Student Spotlight: Dead Precedents

University students Nick Ruroede, Dylan Maynard, Sam Maynard and Thomas Blaney brought the punk to the airwaves of WMCX 88.9 F.M. February 26 on the specialty show Alternative Riot. With Sam and Nick on guitar, Dylan driving the bass and Thomas on the drums, the four students formed the gritty hardcore punk band called Dead Precedents.

Although Dead Precedents might be a fairly new group to the New Jersey music scene, the members of the band certainly are not. Ruroede is also the current bassist for Lost In Society, a punk group based out of Asbury Park that has experienced the chaos of life on the road during Warped Tour 2012. Sam and Dylan Maynard shared the experience of performing in local venues and sweaty college basements in their previous band The Black Top Kids, while Blaney used to be a member of the progressive rock group Give Me Light.

The need for change came when Dylan and Sam started writing new music and wanted to find band members who could help drive their latest focus. Ruroede explained, “My other band, Lost in Society, and Black Top Kids played together for a lot of shows and then Dylan asked me about doing new music and then I was like, yeah alright I’ll find us a drummer.”

“We met Tom over the summer at a random barbeque at Nick’s house, and we just started hanging out over the summer and making music,” said Dylan. Typically a guitarist, Tom agreed to join the band and play the drums even though he had no previous drumming experience.

Dead Precedents officially started this past summer when they performed their first show together on August 4 at Bands on a Budget in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Influenced by groups like The Bouncing Souls, Alkaline Trio, Title Fight and Paint It Black, Ruroede described their latest EP, “Dust,” as more traditional punk.

“We have five new songs coming out very soon, we plan on releasing them in early April, late May,” said Dylan. Dead Precedents emphasized that their newer material has a slightly slower tempo with more hardcore and melodic influences. They even came up with the term “Sludgecore” to further describe their new music.

“That’s how we’ve been writing as of late. It’s gotten harder and just a little bit weirder that what we started with,” said Sam. A Paint It Black song inspired the name Dead Precedents, and Dylan and Sam, who are influenced by the hardcore punk scene, write a majority of the material for the group.

Although Blaney loves hardcore punk, he explained, “I come from a little bit of a different background than they do.” Growing up he was influenced by the blues and didn’t get into punk until later on. He stated that part of the reason why he was artistically driven throughout his life was because his parents were always supportive of music. Blaney is also currently working towards his Masters degree at Monmouth University.

When asked if twin brothers Sam and Dylan came from a musical household growing up, Dylan replied, “Our dad and our sister, everyone, they all play music and stuff, but nobody was really into punk. That was more me and Sam. At a very young age we got into it. We owned like Rancid records when we were in third grade. So, yes, we come from a musical household.”

After completing his freshman and sophomore year at the University, Ruroede took some time off to focus on his passion for music. Ruroede is still enrolled as a student at the University while Sam and Dylan are completing their junior year.

The boys went on to play the following Sunday at The Saint in Asbury Park with a band from Ontario called Single Mothers. For now, Dead Precedents are planning a CD release show for sometime in April and listeners can download their EP “Dust” for free at or check them out at DeadPrecedents.