Freshman friendship gets creative juices flowing for Just Blush


Despite technical setbacks, the members of Just Blush (from left: Abby Vail, Andrew Bryant, Nick Barno and Todd Oravic) just released a new EP.

Nicole Zukowski, Staff Writer

Having fun with good friends while making music in the process; isn’t that the dream?

Four musicians from the Scranton area are doing just that. As the band Just Blush, they recently released their second EP just this winter.

The band is made up of two Wilkes University students, senior history and education major Nick Barno on drums and senior English major Todd Oravic on guitar and vocals. Along with them are Abby Vail playing the bass and Andrew Bryant on the guitar.

The bands newly released their EP titled “Just Blush, Live @ the Flea Market” (don’t be fooled by the cheeky title, it’s not live and there was no flea market; they’re just taking the piss).The EP seeks to take listeners on a musical journey with six songs with driving lead guitars, warm percussion and on-point bass playing as a background for melodious vocals.

All the members of the band are college students by day — and, of course, time is of the essence in college. Luckily, guitar and lead vocalist Todd Oravic was able to sit down with The Beacon for a special interview about the Just Blush and the not-quite-live new EP.

Where does the name Just Blush come from?

Todd: Oh you’re going to get a kick out of this. When we first started at that time it was me, Nick, Andrew and our original bassist, Guido Castellani. We just jammed and said “Oh, maybe we should start doing some original stuff as a band.” Guido had this idea of Just Blush as a band name for months before that. He was at Lowe’s or somewhere looking at paint splashes and one of the colors was “Just Blush.” He said “Oh, there we go.”

How did you all meet each other?

Todd: I met Nick during orientation weekend before our freshmen year began. Nick was literally the first friend I made up here at Wilkes. I was coming into the SUB from the back lot; Nick was sitting on his car playing an acoustic guitar. I’m a big fan of Elliot Smith, who’s an acoustic musician, and Nick’s guitar looked a lot like Elliot’s. I originally walked passed him but I turned back just to ask him what kind of acoustic it was. We started to talk about music and eventually he introduced me to his friends from high school, one of them being Andrew Bryant. We actually use to go to see our favorite local band together, and that’s how we really started to get together and bond over music.

What genre do you consider Just Blush?

Todd: We never really wanted to put a genre on ourselves, we just kind of play. Our influences kind of stem from the ‘70s classic music: Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads, Radiohead, etc. We tend to be more on the mellow rock side, but I’d imagine if we were on the radio we would be called “alternative.” We don’t really like that. We don’t like to put a label on our music. We like to let people chose for themselves.

Do you have a favorite song off the new EP?

Todd: Everyone in the band likes ‘Philosopher.” I like to perform “Tropical” and “Berj.” “Berj” is probably the weirdest song we done so far. It doesn’t follow the basic projection or structure. I like to perform “Tropical,” though, because I like to listen to Andrew’s guitar work. I like to listen to everyone, but I think Andrew’s best guitar work is on that track.

Could you describe the process of making the EP?

Todd: We recorded it digitally. Andrew enjoys recording so we just did it all on software on his laptop. It actually crashed halfway though and we almost lost all that we did thus far, but luckily we were able to recover it. Andrew did all the mixing and mastering. He likes to do that, so we left it to him. I mean, of course we all had a hand in it, but that is his thing. Our nickname for Andrew is actually “The Technician,” mainly because he does all the intricate leads. I do the lyrical and rhythm stuff, for the most part. We all collaborate on the songwritten and music-writing process.

What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?

Todd: I try to write in such a way that people can come up with their own meanings for it. I’ve found enjoyment with that myself listening to music. I like thinking “Oh, that is what this song is about,” then listening to or watching an interview of the artist and learning what they thought. You have a different interpretation then what they have. I like when people say what they thought the song was about and I think “Wow, I never really thought of it that way.” Like “Only Human” from our first EP. I just wrote about an alien abduction (laughs). But some people thought it had a life-and -eath theme. But I think if I had to pick main themes for me personally, they would be why we are the way we are, human observations and social developments.

Is there anyone you want to acknowledge on helping make your newest EP?

Todd: Everybody who comes to see our shows, we really appreciate your support. We do it for them because we like to play for people. Whether it is a crowd of two or 200 we will play. Andrew did an awesome job of mixing and mastering. The rest of the band as well did an amazing job. Everybody who supports us, close friends of the band, bands and even new fans. We thank for all the encouragement.

Where can fans find your albums and more information about the band?

Keep an eye out over the summer for shows, but we have a Facebook, Soundcloud page, and YouTube videos up. Just post on our Facebook page and we will mail you the EP.