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Ravine prepares to show its ‘scars’

While most musicians spent 2020 at home, Cortland native Frank Toncar called it “a very productive and inspiring year.”

“I was very lucky to be doing live shows from June to November in various groups almost every day at Cedar Point in Sandusky and then transitioned to another Cedar Fair Park in Charlotte, N.C., called Carowinds, where I continued to play live music from mid-November until mid-December,” he said.

The multi-instrumentalist also started a “sad boy pop-rock” band called Ravine with friends Reese Maslen of Boardman and Hobie Butcher of Salem. Toncar and Maslen share lead vocals with Maslen on guitar, Toncar on bass, guitar and keyboards, and Butcher on drums and percussion.

“From the start, we had serious plans to write music and plan this group’s identity throughout 2020 before releasing any music, which we were actually still able to do since we all ended up at Cedar Point and Carowinds together,” Toncar said. “So we spent much of the year writing music and establishing exactly the direction that we’d want to take this group after a late 2020 launch.”

The debut single, “i just want to be alone,” was released Dec. 4 and a follow-up, “scars,” debuts Friday.

“Since we’re able to handle our own recording and production, we’ve been able to have a high degree of control over the timeline of these tracks,” Toncar said. “We did a lot of recording in the fall before we left for Charlotte and are sitting on around 15 songs set to release roughly every four, five weeks, which currently takes us into July-August of 2021. We’re still writing as well, and working so far in advance really allows us the leeway to swap out songs, change direction or alter the plan in any way we see fit. The hardest part is having the patience.”

The trio is contemplating a move to Nashville in the spring, but that depends on the pandemic.

Toncar also is working on music that he’ll release as a solo artist.

“I don’t have as strict of a timeline for those, because Ravine is my top priority right now, and my solo stuff is more of a personal emotional release, but I’m very excited about these songs as well and am more or less planning on releasing them as a couple singles followed by an EP, beginning sometime in the spring of 2021,” he said.

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