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Jersey guitar teacher gets ready to rock UK with prog metal band

Jersey guitar teacher gets ready to rock UK with prog metal band

Monday 30 January 2023

Jersey guitar teacher gets ready to rock UK with prog metal band

Monday 30 January 2023

A local music teacher is getting ready to tour the UK next month with his progressive metal band - who together wrote their latest EP entirely over Zoom.

Olly Rybarczuk of Jersey's Jenca School of Music formed his current band, Gaia, whilst getting his degree in professional musicianship at BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) in Brighton.

The group specialise in progressive metal - a fusion of progressive rock and metal, which combines the aggression and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral, compositions of the latter.

Some famous examples of Progressive Metal acts include Dream Theatre, Tool and Symphony X. 


Pictured: Olly Rybarczuk is a guitarist and teacher at Jenca Music School.

Formed by a group of students with a shared love of the genre, Gaia started up in 2018 and had their first gig playing in Bar 42 in Worthing before touring in and around Brighton and Hove. 

There was a slight hiccup in the naming process before they finally settled on Gaia, the Ancient Greek personification of the Earth. The name, Olly admits, was not chosen for its profound mythological status, but because "It was pretty much the only name we could all agree upon!"

In 2020, things seemed to be going their way. The group were set to release their debut EP, and had signed with a record label called Spiked Charm Records.

Then the pandemic struck, forcing the bad to stop touring and causing an eventual split with the record company, which Olly explained struggled to produce CDs due to plastic supplies going towards PPE at the time.

For the release of their latest EP, Olly and Gaia are hoping to have a little more luck.

As most of the band are based in Kent, they wrote the whole thing over Zoom whilst shut inside during the pandemic.

"It's a cliché, but we used that time to be really productive." 

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A post shared by GAIA (@gaiabanduk)

They've decided to independently distribute this time, and they're currently looking ahead to their latest tour. They'll be starting off in their old stomping ground in Hove, before heading to Guildford, Southhampton, Bournemoth and ending up in London.

"I'm really excited about it," Olly said. "The thing with the UK metal scene is it's very tight, so if you're touring, you can announce you're playing a gig in a certain city and be guaranteed and audience." 

The band has previously played at some of Europe's biggest metal festivals like UK Tech-Fest Techabilitation and the Bloodstock Open Air festival alongside metal heavyweights such as Monuments, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth and Thy Art is Murder. 


Pictured: The poster for Gaia's upcoming tour. 

Their latest tour will kick of in Hove at the Brunswick Cellar Bar on 14 February and will end in the Black Heart Pub in London on the 19th. 

To follow Gaia, and to support Ollie and his bandmates, you can follow them on social media HERE

Pictured top - left to right: Nick Tappenden (bass), Jamie Clark (guitar), James Moffatt (vocals), Olly Rybarczuk (Guitar), and Jack Lowe (Drums).

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Not my kind of music as I prefer music in the genre of Van Halen and Def Leppard, but good for them and all the best.
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