Find Your Escape with Lost Reality

BY HANNAH GENIG, Sports Editor

According to music legend Bob Marley, “The good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Music encompasses more than just a structured pattern of notes, tones and pitches; more than just rhyming words and catchy choruses.

Music has the incredible capacity to allow the listener to escape the stress of life, to transcend above any tribulations they face with just a mere guitar riff or drum solo. For the guys of Lost Reality, this arguably euphoric experience is what they hope to offer to every single one of their fans through their music and performances.

(Hannah Genig/MJ)
(Hannah Genig/MJ)

This Downriver alternative rock band features some of the best musicians in the area who have spent the past five years in a basement cultivating their passion. Before the band transformed into Lost Reality, singer Travis Standifer and bassist Matt Donnelly were playing acoustic shows at local venues but were in search for something bigger. According to guitarist Richard Cortese, “It really started off as a two piece band between Travis and Matt. They wanted to expand and continue playing more shows, so they recruited more people.”

For drummer Steve Wilson, playing at Simon’s After Dark, a small Downriver venue, holds a particularly special importance to him.

“This is actually where I met them. I came to their acoustic show and I could imagine my drum beats to their music,” Wilson said. “I liked what I heard and they haven’t left my basement since.”

In the five years since their creation, the members of Lost Reality have each brought their own personal touches and ideas to the group through past experiences. Wilson and Donnelley have both been involved in bands before, but Cortese hasn’t.

“Since I’m the young buck of the group, all I’ve really had going on was a cover band in high school and guitar hero,” Cortese said. “This is my first official band writing original music and I see it as a blessing. I couldn’t have found a better group of guys to work with in regards to creating music.”

This talented crew writes all of their own music and seems to have no problem coming up with fresh song ideas.

“The only problem we do have is that we write way too many songs. We’re probably over 90,” Standifer said. This lead singer generally takes the reigns for writing and structuring the new songs. According to him, he is often responsible for the songs on a lyrical level, but there are heavy influences from everyone.

(Hannah Genig/MJ)
(Hannah Genig/MJ)

Each band member offers a diverse and specific taste in music, both lyrically and musically, which becomes apparent when they perform.

“The personalities come through when we’re writing. Everyone has their own part and we work off of each other, which really works,” Wilson said.

Even though Lost Reality classifies themselves as alternative rock, they represent an extensive variety of musical influences. For instance, Donnelley grew up listening to heavy metal and appreciates the great guitar solos that came from musicians like Cliff Burton of Metallica. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Wilson considers bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s like Foreigner, Bad Company and Motley Crue to be most influential for his playing style, but he isn’t necessarily picky.

“I listen to new age, modern music. Anything from country to hip-hop to rock ‘n’ roll, I love all music from all generations.” Wilson said.

From a lyrical standpoint, Standifer takes influences from musicians such as Ricky Nelson, Cat Stevens and Eminem, while Cortese sticks exclusively to metal and rock.

“It’s nothing but rock and metal for me, and it basically started from when I was in the womb,” Cortese said. “They have all this research about moms listening to classical music like Beethoven before the baby is born, well for me it was Zeppelin and Van Halen playing.”

Perhaps this diversity of style is what contributes to the band’s ability to relate to their fans.

“Our fans pick up on the variety and it’s a little bit for everybody. Each song relates to somebody else in a different way,” said Wilson.

According to Standifer, this idea of being relatable sparked the idea for the band’s name.

“That’s why the band name is what is it, Lost Reality. It’s our escape every weekend. Everybody needs an escape; we found our lost reality and it’s our music, it’s us. Our fans come to escape the troubles of life and to relate to our music.”

Lost Reality has bright plans for the future, including the release of their first studio album this spring. With new merchandise and more frequent shows, this talented group encourages everyone to come join them in finding their escape.