Cadet Biography

Review The Artist (3)

The band, Cadet is made up of four guys from Eugene/Springfield, OR. Ryan Smith plays guitar, sings and writes about 95.7% of the songs. Chad Basom plays the drums and sings background vocals. Jason Kennedy plays bass and has been known to occasionally yell from stage. Matt Lenhart is the newest member of Cadet and he plays keyboards, guitars, sings and has been seen using a tambourine once or twice.

While leading worship for Campus Crusade for Christ at Oregon State University, Ryan felt the call to pursue ministry through music. He also thought it would be cool to do music for a living. Duh! He then turned to his friend and former drummer, Chad. Both he and Chad originally played together in the band, Narrowgate. Most of you won't remember Narrowgate. They never had a hit song and their album was only 16 minutes long. (Rumor has it, you can find their self-titled CD at various west coast, used record stores for the bargain basement price of one U.S. dollar.) Chad and Ryan then called on Jason to join the group after his band, Pillar broke up. (Jason was the only bass player left in Eugene who did not have a mullet.) Now, if you thought Narrowgate was obscure, they were a super group compared to Pillar. And that is no knock on Pillar. You can only be so big when you play music in the great state of Oregon. Now, please don't make the mistake of confusing this Pillar with the Dove award-winning group Pillar, who resides on Flicker Records. The band that Jason played for was split up before the Pillar that you now know and love even started to practice. But is this a history of the band, Pillar? I think not.

Soon after, the guys began working on the songs that Ryan had written and before they knew it, they were playing two shows every three months. After a year of playing youth groups and church camps, the guys tried to get a demo together to see if they had what it took to "be a real band." Anyway, they worked with their new friend and producer, Chris Stevens and recorded a 10 song demo which they peddled at various concerts and festivals. BEC Recordings founder, Brandon Ebel got word of Cadet through his younger brother, Seth who at the time was attending OSU with Ryan. After Brandon heard the demo, he was thoroughly impressed.

In September of 2000, the group signed a record deal with BEC Recordings and went into a Vancouver, B.C. studio that same month. There, they spent almost a month with producer Neill King (Green Day, Elvis Costello, O.C. Supertones, The Undecided) and recorded their self-titled debut. But before they released that to stores, they returned to Eugene and teamed up once again with Chris Stevens to record their worship album, Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven. Both albums released in the Spring of 2001 while the band was touring.

Fast forward to the winter of 2002 where the band called on Matt to join the group. Matt had long hair and dressed much cooler than the other guys so they thought it would be good for their image to add a fourth member. After touring for a few months, they decided to actually teach Matt the songs to make the concert experience "tighter." (That last part was a joke.) Soon after, they began working on their 3rd studio album, The Observatory. They returned to Fabmusic Studios to once again call on Chris Stevens to produce. After four months, the guys finished the eleven song album.

Fast forward even further and you get to today where the guys are awaiting the release of The Observatory.

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good night sweet prince | Reviewer: jadon | 6/26/11

so sad that they broke up
observatory is the one album i can play without skipping songs
i remember when i found the observatory CD my dad had oh i loved it so much
my only regret is that i never got to go to any of their shows
in a word
thats it
i shall cherish the observatory forever

update | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/6/10

Ryan is now the worship pastor at Calvary Chapel Corvallis in Corvallis, OR. He recently won a worship songwriting contest in the northwest and has actually just started a new band within the last few weeks. We are blessed to have him as our worship leader. :)

Amazing | Reviewer: Mel | 1/17/09

I love these guys. I happened to be thumbing through old CD's the other day and found Observatory. That album was my best friend in sixth grade, and now it's on my Zen so I can take it with me as a senior in high school. It's interesting how my interpretation of the lyrics and even the general sound of songs I heard back then has changed, yet I can still remember what I associated them with, what images I saw while listening, etc. I remember telling all my friends about them and Cadetbrainwashing them haha. I remember having this huuuuuuuge girlcrush on Ryan LOL he is still one of my favorite male singers, his voice is just so beautiful. But I can't find them anywhere! Not on Wikipedia, nothing! LOL! So it's a wonder I found this, and reading the old bio up here was amusing and brought back memories. I'm pretty sure these guys broke up, because I haven't heard from them in years, which makes me sad. But I'm glad to know that Ryan is blessing people with his music somehow, somewhere, and meanwhile his legacy in the form of a compact disc continues to inspire me as a musician.

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