Whirl Magazine - March 29, 2017, "With The Band: Blended Reality Band"
For Riley, Ty, and Mack of Blended Reality Band, family always comes first. “You always hear people say, ‘My band is like my family,’ but we’re actually family,” says Riley, lead guitarist and vocalist. The pop-country trio formed nearly two years ago, and although they’re known for their strong harmonies, they admit their relationship isn’t always in tune, as can be said about most teenage siblings. “It gets a little bumpy sometimes,” Riley says, “but we’re pretty fortunate. We all share a unique bond that being in this band has blessed us with.”
Riley and brother Ty, drummer and vocalist, started exploring their musical talents early in life, but it wasn’t until step-sister Mack, lead vocalist and bassist, came into the picture that Blended Reality Band was conceived. “One day I was playing around on the piano,” says Riley, “and she started singing along and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, you can sing?’ From there on, we started jamming together.”
Since then, the band has blown up. In 2016 alone, the band swept the stage at Pittsburgh’s Battle of the Bands, walking away with first place; opened for country duo Florida Georgia Line at Key Bank Pavilion; and, as of December, became serious contenders for an upcoming season of “America’s Got Talent.” Now, the band is gearing up for a trip to Nashville to record its first single release.
Although each band member cites different musical influences — ranging from Taylor Swift to John Pardi to Johnny Cash — they’ve learned to work together to create an original and unforgettable sound. “Blended Reality Band is just who we are. Each of us has completely different music styles, we prefer to listen to different stuff, but that does come into play when we’re writing together,” says Riley. In fact, that’s how the band got their name. That and, “just the reality of our life as a blended family.”
Every aspect of this band is collaborative, from the writing and composition of their original songs to performing. “We write together. A lot of our stuff is collaborative,” says Riley. And, in addition to providing instrumental talent, each band member also lends vocals to create their signature sound. “Our three-part harmonies are the biggest factor of who we are as a band.”
Want to hear more? Check out Blended Reality Band this spring as they travel Western PA, playing nearly every weekend from Pittsburgh to Farmington to Slippery Rock. Then later this summer, catch the trio opening for The Clarks at the Big Butler Fair June 30. — Sierra Smith