The Rocks Off 200

The Rocks Off 200: Melissa Lonchambon Ryan, Omotai's Mistress of Metal

Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.

Who? Melissa Lonchambon Ryan is one of the main arteries that the blood of Houston music flows through. Currently she's the bassist for Omotai, who released the spine-throttling EP Fresh Hell back in February on Treaty Oak Collective, but that's just a fraction of who she's been in the scene.

The child of musical parents, Ryan started early. Her dad was in the Little Singers of Paris (similar to the Vienna Boys' Choir) when he was a kid, performing all around the world. Piano lessons, saxophone in the school band, but it was in summer vacations during middle school that her true path was laid out when she watched MTV's 120 Minutes and Headbanger's Ball. Her envy of an older brother who played guitar in a band sealed the deal, and Ryan forged ahead in groups like Pop Deflation, Lucky Motors, Panic in Detroit, Sharks and Sailors and Peloton.

Omotai has just returned from a jaunt out West, including Total Fest in Missoula, Mt. Now busy writing material for their fourth release, the band welcomed Jamie Ross aboard a year ago and has been drawing on Shiner, Russian Circles, and Breather Resist in their newer songs, says Ryan. We'll be looking forward to it.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner