Alternative Discussion West with Ryan Banks

Alternative Discussion West brings in depth interviews and gives a glimpse into the flourishing underground art and music world. Host Ryan Banks evokes guests to reveal what really drives them in their craft and guides listeners through a history often untold.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts




All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Nov 19, 2018

On episode 19 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes old friend James Creston to the studio. We chat growing up in the east bay area and quickly dive into James introduction to the guitar while attending junior high at O'hara Park Middle School. We walk through the evolution of bands Second Hand and Eminent where James forms a close bond with friend and fellow guitarist Aaron Younce. Always taking a DIY approach, Eminent takes on recording their own music which lands them gigs at some of the bay area's premier live music clubs. James then reflects on the mobile studios he put together and some of his favorite recording projects including Hollowhed, The Vamps and Clavo Oxidado. We then get into guitar building and talk about James and Aaron's apprenticeship with Aaron's father Henry Younce, which leads to the formation of their own guitar brand, Maret Guitars. We venture outside of music where James owns and manages Vamp Salon in Oakley, California where he looks over day to day operations. While balancing time between his guitar shop, salon and full time job at a power plant James faces his biggest challenge yet as he receives a cancer diagnosis in early 2018. He vividly describes each step of his treatment and how he keeps a positive outlook through out his recovery. We finally get into what lays ahead for James and look at an art collaboration Maret Guitars has been working on.

Music in this episode provided by Second Hand, Hollowhed & The Vamps.
Check out James guitar company Maret Guitars and his salon Vamp Salon at the links below

Maret Guitars
Vamp Salon

Sep 9, 2018

On Episode 18 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes Danielle Silva into the studio to share her story. Growing up inside Dublin, Danielle takes interest in art and alternative culture while watching "Total Request Live" on MTV. At just 13 years old Danielle finds inspiration when meeting artist Natasha Erickson at Livermore Tattoo. While still in high school Danielle joins hardcore band Scared Alice and plays local shows at the Danville Grange Hall. At 17 Danielle starts her first tattoo apprenticeship at shop In Your Skin and drops out of college. We follow Danielle along her journey from shop to shop around the bay area and land in Oakland around 2013. Inside Oakland Danielle gets back into playing music and has recently joined Oinga Boinga playing the flute and saxophone. We then get the inside scoop on the inaugural This Is Not Your Fest that is taking place at the end of September which benefits BAWAR. Finally we touch on the tragic Ghost Ship Fire where Danielle urges us to take a deeper look and do our own research outside of mainstream media. Danielle can now be found at Diving Swallow Tattoo in Oakland at 264 14th Street. Follow her on IG at doomsdaydani

Get information and buy tickets for TINY Fest at 

Diving Swallow Tattoo

Music in this episode brought to you by Day Labor, Year Of The Fist and United Defiance.

Jul 23, 2018

On episode 17 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes Rob "Solete" Green to the studio. Growing up in Fremont Rob falls in love with music after catching sets from The Clash and The Kinks at an early age. While learning to play guitar and drums Rob and friends make frequent visits to 924 Gilman in Berkeley. After High School Rob relocates to San Francisco and becomes a bike messenger attending SF State. Rob soon gets his first taste of the road touring with punk band The Parasites. While the pop punk scene in the bay area explodes Rob writes and records with his band Heromakers. Life soon takes a turn and Rob relocates to the east coast where he ends up living in Washington DC and Baltimore. Returning to San Francisco in 2011 Rob quickly picks up with punk band The Hammerbombs and launches his own motorcycle shop, Meteor Motorbikes in Oakland, where he now hosts DIY shows. We finish by finding out how Rob is now back playing drums with band, So What and what is coming next for The Hammerbombs as they plan to release their debut full length record in late 2018.

Music in this episode provided by Heromakers and The Hammerbombs

Follow The Hammerbombs and Rob's Motorcycle shop at the links below

The Hammerbombs bandcamp
Meteor Motorbikes


Apr 26, 2018

On episode 16 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes John Snapp to the studio. We chat growing up in Antioch, and how John forms the bands Caught Red Handed and The Dragg while still in High School. We then explore the underground house party scene inside of east county and talk some of the local venues. After high school John pursues a film degree at University of Santa Cruz. Before leaving Santa Cruz and heading to Oakland, John joins forces with Scott Vicknair inside of the band Poor Bailey. Reaching great success inside of the local scene with their album "Pyrite & Gold", John reflects on some of the bands bigger shows and touring. After over 10 years inside the bay area music scene Poor Bailey slows down when Scott moves to the east coast. We learn about an unreleased album tentatively called "Happy Dead" and hundreds of other songs still waiting to be finished. We then switch gears to John's film career where he has directed music videos for bands such as Audrye Sessions, Dead To Me and ToyGuitar. Stick around to the end for a listen to one of John's latest musical projects, 5H3RIFF5.

Music is this episode provided by The Dragg, Poor Bailey & 5H3RIFF5

Check out Johns video work and more at the links below
John Snapp Vimeo ->

Poor Bailey Bandcamp ->

Mar 8, 2018

On episode number 15 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes Lorin Holmen to the studio. While moving around a lot inside the bay area at a young age Lorin first picks up the guitar at 5 years old. Bouncing back and forth from Oregon to California, Lorin recalls the culture he has always loved inside the east bay scene. After relocating to a 150 acre ranch in the small town of Myrtle Point, OR Lorin starts his first band in high school called The Selectives. After some local shows and a short tour, Lorin drops out of high school to move back to Oakland. We then talk bands Collateral, The Aversion, Tiny Power, Nostromo and The Rockonigles. Years of partying leaves Lorin with no choice but to dry out, and we finally arrive at his latest project Dorothy Lane and chat about their new album, "Cut & Dry".

Music in this episode brought to you by The Selectives and Dorothy Lane

Listen to and find more on Dorothy Lane at the links below

Jan 22, 2018

Episode 14 of Alternative Discussion West brings guest Clinton Smith into the studio to share his story. Growing up in east county Clinton is kicked out Antioch high school and gravitates towards the local music scene at CafĂ© LJ's and The Dock. We talk Clinton's early bands The Clusterfucks and The Deficient which leads us to his longtime project United Defiance. Clinton shares the ups and downs, and how he keeps the momentum going while UD goes through line up changes and releases their first couple of records. Side projects such as War Of AggressionThe Need and Noless pop up to keep Clinton creative in between UD records. Coming up on almost 15 years in the east bay scene we talk about the new United Defiance record, "Safe At Home" out now on Heliarc Records and what to expect from the band in 2018.

All music in this episode can be found on "Safe At Home" by United Defiance

Dec 5, 2017

On episode number 13 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes Ron Cruz to share his story. Ron's roots run deep with 25 years of playing bass in the bay area. Joining the band Kilrush in 1994, Ron lands smack in the middle of the thriving underground rock scene focused around legendary venue Berkeley Square. When Kilrsuh comes to an end in 1999, Ron and pal Kenny Moore continue on in band DSRX. In 2001 Happy Ending is formed, and with an early name change to Omissa, the band catches fire in the local scene. After releasing 2 e.p.s and a full length on Teki Pyro Records, Omissa disbands in 2006. Connecting the dots from bands Calling Doctor Howard, Sons of Oswald and Winchester Revival, leaves us at Ron's current project Early Monarchs. With an Omissa reunion show booked in late 2017, Ron shares his plans for the future.

Music in this show brought to you by Omissa and Winchester Revival.

Nov 27, 2017

On Episode 12 of Alternative Discussion West guest Tim Boczanowski joins Ryan and shares his story. Growing up in Livermore, California, Tim recalls the very small town feel from 25 plus years ago. Picking up the bass guitar while attending Livermore High, Tim talks about his first band Last In Line. After graduation Tim heads to Chico State where he plays bass in hard rock band Known2None. Returning to the bay area after a short stint in college we connect the dots between bands The Privies, Murder Never Dies and Heroes at Gunpoint. Tim talks about Filling in with east bay mainstays The Lucky Eejits after tragedy strikes and taking on the roll of permanent fill in. We finally talk Laughing Monk Brewery and the upcoming projects Tim is involved in.

Music in this Episode brought to you by Murder Never Dies, The Lucky Eejits and Heroes At Gunpoint.

Oct 18, 2017

On Episode 11 of Alternative Discussion West, Kevin "KT" Treat enters the studio to share his story. Growing up in Manteca, KT finds an early love for music while playing bass in a cover band around town. In his early 20's KT teams up with booking group "The Core" out of Stockton to bring bands like AFI and Screw 32 to their town. Forming the band, The Oozzies, brings KT to Tacoma, WA and opens him up to the fast life on the road. When sobriety enters KT's life he finds himself busy and happy being part of the bands Year Of The Fist and Twin Screw Steamer out of Oakland.

Music in this episode brought to you by Year Of The Fist and Twin Screw Steamer.

Oct 5, 2017

On Episode 10 of Alternative Discussion West, Aaron "Rev" Peters shares his story. Moving around a lot as a kid lands Rev in Enumclaw, WA where he dives into playing music and creating a buzz on college radio with his band Rocket in My Pocket. After dropping out of High School and touring in bands, Pistol For a Paycheck and Rough Chucker, Rev and gang end up forming the punk rock mainstays, SUCCESS. We hear about how touring with 7Seconds and Swingin' Utters taught Rev some inspiring lessons and helped fuel his passion. Rev also talks about how booking a show for The Lawrence Arms in Seattle helps land SUCCESS' latest record, "Radio Recovery", on Red Scare Industries. Stick around till the end for a special in studio performance of the SUCCESS classic, "Quarter Life Crisis"

Music in this episode is on the SUCCESS record "Radio Recovery" which can be found on ITunes.
For Physical Copies go to

For all things SUCCESS, visit

Sep 29, 2017

On Episode 9 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks invites Brian Lucchesi in to the studio. Brian begins his story by reflecting on the bands and venues he found inspiring while growing up in the river town of Antioch, Ca. Shortly after discovering the underground scene Brian teams up with his high school friends to start the band No Remorse. Recording and playing music becomes a way of life for Brian as he connects the dots of his bands The Fifth, Hollowhed and how he ends up joining Bloodshot and Dilated. We finally get to Black Water Birth, Brians current brutal grind metal project with many familiar faces of the bay scene. Music in this episode is brought to you by Black Water Birth.

Listen in to the entire Black Water Birth catalog here

Aug 1, 2017

On episode 8 of Alternative Discussion West Aaron Bruski joins Ryan in studio to tell his story. Aaron finds community inside skateboarding and music while growing up in Alpena, MI. After attaining his degree in video productions from Lansing Community College, Aaron takes us on a 2,000 mile road trip that lands him living in Martinez, CA working at the Persian News Network. We hear about the bands Aaron has
played in since relocating to the bay area bringing us to his current project Dearly Divided. With 20 plus years involved in music, skating and video a dream in realized as Aaron helps with editing and filming the documentary, A Fat Wreck.  Lastly we hear about what's coming up for DD as they prepare to release their second record, "So Much For New Beginnings" out soon on Felony Records.

Music in this episode provided by Dearly Divided

Jun 30, 2017

On episode lucky number 7 of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes friend Shane Hendry. Growing up in the small California town of El Centro, Shane mows lawns to buy his first drum kit and switches high schools to stay in his band Ransom Report. College then takes Shane to San Diego where he starts the bands Eskera and From Scars with whom he tours the US + Mexico. After graduating college at San Diego State, Shane makes the move to the bay area and forms his new musical outlet Reunions.  Stick around till the end of the podcast for an unreleased Reunions track called "Aching Waits"

Reunions : 

Design :


May 2, 2017

On the sixth episode of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes Jared Stinson.  Jared starts the conversation by talking about growing up in Orange County, acquiring his first guitar and his very short time spent at Chico State.  We then dive into the nearly 20 years of Sic Waiting history.  Jared talks about his time tour managing for Conflict and Angelic Upstarts and we connect the dots between his work as a TM and Punk Rock Bowling.  Finally we get into Jared's acoustic identity Dead Frets and touch on the album "True South" now available on Felony Records.  Stick around to the end as we get to enjoy a in studio version of the Dead Frets song "Maybe".

Jared and his musical projects can be found at and

Apr 24, 2017

On the fifth episode of Alternative Discussion West host Ryan Banks welcomes his old friend Tony Shrum.  Tony begins the chat by talking about being born in Germany, working in his Uncle's guitar shop and moving around a lot as a kid. We then dive into Tony's experience as a sound engineer and how he exchanged snail mail with inmates while interning at AMP Magazine.  Tony then tells us about his day to day work co-piloting New Noise Magazine and how he joined the team at La Escalera Records and Earshot Media.  This episode contains music by Caskitt, Western Settings and Reunions.

New Noise Magazine 

La Escalera Records

Mar 18, 2017

On the fourth episode of AD West, host Ryan Banks welcomes his longtime friend Sean Stepp.  Sean kicks off the conversation by talking about growing up in the far east bay and just what it took to make his pilgrimage from Byron to 924 Gilman Street.  We then explore his many musical ventures before joining Civil War Rust.  Sean tells us about what his experience was recording "The Fun & The Lonely" and "Help Wanted" with engineer Willie Samuels. Finally we dig into DIY and why it seems to be a recurring theme for CWR.

Feb 11, 2017

On the third episode of AD West, host Ryan Banks welcomes Casey Fitzpatrick of The Lucky Eejits.  Casey talks about going to catholic school at De La Salle, playing shows at The Mutiny in Antioch, touring Europe and releasing their new record on Felony Records.  We also hear about how the Eejits kept the band going after losing their bass player to a senseless act of violence after a gig in Oakland.  This episode includes music from The Lucky Eejits album "Do It Again" and is dedicated to the memory of Emilio Nevarez.


Jan 3, 2017

On the second episode of Alternative Discussion West, host Ryan Banks invites  Kevin Skalba to share his story.  Kevin talks about growing up in Cleveland, hosting his own college radio show and all the work that goes into putting on a music festival.  Kevin also talks about how taking a job with Sony Music, brings him to the bay area at a time when the way we listen to music is going through some big changes.  This episode includes music from the False Positives album "Departures" Drop by and check out False Positives at


Nov 29, 2016

On the first episode of Alternative Discussion West, host Ryan Banks invites his friend Glenn Schon AKA "Peepeehed" to share his story. Glenn's rich history as a tattoo artist and time spent in the Bay Area metal scene takes listeners deep into Oakland and San Francisco's underground. Glenn also speaks about recently relocating to Germany and his current musical project Dry Well. This episode includes music from Avail, Sturgill Simpson and Dry Well.

Drop by and check out Glenn's art at