Ryan Moore serves food by day and a healthy dose of rock 'n' roll by night. Not surprisingly, it's the latter job he enjoys most, and he'll express that enjoyment when he drums for The Hunger Bone Saturday at the Eclectic Cafe.
"Music is my number one priority," the 2002 Brainerd High School graduate said in a recent phone interview. "It's the thing I really want to do. I'm going for a career in the service industry to make money, but I'd like to be able to be in a band and record music, too."
So far, the 23-year-old has done a good job of balancing his ambitions.
Hunger Bone bassist Chris Porto (left) and drummer Ryan Moore, a Brainerd native, performed at a recent live show. The Minneapolis band, which also includes lead singer/guitarist Cassidy Anderson, will play Saturday at the Eclectic Cafe in downtown Brainerd.
The son of Tim and Cindy Moore, Ryan grew up in Lake Shore. After graduating from BHS, he studied culinary arts for a semester at Hennepin Technical College. His food studies helped land him a job, but his time at the school also made him realize, "I don't want to be in the kitchen the rest of my life."
It's not likely he'll ever tire of music, even though he didn't exactly jump at the opportunity to tickle the ivories when he was 7.
"Growing up, my parents forced me into taking piano lessons, and I didn't like it, even though it's probably the best thing that ever happened to me. It definitely taught me a lot," Moore said.
At age 11, he found that the guitar was more to his liking.
If you go
What: The Hunger Bone.
When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Eclectic Cafe, 216 S. Eighth St., Brainerd.
Web site: www.myspace.com/thehungerbone.
Drummer for The Hunger Bone
Favorite musical artist: Les Claypool.
Favorite song: "The Jug Band Saved My Life" by the Como Avenue Jug Band.
What's in your CD player right now? Gorillaz, self-titled (2001).
Best concert you've been to: Pearl Jam and Tom Petty, 2006, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul.
Favorite TV show: "South Park."
Favorite movie: "Army of Darkness."
Favorite book: "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut.
Favorite game: Cribbage.
What do you do in your spare time? "I listen to music in my head. I have a personal iPod in my head. Sometimes it gets annoying, but I can always switch the song. Unless something gets stuck in my head like Pat Benatar."
"I started playing that every day. It was my favorite thing to do. I'd learn rock songs from CDs. I played along by ear. Then when I was 14, I got a drum set to mess around with."
But Moore - who briefly played in an unnamed acoustic duo upon moving to Minneapolis - had gotten rid of his drum set when The Hunger Bone formed in November 2006. Moore teamed up with two friends - lead singer and guitarist Cassidy Anderson and bassist Chris Porto - from the McNally Smith College of Music, where Moore has been studying music production since the fall of 2005.
"It was really spur-of-the-moment," Moore said. "I just moved into this house - I had gotten rid of my drum set - and there was a drum set here. I asked (Anderson and Porto) if they wanted to hang out; they said sure; I said I could play drums. Cassidy had a lot of music he had written. We started rocking out with (those songs). My roommate comes down and says, 'We're gonna play a show at Nomad and we need (an opening) band.' We're like, 'Sure.'"
At first, The Hunger Bone didn't even book shows; the band just took opening slots for Moore's roommate's band, The Sexy Bang. But last July, The Hunger Bone made a name for itself by taking eighth place out of 80 in a Twin Cities battle of the bands. Moore, Anderson and Porto took the high placement as a vote of confidence from the music scene.
The Hunger Bone's instruments are layered like a jam band, but the songs also have an epic urgency that belays their laid-back roots. Four songs can be heard at www.myspace.com/thehungerbone, but it might be awhile until the band puts out a proper album.
"You can go into a studio and pop out songs right away," Moore said. "But in my mind you shouldn't record a song until you know what you want it to be. Little changes make a big difference. Change a measure, change a key - that can make or break a song.
"We're thinking of putting our six best songs on a CD. People put out these long albums with only two or three good songs; that's what we're trying not to do."
Nowadays, of course, it's not all about the album. In addition to its MySpace page, The Hunger Bone earns new fans by playing at clubs and even in people's basements in Moore's south Minneapolis neighborhood.
"There's a big do-it-yourself movement going on," Moore said of the always-evolving Twin Cities scene. "At a bunch of houses in my area, on weekends or even weekdays they'll have music and say, 'Come on by.'
"Two blocks from my house, there was a touring band from Chicago playing. They had a donation bucket just to make ends meet. There's hip-hop, folk, rock, experimental - it kind of blows your mind. Musicians aren't just letting the bar scene take over."
And Moore - whether he's serving up meals or music - isn't letting people go hungry.
JOHN HANSEN may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5863.
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