Local band Ray Wild plays at The Social Room on Sept. 5, 2015. The four-man band is made up of MU juniors. Jack Pritchett is lead vocalist, Tyler Stock is on guitar, Ari Shellist is on bass and Tom Hipchen is on drums.

Zach Baker/Senior Staff Photographer

Speakeasy club hosts four-man band Ray Wild

Education is a back-up plan for local band Ray Wild

By Corin Cesaric | Nov. 17, 2015

Tags: Concerts Music


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Your phone says you’ve arrived at your destination, but all you see is a hair salon called “Lips and Curls.”

You step inside the hair salon, only to find a red telephone and another door.

Puzzled, you pick up the phone as a guy behind you whispers, “The code is Jackie and Judy.” He said he saw the code on Twitter earlier that afternoon.

You recite the supposed code: “Jackie and Judy.”

Bzzz, you’re in. Welcome to The Social Room, a speakeasy just north of the courthouse that happens to share its building with a hair salon.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, Ray Wild took the stage at The Social Room. They played an hour and a half long set to an almost sold out show.

Ray Wild, despite sounding like a solo artist, is a four-man band that is made up of MU juniors. Jack Pritchett is lead vocalist, Tyler Stock is on guitar, Ari Shellist is on bass and Tom Hipchen is on drums.

Pritchett, Stock and Shellist all went to the same high school in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The three friends were all in a band at home, but Ray Wild was really born when Hipchen auditioned to be their drummer after they came to MU.

Although they have been a band for two and a half years (or five semesters in “college talk”), they don’t quite conform to traditional genres. Hipchen described it best.

“We’re a modern take on classic or vintage rock n roll,” Hipchen says.

They are influenced by a wide range of musicians including Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

During their songwriting process, the band collaborates together to construct their songs. While they sing, you can hear those influences and some funk undertones come into their music.

So far the band has an EP that was released in 2014 and a new single that they dropped in September 2015. You can find all of their music on Spotify and SoundCloud.

They plan to return to the studio in January 2016, but it is still unknown when they will release a full-length album.

“An album is not in our future right now as far as we know,” Pritchett says. “Our future right now is EPs and singles.”

Although the members of Ray Wild are students, the band is their main focus with their education as a necessary back-up plan.

“Plan A through G is (Ray Wild) and then H is our majors because music only goes to G,” Hipchen says.

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