Article Written by Autumn McDonald
Photography by Annika Cimas
When you hear the name “Sad Muffin,” if you’re like me, you can’t help but wonder how the group got their name. Story has it that one member was at Souplantation one day and saw a muffin that looked really sad, so they thought, sad muffin! They wrote it down in a folder of potential song titles, later deciding on the phrase as a band name.
Band names aside, Sad Muffin consists of four people: Ryan Denny on guitar and vocals, Ava Cavanaugh on bass, Olivia Nattrass on guitar, and Trevor Gallo on the drums. (This interview was conducted whilst Kaylah Saltzman-Bravo was the current drummer for the band) Although the energy between the group is undeniably present, Sad Muffin didn’t always consist of the same members, and as many great bands do, they went through some changes. Despite that, things came back in full circle for these friends, “I was actually in a band with them all before,” says Denny, “but I left that band because it was kind of crowded, but then eventually came back when there were less people.”
Finding people that you like, and ideally people that are interested in the same music as you, “so you can be on the same page,” is an important factor in creating a band, according to Denny. Every member agreed that “it’s not that hard to form a band,” so if you’re trying to make it in the music scene, take notes. There are always aspects about music that you may not see as a fan and a listener, pre-sales are the one thing Sad Muffin wishes someone would have given them a heads-up about, Cavanaugh adds in, “especially required pre-sales.” Denny tells us jokingly, “it’s hard because no high schooler wants to come see your shitty band play.” If you’ve ever heard Sad Muffin perform, then you know they aren’t “a shitty band” in the slightest. With their upbeat indie vibes, and lively melodies, this band had everyone in the crowd grooving.
Moreover, another part of the music business you may not know about: networking. It’s really important to know people, so networking is key if you’re trying to have your voice heard. “You don’t need to be amazing to be in a band, you just have to want it,” Sad Muffin tells us when asked about their number one tip to aspiring musicians.
We asked the group what their favorite part of playing shows is, and they replied with, “when people are there,” it’s inspiring to think that a room full of people just paid money to see you do something you love. However, Cavanaugh says, “sometimes it’s cooler when there are less people,” Denny elaborates, “One time we played a show at Aura Skatepark, and by the time we played there were like two people in the audience, the owner and some other guy, so we just decided to go crazy.” They say that it’s not easier to play with less people, you just care less. Nattrass adds in, “It kinda makes us play better when there’s less people, we have more stage presence, Ava rolls on the floor.”
We thank everyone in Sad Muffin for talking to us! They’re all amazing and vivacious people, so go check them out! The band recently released a new song called, “Starface,” listen to it on their Bandcamp here: https://sadmuffin.bandcamp.com/