DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Two veterans were called to the Miami Valley for service to our country, but stayed for the local music scene.
Austin Ramsey and Mikey Chappel decided to stick around in Dayton after getting out of the Air Force to see where music could take them next. Ramsey and Chappell both were stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Ramsey served seven years of active duty with stops in Colorado and New Mexico before ending up in Dayton. Ramsey says it was Dayton’s D.I.Y. music scene that caught his attention.
“It wasn’t like Austin or Nashville or places I’ve been before where everyone is trying to make it all the time, which they might be out here too, but it was more of your local brewery guys, school teachers just wanting to get on stage and rock out for a bit. I loved that,” said Ramsey.
After making a few connections he found a way to put his love of guitar to good use and formed his band “Too Pretty.”
“Overall it just felt welcoming from the start whether it’s the venue, or other bands, or the people of Dayton. They just seem to eat up anything that is locally grown,” said Ramsey.
“Scary Hotel” frontman, Mikey Chappel is originally from South Carolina. He spent 8 years in the Air Force as a public health technician. He says he quickly found community within the area’s music scene.
Like Austin, he found community through the music scene.
“When I first got here, I was at places all the time and I was meeting all these cool people and everyone is so talented. Not only are they talented, they’re super supportive. You kind of just have that feeling when you find a tribe and that’s what Dayton felt like,” said Chappell.
Chappell plays in multiple bands and also produces bands at a local recording studio. He says the willingness to collaborate in Dayton is unlike anything else he’s experienced in other cities.
“If I put forth something creatively, I don’t need you to like it, just appreciate the effort that was put into it,” said Chappell.
Both veterans say creativity and innovation are alive and well in the Miami Valley which is why they made the decision to make the area home.
“As far as the band, we have plenty of places to play, bands to meet with, bands that come through and make connections outside of town as well. It’s just too good of a spot, we don’t ever want to leave,” said Ramsey.
“Honestly, I just want somebody to recognize me on the street once and go hey your stuff’s pretty cool and that’s about it,” said Chappell.
Both band’s music can be found on streaming platforms.