Employee Spotlight: Rujen
Psychedelic indie rock band Rujen is home to not one, but two Urjanet employees. Creighton Perme, lead research specialist, and Nick Hanchey, data analyst, are joined by Ryan Miller, Charlie Brady, and Michael Cornwall.
How Rujen Came to Be
Creighton started playing guitar with Ryan Miller (the band’s lead singer) during his first year at Georgia College. The two added a drummer and bass player to their band in 2013, and finally Nick on keyboards and synth towards the end of 2016. Each had been playing music for a while — Creighton has played guitar since third grade, Nick since he was 15 — but Nick learned to play on keyboards specifically for the band.
The origin behind the band’s name is a less deliberate story. In the band’s early days, they often named song recordings after the band member who came up with them. One recording was meant to be titled “Ruggin,” a nickname for Ryan, but was misspelled on Creighton’s phone as “Rujen.” And thus, a band name was born.
The Band’s Inspirations
Rujen’s musical inspirations are varied and expansive. They range from classics like the Beatles and Pink Floyd to modern artists like Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Nick names Cuban musical group Los Van Van as a personal influence on his style. He enjoys listening to music written in foreign languages, because even when he can’t understand the lyrical content, it still makes him feel emotionally connected.
“A huge aspect of Rujen’s music to me is instrumental, trying to create feelings through sounds alone. Half the time when we play, I don’t even hear the words, because the music is so loud. But we all enjoy the sound that’s created.”
Image courtesy of Blake Towns photography
Nick and Creighton have both been passionate about music for most of their lives. To Creighton, just listening to music is never boring; there’s so much to learn and understand. “It’s an easy way to be creative whenever and wherever you want. I don’t know if there’s anything else that does that.”
For Nick, music has also been a way to blow off steam. He grew up playing sports competitively, but realized that while sports was both stress-relieving and stressful, music was the only outlet that could always calm him down. Joining a band added a social aspect to it that blew him away. “It’s incredible that four or five or 10 people can be on the same page for an extended period of time and create something that people really love.”
Both Urjanet employees’ favorite memories with the band thus far are from early on in the band’s career. Nick fondly remembers one time when they ran out of music to play in the middle of a set, so Charlie (the bass player) went to the bathroom to buy time. Creighton thinks back to a slightly more successful show: one of their first at a “legit” venue. In Milledgeville, Rujen played a set of majority original material for the first time. “People seemed to really like it…it was shocking,” said Creighton. “It was pretty euphoric.”
“It’s pretty rare that you get a glimpse into what your coworkers actually do — to see what gets them jazzed. This is what gets us jazzed.”
Some of their other favorite memories come from the support they’ve seen from their colleagues at Urjanet. Creighton says there’s been at least one Urjanet employee at every one of their shows. “They’re the people I spend the majority of my time with, so to see them enjoying what I do outside of work is awesome.” Nick shares his sentiments: “It’s pretty rare that you get a glimpse into what your coworkers actually do — to see what gets them jazzed. This is what gets us jazzed, so it’s cool that Urjanetters have come out and experienced that with us.”
The band is now hard at work recording an EP, aiming for an end-of-year release. They’ll continue to perform around town and beyond. After that, Creighton says, perhaps ten more albums, a couple of world tours; nothing too crazy. They’ll still be back at work on Monday.
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About Amy Hou
Amy Hou is a Marketing Associate at Urjanet, writing about emerging topics in sustainability, energy management, and data innovation.