Local Spotlight: The Love and Loss of Music (Angwish)

Gianna Haley

The Love and Loss of Music

Photo Courtesy of Angwish's Facebook

Alternative rock band Angwish consists of front man Bryan Bielanski (guitars and vocals) and Josh Griffin (drums and vocals). They started off in Charlotte during the ‘90s after Bryan’s sister took her own life. Some of his sister’s last words were: “You need to travel the world and play your music to people everywhere.”

“Wow, music must really mean a lot to him” was all I could think. Since then Angwish has released nine full length albums, three EPs and played over 1000 shows in 15 different countries on three continents, including major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangkok and Hong Kong. They have been sponsored by the national US music store chain Sam Ash. They’ve also had songs placed in European Red Bull advertisements.

In 2011, front man Bryan Bielanski was nominated for the best songwriter and won the “Most Promising Artist” award at Charlotte Music Awards.  I guess it’s easy for most people to relate to their music because the music has a feeling that makes you feel as if you know everything the band has gone through and is going through, and not every band can do that. Their music is very different, it’s very simple. That’s not a ‘bad’ simple; sometimes if too many things are going on in a song it gets a bit overwhelming.

Bryan had a few words to express what this band means to him:

“Music is a very important part of my life and I believe it plays an important part in most people’s lives. A great song can change your whole day and totally affect a person’s mentality. A happy song can put you in a good mood and a sad or angry song can have a great cathartic effect on a person. I think most people underestimate the powerful influence music (and all art forms) can have of the world.”

He went on to talk about starting Angwish:

“I knew when I started Angwish as a teenager that music was going to be my life and my passion and that it was my calling. I consider myself lucky to have had all the great experiences and adventures with Angwish but I strive to always keep pushing forward with new and exciting ideas and goals!”

Furthermore, he talked to us about how shows run for him.

“Before shows I try to personally meet and speak with members of other bands, venue employees and audience members (when it’s feasible). One of the most important things to me is to connect with people and get to know them a little. I always try to show my appreciation to each and every person who helps perpetuate Angwish’s existence by being friendly and approachable!”

The alternative/indie/post-punk vibe definitely reminds me of Nirvana but still way different. It’s crazy finding out about them being a duo. Yes, I said a duo! It really amazes me how they can be two people and still sound like a four or five person band. When watching videos of them play live, I see that they perform with a lot of emotion. They really get into the music, you can feel their passion. If you are interested in hearing them play live, their next local gig is February 4 at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte.






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