Interview – Pyro, Ohio

Pyro, Ohio is a 5-piece post-hardcore band from Christiansburg, Virginia. It’s members include Peter Verity (vocals), Stephen Noel (guitar), Daniel McClanahan (bass), Mike McGrady (drums), and Jake Whalen (guitar). Their unique sound and inspiring lyrics demand attention therefore making the connection between the band and its fans inevitable. Pyro, Ohio was selected in 2012 to perform at Virginia Beach’s Warped Tour but also gained publicity from Hot Topic’s Battle of the Bands. Their music is classified as post-hardcore but it’s hints of pop-punk, metal, and alternative influences are prominent. Their latest release Before the Sun Sets… came out in 2013 and a music video was released earlier this summer. I sent the band some fill in the blanks so we could get to know them better.



The meaning behind the name Pyro, Ohio is…basically the feeling of being out of place and trying to stand out from the crowd, whether that be in a town/area or career. Ohio was taken from an Iroquois word meaning “great river,” and so our name is a reference to being a Pyro surrounded by water. Being out of place, trying to find your way in a world you don’t quite fit in and make a name for yourself – our name serves as a reminder of what we were founded on: individuality, originality, and passion.

We met each other….(how, when, where, etc.)…Peter and Stephen founded the band in 2011 after hooking up on Craigslist. Hooking up is probably a bad word choice – ha. Mike and Jake were both in other local bands and we were fortunate to be in need of members at the right time for them. Daniel is the newest member; we met him through his clothing line, Drella Apparel. We were sponsored by his company for a while and became good friends with him before offering him a try-out after our previous bassist, Luke, left the band.

The pickiest eater in the band is….you could say that Daniel and Stephen are, since they are both vegetarians, but Peter probably is pickier because he hates vegetables.

The most OCD member is….no one is terribly OCD, but Jake and Stephen in particular like to have things done a certain way sometimes. It’s good to have slightly OCD qualities when trying to write the best music possible!

Before the band we were employed as….Jake, Stephen, and Peter were all college students at Virginia Tech. Mike works at a call center for Dish Network and Daniel was a gas station attendant.

For fun we like to….play video games. Some of our favorites are Pokemon, Zelda, Final Fantasy, sports games – its a big part of who we are.

We’re currently listening to….Hands Like Houses, The Ghost Inside, The North, Being As An Ocean, I See Stars, Silverstein and The Color Morale

Our influences include….energy drinks and video games. As far as bands go, we all pull from different kinds of music – from pop music to death metal to pop-punk to bands like Silverstein and Incubus, we all bring something a little different to the writing process.

The first song we wrote together was….”You don’t hold your breath much do you?” – the first track off our first EP – was the first song we wrote as Pyro, Ohio. As the current lineup we have written a few unreleased songs together which we are really excited to record and share with everyone in the near future ; )

One thing we want you to remember while listening to our music is….never let outside influences direct your life. Think about how to make your life complete. Take chances and minimize the regrets you would have on your death bed. That’s one of the best motivating thoughts you can concentrate on.

Before the Sun Sets… was recorded in….Amped Recording Studio in Baltimore, MD. Greg Parker is an amazing producer and such a hard worker. We loved working with him. It took us a little under 2 weeks to track everything on the album.

The member(s) who writes most of our songs is….everyone has an equal share of writing at this point. Usually one person will bring a riff or idea to the table and we will jam on it to feel it out. We really try to write on what feels best live instead of programming all of our parts beforehand. We hope this produces the rawest, most emotional songs possible that we, as well as the audience, can connect to.

Our craziest or most memorable gig was….probably Virginia Beach Warped Tour in 2012. It was an awesome experience, especially as a relatively new band. At one point during our set, a girl threw a Pikachu backpack on stage and wanted us to sign it and give it back…just wild.

The furthest we’ve ever traveled for a gig was….Burnsville, MN (right outside of Minneapolis, MN).

This fall, you should expect from us….”Did I Mention I’m A Hypocrite?”


– Victoria Race

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