The Continuums explain their origins while preparing to headline Just Us Friends’ upcoming Music Extravaganza


Pu Ying Huang

Local rock band The Continuums, who continue to grow their presence in the Austin music scene, will be playing Music Extravaganza hosted by Just Us Friends on Saturday at The Belmont. 

Hannah Smothers

Local rock band The Continuums have big plans for the next five years, but they might consider getting a manager in the meantime.

“In five years, I hope we’re headlining [ACL], playing Jimmy Fallon Late Night or touring with big bands,” Morgan Ries, drummer and former UT student, said.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon would be a huge leap from the small North Texas town of Weatherford, where the four members of The Continuums are from. Two of the members, Austin and Morgan Ries, even hail from the same bloodline.

Getting all of the members to Austin was the band’s first major challenge.

The two Ries brothers were both UT students. Austin Ries graduated in 2010 with a degree in journalism, while Morgan Ries left his studies early to work and concentrate more heavily on the band.

“School was just to convince our parents to let us come to Austin,” Morgan Ries said.

The four members met in junior high, but before they were The Continuums, they were in a Texas country band called Crosscut Vultures.

“We weren’t country influenced at all,” Austin Ries, lead guitarist and former Daily Texan sports reporter, said. “We were always influenced by classic rock and modern alternative stuff.”

The band lost its country sound when the former lead singer of Crosscut Vultures called just days before a gig to let the members know he was quitting the band.

“He had been fading out,” lead singer Barrett Boswell said. “We threw a show together within two days.”

The band’s name was not immediately decided. The group first performed under the name The Sway, but changed it for recognition’s sake.

“It sounded too much like The Fray, and we decided we weren’t doing that,” Morgan Ries said.

According to Morgan Ries, the name The Continuums was essentially born out of convenience.

“The main reason we stuck with it was because no one else had it,” Morgan Ries said. “It’s hard to find an unused URL on Facebook beginning with the word ‘the.’”

A little over a year after their first show, The Continuums are continuing to grow their presence sans manager.

“We want to learn how to do it all,” Boswell said. “We want to learn as much as we can.”

While it may be happening slower than for other bands, The Continuums are making precious progress on their journey to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

“We just got a van last week; that was pretty cool.” Austin Ries said. “It was a big step.”

Aside from deciding on an official name for their new van, The Continuums also plan on releasing another EP, and eventually a full-length album.

Their debut EP “Crossing Caswell” has barely been making funds and is currently available on iTunes and Spotify.

“There’s probably like 30 ratings or comments on [the EP] on iTunes,” Morgan Ries said. “We made some money on it.”

The Continuums have primarily been focusing on playing live shows around Texas, but they hope to grow their presence a bit before they travel any further.

“We definitely don’t want to go drive for eight hours to go play a show for ten people,” Boswell said.

So far, the band has had its best success in college towns like Austin and Lubbock.

“Hitting the college towns has been good because there’s kids going out to the bars that dig our music,” Morgan Ries said.

As long as the kids continue to “dig their music,” The Continuums should continue to book gigs around town, such as the upcoming Music Extravaganza being hosted by Just Us Friends at The Belmont.

Just Us Friends is a charity organization whose current project is to build a fully functioning compound in Tanzania.

“There’s just not a lot of opportunity in Tanzania, and there’s a lot of Tanzanians who really want to improve their country and the lives of their people,” board member Janie Proctor said.

A few of the local members of Just Us Friends saw an opportunity to capitalize on Austin’s thriving music scene as a way to raise funds for Loren’s Hope Compound, the name of the Tanzanian project. Several local bands will be playing at the event along with scheduled headliners The Continuums.

Shows like the upcoming Music Extravaganza are helpful in The Continuums’ slow but steady rise to their desired fame.

“We’re not digressing by any means,” Austin Ries said. “Things are happening.”

Printed on Thursday, November 29, 2012 as: Rock band eyes national stage