began building a following by playing many underground clubs in their home town, and eventually with hard work and consistency, were able to developed their unique sound, full of loud guitars and grunchy bass lines and keyboards. Their hunger for making music has had the positive outcome, with the band getting to perform alongside the Phantogram, Cold War Kids and several other artists. The punk and sometimes metal sounds within their rock songs have earned them much popularity and interest from many music critics, who like what they hear from this talented group.
With the release of their Gateways EP around the end of last year, they showed to all of us that punk and metal elements can coexist with progressive and pop sounds. They were very strong in their melodies on the seven track EP, which boast basic dark lyrics on most of the songs about drug issues, but also features songs like “For The Best”, which talks about a break up as the best solution for both sides.
Their music, as evident on this EP, is energetic and skillful with great rhythms, edgy vocals and confident and raw music statements’, with the only acoustic song on the EP “Lonely Eyes” serving as just about what the band needed to conclude their album.
The Departure is a very interesting group who truly loves to make music for all of us to listen to, and to be a part of our everyday “soundtrack”. They are having the best time of their lives playing, writing and being a part of the current music landscape.
Their dreams are coming true every time the perform at a festival arena or perform in a small club gig. They just want to hang out with other musicians and earn their living from making music. After all, their passion is genuine and makes them determined to express themselves through music every time!
Words by Nancy Chalkopoulou