Who are The Dragonbacks?

You may not know them now, but just wait…

Known today as The Dragonbacks, this self-described “alternative, indie, pop, spoken word rap” group consists of Garrett Wilson (’18), Joe White (’18), Connor McGloin (’18), and Jack Piland (’19). As pioneers in the “rindie” (rap/indie) industry, the band works tirelessly in the Octagon study rooms on their craft. Wilson explained to me that the Dragonbacks are “industrializers” of this genre. Their music sometimes “reflects what is going on in their lives,” and they are “all about having a good time together” when it comes to music. Officially, The Dragonbacks have been producing music since January, but the history of the group dates to far before then.

The original group was called The Whale Sounds. Back then, each member had his own stage name: Wilson was “Sweden,” former bandmate (and Match writer) Spencer Lyons (’19) was “Augustus,” White was “Hansel,” and McGloin was “Gunther.” The Whale Sounds was formed around two years ago in hopes of ascending the ranks in the Swedish Pop industry. With some scheduling conflicts and musical disagreements, the band unfortunately had to let go of Lyons. For a while, the group struggled to find their identity, trying out different names, such as Three Disciples and Two Peas in a Pod. The recruitment of their newest member, Piland, seemingly ended this period of searching for an identity. They became The Dragonbacks. The story of the name is somewhat mythical, and the truth is hazy. The Dragonbacks claim they found the “Stairway to Heaven” (both the song and the concept), mounted their dragon steeds, and returned to Earth to produce their “sick beats.”

Influenced by bands such as Fleetwood Mac and KKB, and by the films Nacho LibreStep Brothers, and Gentlemen Broncos, The Dragonbacks continue to stoke their figurative fire of inspiration through “Brain Blizzards” and “Brainicanes,” where ideas “run wild and tend to get crazy.”

Some of their most recent work includes a song called “Feet & Toes.” The Dragonbacks hope to produce a full album sometime in the not-so-distant future. Dedicated to their music, the group is looking into purchasing a band van, specifically a dark blue 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon. If you are looking to hear some of the band’s music, feel free to talk to any one of the members. They would be happy to share their work.

The Dragonbacks. Photo credit: Destana Herring.

About the author

Destana Herring is a senior at Collegiate.