Perhaps the childhood endeavors of the band can be told individually but at least for Wichita these bandmates have an accomplished individual history.
We will start with Mike Massion’s, coming from a background of thrash metal, and looking up to bands such as Pantera and Metallica (he even got to meet Dimebag Daryl), Mike Massion’s shredded his way onto the Wichita scene as one of the nightmarish shredding duo alongside Jason Catlett, (Magnitude Creative, Parallax) in the band Continent of Ash of which they went on to do much touring throughout the Midwest and opened for many big name artists such as Korn, Mudvayne, and Slipknot, and quickly became a local favorite, selling out many venues and recieving much attetion from the local active rock FM station, particularly the famous Wichita morning DJ, Hank the Mechanic.
After Mike left the band for personal reasons he went on to make an amazing transformation, from a whiskey guzzling, hard-partying classic metal head, to a sober, clean eating, Intellectual and master Jazz guitarist, all while maintaining his deep passion for heavy music, and understanding what it takes to defeat personal demons. Mike formed and joined many bands and projects over next few years, he officially met and started working with David Ruyle and Kasey Schwemmer at Guitar Center in Wichita in early 2007.
Dave was currently in the touring band Signum A.D. and would get signed to Silent Majority Group record label that year (2007) and enjoyed much attention from the locally owned FM Rock station FLY92.7 particularly from Joe Roach the station manager. Dave, Kasey and Mike had already shared the stage locally by this point but were still mostly acquaintances. Thier friendships developed fairly quickly during the time they worked together until Kasey had to leave his job and eventually played bass and toured for the very popular Ante Up, and became a successful Hot-air balloon pilot, traveling to many balloon and festival events around the country because of his valuable (and rare) services.
Dave Ruyle left Guitar Center in late 2007 after getting signed and spent the next 3 years touring off and on and working many interesting jobs along the way, including a gravedigger, and tech support. Dave’s band Signum A.D. played shows from Boston to Seattle and everywhere in between, as well as getting the opportunity to work with producers such as Brett Heslta, (Dark New Day) Malcolm Springer(Full Devil Jacket), Michael Fuller(Eagles), and the late Kato Khandwala(Breaking Benjamin), as well as play many massive shows, opening for Sevendust, Cinderella, and Halestorm, (to name a few) Dave’s band eventually broke up in 2011 due to irreconcilable differences in the band, and it was crushing for all parties involved. During that time, however, Dave’s little brother Jared Ruyle started playing his first real bar, gymnasium, and outdoor shows at the age of 14… His main band of note Thalia Massacre, played many local shows in Wichita and recorded several EP tracks, they also had the opportunity to open up for bands such as Season’s After, and In this Moment, and became a well known regional post-hardcore band, with many fans. Jared cut his teeth at an early age and it shows, he is a well rounded and seasoned musician, and he was there by the age of 18.
All the while Mike, Dave and Kasey loosely stayed in touch, Dave continuing to write music and stay busy with personal projects with former Signum A.D. drummer and childhood friend David Lyon, Mike continuing to be a stellar salesman for Guitar Center traveling the country and eventually getting a job at Alesis, Kasey continued to tour with Ante Up and fly balloons, and Jared started getting his first taste of the working world…
In 2013 Mike hit up Dave to see what he was up to, Mike had a small project going called Let Us Be Lions and needed a singer, Dave was excited to re-kindle his friendship with Mike and played a few shows before realizing not all members of the band were on the same page, so after a few difficult discusions Mike and Dave decided to form a new band, Black Box Warning and on July 4th 2014 they met with Dave’s brother Jared and discussed it, under a viel of explosion and celebration. At first Dave played the bass and went on trying be a 3 peice, but Mike felt it needed to be more complex, especially after recording an EP and a full length album within a year and a half, all recorded by Engineer and Producer Chris Dawson, and mastered by the famed Engineer Tom Baker of Baker sound, California, and in thier short amount of touring and taking breaks, they grew very fast with minimal ability for social media presence but through mostly word of mouth, Mike Massions has since been promoted to brand manager of the Headrush pedal board (M-music brands) and Dave has become DJ of the Rad Vinyl Radio show and has begun engineering work for independent artists and the online radio station Rock Rage Radio, and it’s subsidiary’s.
Now we wait in the wings to see where the band goes from here, as all members maintain that this is our band, through thick and thin. We’ve all been to Hell and back in different ways, and we all believe in the future. Black Box Warning isn’t just a name, it’s what we discover about ourselves and our place in the world.