Student Spotlight: Park City Needs More Punks


Portraits, the band. Photo credit: Andrew Sweeney

I met Derek Rys at the O’Shucks open mic night–held on April 27th–while I was taking pictures for an article. He saw my camera and asked me if I knew film photography. I do, so he handed me his camera, and I took photos of his band’s performance. I never saw how those photos turned out.


After a year of asking to interview Portraits but never actually doing so, I finally followed through and spoke to Derek Rys and Marcus Rung—the singer and lead guitarist, respectively.


I was initially going to describe Portraits as ‘screamo’, but after I talked to Derek, it became clear that I should describe them as hardcore—which they struggle to define. “Hardcore is a mix between metalcore, which is, like… No one knows what these genres are!” Derek said. 


Marcus tried to further explain Metalcore with, “It’s, like, metal, but not metal.” 


“It’s a mix between modern-metal and punk, ” Derek said much later in the interview, better clarifying than Marcus.


Early in the interview, Derek told me that the title of this article should be “Park City Needs More Metal Kids.” He later told me to change it to punks because “people don’t know what hardcore is.” This is true. They could barely describe it to me.


I asked what he meant when he said that Park City needs more metal kids.


“I feel like the culture here is just very sports-oriented,” said Derek. “There’s no punks, no alternative kids. I feel like kids just need to get into ‘The Valley’ more often… They need to go to more local shows. Kilby Court, the Beehive, even Wild Pepper Pizzeria. They’re all great venues that’re all-ages, and they’re super nice. Tickets are only, like, twelve bucks for all of these shows.”


I don’t really have an ear for Portraits’ sound, but I do like Portraits because they’re doing something different. I like knowing that there’s a hardcore band in Park City.


“Kids in Park City need to start more bands. I don’t care about the genre. There needs to be [another] all-ages venue, too, instead of just O’Shucks,” said Derek.


“Something that kids in Park City can do to start finding shows—since that’s the hardest part—if you’re into the hardcore and metal stuff, @illwillzine on Instagram posts all the flyers,” said Derek.


“Every kid I’ve brought to a show, a hardcore show, they thought it was gonna be lame and awkward and weird, and then they end up going back to way more.” A Portraits groupie was with us during the whole interview. He was converted as Derek described.


Portraits’ debut EP is coming out on October 18th, and they’re currently in the process of writing a full album. No date on that, though.


If you’d like to attend a Portraits concert, their next shows are September 10th and 16th at Black Lung, October 11th and 22nd at the Beehive, and October 21st at Kilby Court—their EP release show. For more information, you can find Portraits on Instagram at


A couple of Salt Lake City hardcore bands worth listening to are: Victim to None, Spent, Snake Eyez, Despite Dispair, and Run Into the Sun. For smaller indie bands, also from Salt Lake: Blue Rain Boots, Sunfish, With Andrea, Cardinal Bloom, and Hurtado.


The moral of the interview was this: Park City kids need their teeth knocked out! Park City needs more punks!

You can find Portraits here:


You can listen to their single, “Fade Away,” here: