Tapedeck Sonata
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Tapedeck Sonata

Band Rock Alternative


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The best kept secret in music


"Seeing as how they're shameless Brit-rock geeks, Tape Deck Sonata aren't about to discover the old weird America anytime soon. They're having too much fun with the old weird punks, the older, weirder mods, and hoary '80s St. Louis radio rock — which means they sound as much like the Cars as they do the Buzzcocks or the Stone Roses. Formed in 2003 by guitarist Kevin Clipper and vocalist/ songwriter Nick Baker, the band has been leisurely about its releases: The five-song EP, Side A, appeared in 2005 — and that's it. Their twitchy, fuzzy and just shy-of-stoned guitar pop may still be in gestation, but they have the hooks and patience to grow into their influences"

By Roy Kasten Article Published Oct 4, 2006 Riverfront Times

- Riverfront Times

"This has been said "once or twice" but a good tight indie-pop band is irresistible, and Tape Deck Sonata fits the description perfectly. Don Dreste is a very tasteful drummer (hard to find 'em in these parts) and a first-rate character, always great to do shows with. They finished with "Under the Broken Lights," an indelible, simple, and catchy tune that always rocks the barn."

By Kurt Boyle Article Published Jan 31 Playbackstl.com
- Playbackstl.com

An Interview with Local Band, Tape Deck Sonata
By Katie Cook May 30, 2007

Tape Deck Sonata is a very cool St. Louis local four-piece band. Its members include Nick Baker (guitar, vocals), Kevin Clipper (guitar), Don Dreste, Jr. (drums, vocals), and Tom Havel (bass). The guys were gracious enough to sit down for an interview with the InsideSTL Music Section. From their biggest influences to their favorite bars around town, read on to learn more about the talented Tape Deck Sonata.

1. When did the members of Tape Deck Sonata start playing together?

Tom: Don and Nick have been friends forever, and Kevin was Don's next door neighbor and [they] grew up together. Kevin and Nick started the idea of a band in 2003, and Don jumped on board. Nick knew me through a mutual friend, and that's how the band came together.

2. The Riverfront Times calls you guys "shameless Brit-rock geeks." Is that a fair assessment?

Don: It is fair to say that we are big Brit pop fans. However, our music is just as much as hard rock as it is Brit pop. Being from St. Louis, the hard rock influences are always going to be there. We also have a deep passion for all types of music be it hip hop, folk, punk, psychedelic, garage, indie, and good ole hoosier rock. It's what we feel separates us from most St. Louis bands. We don’t stick to a specific sound.

3. What artists or bands are some of your biggest influences?

Don: The Beatles, Nirvana, Psychdelic Furs, Kasabian, Oasis, The Smiths, Otis Redding, and Hank Williams, Sr. are the biggest for me.

Nick: The Band, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and most of Don’s influences are on my list, too.

Kevin: Muse, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains

Tom: Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, early Incubus, 311, Common, A Tribe Called Quest, and Jurassic 5. I like alot of funk, hip hop, and rock.

4. The band's EP, Side A, was released in 2005. Where can fans get a copy of that?

Kevin: Right now we are out of them. We made about 100 of them when we
released it and sold all of them. However, "unofficial copies" can be made for those who really want one.

5. Are you currently writing and recording songs? Any plans for a follow up effort?

Don: We are always writing new songs. We probably go through five to six new songs a month. However, we are very picky on what songs we play live, so only one of the six might be played live. We are currently recording three songs for an EP that we are planning to release [soon]. It is an introduction to a full-length that we plan to put out in the fall.

6. What can audience members expect at a typical Tape Deck Sonata show?

Nick: A variety of Rock 'n Roll from the last 50 years. We have an unofficial saying for the band’s style of music: “Stick around long enough, and we are going to play something for just about everyone.”

7. Do you play only original music or do you throw in a cover or two at your shows?

Tom: Most of the songs are written by Don or Nick, but we almost always throw a
cover or two in the set list. Currently we have two or three cover songs in our set, and we have played a few others as well.

8. Where does the band name come from?

Don: Tape Deck Sonata was an original phrase that was created by [me]. We had gone through three names, all of which were taken, so we needed something
unique. Tape Deck Sonata seemed to have a nice feel to it, and we all agreed on it.

9. What are some of your favorite bands on the St. Louis local music scene?

Tom: Only in America, the Hibernauts, Not Just Noise, Firebrew, That's My
Daughter, and Tone Bundle to name a few.

10. What are some of your favorite local venues to play and why?

Nick: The Red Sea, Lemmons, and the Way Out Club are our bread and butter,
and we always love playing these places because the proprietors always treat us very well. Off Broadway is also personal favorite of mine because of the great recordings of performances the sound guy does. The Hard Rock Café is first class and cool because it’s like playing in the church of Rock 'n Roll.

11. What inspires you to write lyrics and music?

Nick: A lot of other great musicians and writers from the past have inspired me; plus it’s in my blood, and I just can’t stop now.

Don: When I learned to play the guitar, the first song I ever played was a song that I wrote (I believe it was called “Innocent Puppy“) so writing music comes naturally to me. As far as lyrics go, I write about personal experiences that have come and passed in my life, but I purposely try to abstract the words so that people have a hard time figuring out their meaning right away. I am a private person that way.

12. What do you guys have on tap for the summer?

Kevin: Working on the cd in the studio and financing the cd through a lot of great shows around town. We are also trying to get in some out of town sho - insidestl.com


2005 5 Song EP Titled Side A
2007 3 Song Ep Titled Side B


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tape Deck Sonata is a british style hard rock band from St. Louis, MO. The band blends captivating and melodic chords progressions with unique string arrangements that compliment the sound in rip-roaring way. The band roots of influences go all the way back to Hanks Williams Sr, The Beatles, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Three Dog Night all the way to Nirvana, Oasis, Suede, Stone Roses, Muse, Kasabian, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Warlocks.

Tape Deck Sonata started in late 2003 when Kevin Clipper and Nick Baker began to record and perform songs for their personal enjoyment. Don Dreste Jr, a long time friend of both Kevin and Nick, heard the songs that they were recording and saw great potential in the band. He then joined the band as the drummer and additional songwriter for the band. It was not until spring of 2004 where Nick found out that fellow poker buddy Tom Havel played bass for a number of years. Beings Tom mixed in well with the groups blue collar life style he then joined the band. Tape Deck Sonata began gigging around St. Louis at places such as Lemmons, The Way Out Club and The Red Sea.

In winter of 2005 the band began to record an EP that would be titled Side A. The disc contain songs such as Under The Broken Lights and Charismatic Intoxication which both became a hit with the groups fan base. After much more gigging at other places such as The Hard Rock Café, Ten Mile House, Crusin Route 66 Bar and Grill and a 7 month hiatus the band began working on songs for their second EP in 2007. The disc titled Side B is a preview EP to the full length that is due out in winter of 2007. Tape Deck Sonata has shows coming up in Chicago and are looking to book a east coast tour in 2008.