Cody Bryan is the frontman for the eponymously named Cody Bryan Band, but he hasn’t always played country music. Bryan’s dad brought him a guitar from a pawnshop when he was seven or eight years old and taught him the basics, and his father was qualified to do so.
“My dad was a musician himself. He played in a high school band,” Bryan said. “He played more rock. He was more [into] Led Zeppelin and stuff like that.”
Since this is the music he heard growing up, naturally, he gravitated toward it.
“He would crank up Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pink Floyd, the classics. So that was a big influence of mine growing up,” Bryan said.
However, his music tastes changed freshman year of high school.
“I really, honestly, didn’t start getting into the country music thing until I was a freshman in high school. That’s when I would start going out to the concerts, this little free series of concerts they had in Austin,” he said. “I was turned on to Texas country immediately. After my first concert, I was hooked.”
Coincidentally, that was the same year he began to progress as a guitarist. Having not had the attention span to give that pawnshop guitar much love before then, something clicked for him musically that year.
The band now consists of Zach Lynch on lead guitar, Casey Conway on the drums and Miles Barker on the bass. However, this was not the original lineup.
“My dad was one of the original members of my band,” Bryan said. “He played bass in the band.”
They both knew his dad wouldn’t be able to play bass with his band forever, so Conway suggested they give Barker — who happened to live on Conway’s street at the time — a tryout.
“We brought him in to practice, and Miles was amazing,” Bryan said. “I had to call my dad one day and tell him, ‘Hey, Dad. Sorry, but I found a guy that’s a little better than you. I’m going to have to get rid of you.’ That was one of the hardest phone calls I have ever made in my life.”
One final change was necessary for the band’s members to become who they are today. At that time, they still weren’t playing country music. Strangely, the person who saw Bryan’s potential as a country musician was the band’s producer, Matt Noveskey, the bassist for alternative rock band Blue October.
Given the confidence to play the genre of music that he was drawn to all along, Bryan and Noveskey wrote what became Cody Bryan Band’s first record, Wreck Me. Since the band had just come out of a breakup, that became the album’s guiding theme.
“Pretty much everything I write is from real-life experiences,” Bryan said. “I try to pull from that. I feel like people can really connect to those types of things.”