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Pomp[ous] on parade?

Tickertape Parade is the greatest band in the Valley...according to them.

 by Erika Wurst
 published on Thursday, January 30, 2003

Tickertape Parade - [from left] Topher Bradshaw, Dan Hargest, Sean McCall, Aaron Wendt, and Jesse Everhart - is the best! Just ask ’em./issues/ent/355458
Tickertape Parade - [from left] Topher Bradshaw, Dan Hargest, Sean McCall, Aaron Wendt, and Jesse Everhart - is the best! Just ask ’em.


Eight months ago, Tickertape Parade didn't exist. And yet, in only four weeks, the five-piece Phoenix band has already taken the stage with national acts The Ataris and Sugar Cult, toured the West Coast with The Stereo, and recorded their EP, You're Causing a Scene.

"We're really trying to make things happen quickly because we don't want to lose momentum," guitarist Jesse Everhart says. "We don't even have a booking agent yet; we just started."

The band's set-up, just like their speedy rise in the local scene, isn't traditional either.

Sean McCall takes over the drums, while Topher Bradshaw is on bass and Everhart plays guitar alongside lead vocalist Aaron Wendt. But what about band mate Dan Hargest?

Tickertape Parade with Fairview, Kissing Chaos and Brazil at Big Fish Pub, 1954 E. University Drive, Tempe. 8 p.m. Wednesday. All Ages. Tickets at the door. 480-966-5010.

In his previous band, Pollen, Hargest took on the role as lead vocalist before deciding to settle down, happily, to play bass. But once Pollen split up, longtime friends of Hargest [and future members of what would soon be Tickertape Parade] recognized his multitude of talents and had bigger plans for him.

They wanted a utility player in their new band, someone that could be freed up to play keyboard and guitar as well as sing.

"I refused the idea completely at first," Hargest says. "I didn't want to do anything besides play bass. I was really enjoying the simplicity of it and when they told me they wanted me to do other stuff, I was like, 'No, I'm not going to do that.' They probably had all these meetings [saying] like, 'Dan doesn't want to go for it.'

"Fortunately, talking it over with Aaron changed my mind and I decided that it'd be fun to play multiple instruments."

Hargest adds a tricky touch to TTP, making the crowd only see five renaissance guys onstage instead of a traditional band. These five seem like a band of eight, with two singers, three guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and Hargest on the keys.

"Here we are, a five-piece with three guitar players which is totally awkward at times and sometimes works really well," Everhart says.

On Jan. 11, nearly 500 fans packed into the new Nita's Hideaway to kick off the release of TTP's new EP put out by Sunset Alliance.

The crowd doubled the band's expectations.

"That's when the big bucks start rolling in," Wendt says, going off on a tangent about the RVs and other rock-star luxuries he'll buy when TTP begins making millions.

"Okay, no RVs yet, but I can start super-sizing my value meals."

With all their success TTP still can't agree on what to call their type of music. Each member has musical influences in different genres making it impossible to slap a label on their sound.

"Sean, for instance--he's got Cannibal Corpse albums," Wendt says of McCall's more hardcore tastes. "I can't go there. I can appreciate it, but I can't really sit down and be like, 'what I need right now is some Cannibal Corpse.' I don't recall ever being in that mood, and if I was I didn't know to listen to Cannibal Corpse."

Wendt, not the biggest death-metal fan, chooses The Flaming Lips and The Beatles as his musical inspirations.

Despite all the bickering over influential differences, Hargest takes a final shot at classifying the music they practice five days a week perfecting.

"We're definitely a rock band, if you want to keep it simple," he says.

Musical tastes aren't the only things the guys disagree on, though. The flourishing local scene TTP is part of also lent itself to conflicting viewpoints.

"I think the scene is OK. It's cool that anyone can start a band and have a shot," Bradshaw says while the other members bite their tongues, eager to contest.

"That's really cool and all, but that's why there's so many shitty bands, too many over-saturated, shitty bands. Anyone can call up a venue these days and land a gig with no credentials. People should only come see us if they're interested in hearing the best band in the land," Wendt says.

"If I wasn't in this band I would still listen to them religiously," Hargest says. "I would buy every one of their albums four times, go to all of their shows and give them tips."

Laughing at how arrogant they must sound, Wendt jumps in to redeem TTP's reputation.

"We all really like the music we play, so to a certain extent it's not arrogance; it's how you should feel about your band. You should like your band. I like my band. I think we're fucking great."

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