Opposite Box began in 2003, when high school friends Ryan Long and Richard “Dick” Long started using the name when jamming with friends.
Photo by Jeremy Dahl
The band went through several name changes, but eventually the members landed on Opposite Box. When the band first began, Ryan and Dick set their sights on the high school Battle of the Bands, but didn’t consider professional careers in music.
The band continued to play for fun until 2009, when they decided to go in a more professional direction. Its members wanted to travel and play music, but weren’t sure “if it would just be traveling to the next town over, or… something bigger.”
Opposite Box now consists of four members: lead vocalist Ryan Long, drummer Ryan Guza, guitarist Richard “Dick” Long, and bass guitarist Jason Craig.
In addition to being the lead vocalist, Ryan Long plays the keys/synthesizer and the trombone. Originally, he acted as the lead vocalist only, but as the group transitioned into “more progressive and experimental music,” he began to incorporate instruments as well.
For nearly a decade, Ryan Guza has been an integral member of Opposite Box. He came from a different high school band called Infinite Orange. Opposite Box and Infinite Orange competed in a Battle of the Bands, placing first and second, respectively. Ryan joined Opposite Box after a run-in with Ryan Long and Dick in downtown Chattanooga. His influence lent a “more mature shape” to Opposite Box and “helped to define the sound of what the band would be” as they continued to move forward.
Dick is the band’s guitarist as well as its businessman and manager. He joined the band in high school just “a few days after Ryan when it was an after-school jam session between friends.” He was a recording industry major in college and enjoyed studying music even outside of classes. Thanks to his incorporation of effect pedals, his guitar playing has allowed the band to “explore new styles in songwriting, moving away from the early 2000s rock and punk mixed with suburban teen angst to something a little more interesting.”
After 2020, Jason Craig, a high school friend of Ryan Long and Dick, became the Opposite Box’s latest bass guitarist. He originally played in the bands Aerea and Odist. Throughout the year, Jason acts as tour and stage manager for many national headliners, including ABBA and Christopher Cross.
The Opposite Box is unique because of their “focus on production and live energy,” but they “don’t see much need for competition” with other local bands. They focus on giving “the most immersive experience” they can when they play live. This is accomplished through their use of well-known lighting designers and their inclusion of guest musicians, such as Lili Hayes and her wife, who performs under the name Lady Taij.
Opposite Box wants their audience to feel comfortable embracing the stranger side of themselves. Their song “Anteater Molly” encapsulates this with the message, “it’s okay to be strange sometimes. It’s okay to be a little weird.” As songwriters, performers, and music lovers, the members of the band want to embrace every aspect of their personality and all of their interests.
The band has a new album coming out soon entitled “A Multitude of Color,” featuring six new songs. In 2020, Opposite Box released a music video for their single “Push On,” which featured local skaters. Their merchandise shop is up and running through Threadless, and whatever you spend on their merchandise goes into a tour fund!