Words: Izzy Church


The Ugly Club is hardly ugly: The vocally ambitious lead singer and guitarist, Ryan Egan is handsome enough to create a gaggle of googly-eyed teenage girls calling out for one more song. Together, with his progressive band mates, Taylor Mandel, Ryan McNulty and Rick Sui-Poi, they have created a sound that is so sweet, it transcends the listener into a trance-like state. The independent rock band pushes forward with a sound they can call their own. It is a cross between indie-rock and psychedelic dance music. Be sure to check them out!


What is your biggest claim to fame thus far?

Well, we’re still just some guys playing music and haven’t brushed shoulders with much fame.  How about our SXSW interview on E?! News with Pauly Shore?! That was odd… We did also play events and shoot a video with actor Adrian Grenier. That was a little cooler.  I don’t know. We set artistic goals and achieve them and one day we may just strike fame.


Do you have an upcoming tour plans? If so, where?

We currently have plans to get back in the studio and record a single, followed by another music video.  Touring is not currently in the winter plans.


Have you always wanted to be a singer in a band or did you have other aspirations? 

I started on the drums and then I naturally transitioned into singing.  The only other thing I was passionate about in those formative years was skateboarding, but it never clicked for me the way music did.


How do you handle difficult moments in a performance?

Well, difficult moments, assuming they don’t actually stop the performance, provide energy.  And even though it is likely to be negative energy, I still try to pull from it.  If my gear doesn’t want to work, I get angry and maybe perform a bit more aggressively, which is better than being upset on stage or something.


With you being in NY and your band in NJ how often do you get together to practice or record?

We try to rehearse twice a week, in which case I go to NJ.  It works out well for everyone.  As for recording, it’s much less frequent but, when we can generate the money for it, it’s always a top priority.


What’s the side of you that the public never sees?

The wrong notes, bad songs, shitty poems…all the stuff that goes through the filter before anyone ever sees or hears anything.  Every good singer started with a weak voice.  For every great song, there are 10 bad songs behind it.


If there was anything different you could do in your career as a band what would it be?

Tour full time and have daily access to a studio.


Who would you like to tour with?

Any bands that are pushing music forward. Some newer stuff I like a lot is Chairlift, Delicate Steve, Dirty Projectors, Tame Impala. They are all great new artists.


What is your favorite thing to see in the audience while you are on stage?

Dancing and movement is huge; that’s just unbelievably contagious. But attentiveness speaks a lot for the performance.  And the times when we’ve had the audience singing along is obviously the most moving.


What is the favorite song you sing and what is it about?

It is and always will be forever our newest material.  So that means it’s always changing.  It’s hard to play the same songs over and over.  But for older material, it’s always special to play our song “Under the Great Wave.”  People seem to react to that song the most.


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