A Guide to the Start of Pariah’s Career

By definition, a pariah is an outcast. What does the future hold in store for this band of self-labeled outcasts?


Noel Castillo

Colten Billings(far left), Liam Sherr(center), Braden Main(above), and Kasey Davolio(far right) in the process of setting up for their second show at Fort Armistead. Billings sets up his bass amp with a member of band “Lowlife Tea Party,” while Sherr uses a skateboard deck to check the generator and sound on his end. “I really like how we’re playing shows with these bigger bands that we’ve seen before and who we love. And they’re always really nice to us; everyone in the scene is supportive, I think mostly because we’re a new band of teenagers, we get cool points for it,” Billings said.

Noel Castillo, Features Editor

Pariah consists of three high school students and one high school graduate: Colten Billings, Liam Sherr, Alayna Knox and Braden Main who joined last. Billings plays bass, Sherr also plays the guitar, Knox is on drums and Main, the most recent and oldest member, is in charge of vocals and writing lyrics.

“Pariah to my mind, it’s a ‘Spite’ lyric,” Main and Knox said.

Billings points to Main, Knox and Sherr respectively regarding “lyrics, melody, beats and then I just add everything else,” Billings said.

On Friday, Feb. 24, Pedal Pushers Bike Shop hosted a hardcore punk-rock show with five bands, including “Fear of God,” the band that the owner of the bike shop is in. The show opened with “Bedroom Floor,” then “Consumer Culture,” who have played at various local venues such as Fort Armistead. Originally, Pariah was supposed to perform third in the lineup but “Fear of God” stepped in as the new band calmed their nerves, leaving Pariah to play fourth instead. After Pariah was “Constituents,” who closed the show. 

The set list for the night of the show: “starting it out with a mystery song, then we’re going into “Broken Mind,” a classic, our first song. Then into “Let Go,” and we’re going to finish it off strong with ‘Psycho Death,’” Billings said.

Their music is composed of guttural screams from vocalist Main and groovy guitar licks underlying the clanging percussion; they are loud and have a booming stage presence. The sheer volume and energy emanating from the grungy sounds in tandem with their aesthetic makes for a unique yet classic alternative screamo rock experience.

“They’ve been jamming together for a couple months,” Main said.

Pariah has been together since December of last year, but “January 28 was when Pariah fully formed,” Billings said.

“Literally a month. Last time Pedal Pushers was here, they [said they were] in a band. And I was like, do you need a vocalist? They were like yeah, and I’m like okay, band created just like that. January 28 was when I met you guys,” Main said.

Pariah had a short but sweet set that elicited a full-blown mosh pit with Pedal Pushers’ doors, capturing the essence of performance and entertainment. The entire audience danced, pushed, shouted throughout the duration of Pariah’s presence on stage. Pariah had a few short songs in their repertoire, but the final one proved to be a fan-favorite. 

“‘Psycho Death;’ it is fun, we’ve been working on it and it’s been so hard to work on but now we have it fully finished,” Main said.

Pariah’s future plans include brand-building, practice, meeting more bands and preparing for more live shows in the future. 

“The fort. We also want to play at the fort,” Sherr said.

According to wypr.org, Fort Armistead is an abandoned “coastal defense base” that was used during WWI. This past fall, shows played there almost every week from Halloween until early December, featuring bands like Consumer Culture and Constituents. More shows will be starting back up at the fort in early March and will continue to run throughout the spring. On March 25, Pariah’s wishes did come true. 

“Our show at the fort was our second show ever and we spent the entire week and a half leading up to it practicing. It went freaking great and we all had a blast,” Pariah said.

More recently, on April 10, the band played at Key Brewery in Dundalk.

“What we didn’t know leading up to our show was that you won’t have a good show just by wishing it into existence. We thought because our show at that fort was so good that we’d do fine at Key, but we were very mistaken. On top of writing a practically last minute, more technical song, half of our band was away for half of spring break so we couldn’t practice as much. A good performance comes from good practice and it’s important to remember the term SHOW READY,” Pariah said.

The very next day after their third show, TikTok user @theplaguedog posted Pariah’s signature SpongeBob song that they played at the beginning of their set and during setup. He is a Pennsylvania “solo deathcore/metalcore” guitarist. In another TikTok of the same event, (one uploaded by Pariah), three of their high school friends, as well as @theplaguedog and various other audience, can be seen dancing to “Let Go.”

“That was when we were making sure everything worked before anyone got there. Him and a bud were the only dudes in the lot so it’s super lucky that he got it on camera. When we found it, I think it had 20k likes and about 100k views and we were super happy someone posted us online, but the view and like count never stopped. It’s subsided recently with 1.2 million views and [224]k likes,” Pariah said.

“We are very lightly planning on a summer event with a bunch of bands, not even hardcore bands, just any band that’s willing to hop on,” Billings said.

“We’re reimagining July 4, so it’s not about America, it’s about fun,” Sherr said.

 “It’s about the spirit of revolution versus the American dream,” Main said. 

Pariah has already sowed efforts to practice and build the brand while summer approaches. They have sold stickers at school for $1 as a way to spread the name. While they have only released “Let Go” “Broken Mind” on Bandcamp, their official Instagram and TikTok is pariah_md where all their individual socials are linked. For now, their Instagram consists of show posters/practice clips and they are more oriented towards playing live shows. 

“I can play guitar, I can play every one of their instruments,” Main said. “But they have the show, they have the musicianship and they are the backbone. I’m proud of them.”