The March Hare
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The March Hare

Band Rock Avant-garde


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"An Afternoon Tea Party with The March Hare"

On the first hot, sunny day of summer in the city, we sat down over some coffee and grilled veggies with the four bright-eyed and bushy-tailed members of The March Hare to find out more about their genre and ear-bending debut EP, People Dressed as People, where an experimental band finds a home (and a few shows to play) in Philly, and how a band can become prog-rock without actually listening to any.

Four close friends, Zack Guy, Charlie Heim, Chrissy Tashjian, and Jon Hafer have combined their love of jazz with their propensity for wild rock’n'roll energy to create an album that refuses to conform to any sort of specific musical genre. It’s too musical to be hardcore and too noisy to be indie, the only two things it definitely is are interesting and loud. I had to ask:

FO : Where do you feel like you fit in on the Philly music scene?

MH : We can’t really find bands that sound like us. We have bands that we really like to play with like Chamomile, An Albatross, and the Sw!ms. Our audience tends to be a younger audience of people who like something new, something fun. We give so much at shows, our crowd is the crowd that’s ready to give that back.
The music isn’t caustic to your ears - it’s not going to make you cringe, but you have to be ready for something new. Have to be open minded. Our crowd is definitely not the bar crowd.

FO : What’s your songwriting process?

MH : Someone brings in a skeleton or a riff they have floating around, then we fill in the rest as a band. Assembly Line was the first song we wrote together and it was from a skeleton that Chrissy had. Recently John was inspired to bring back a song of Zach’s that we’d put aside when he heard the poppy bass riff Chrissy played for it.
No one person defines the sound of our music. Charlie is really into jazz theory so he fixes things and makes them more musical. He’ll tell us to add a harmony or say, “Try moving that one note.”
Writing as a group we had to shatter our egos. You can start something, but you have to let the rest of the band fix it up. We’re trying to be conscious of dynamics and bounce things off of each other. It helps that we’re best friends when we’re telling each other to change key in a song or to take it back to the drawing board even when we thought it was done.

FO : The record is very complex. Do you try to make your live shows reflect the album?

MH : As much as possible. We only really change little things for fans who might be in the audience. Most of the time it’s the exact same song that’s on the album.
We work some improv into the live songs to make them more alive. If you pay for a show, you want to see a show, so at first we were like, “Fuck musicality, we want to put on an energetic live show!” But we’ve grown more comfortable to where we can put on a show that is both good and crazy.

FO : So we still can’t really define what kind of music the March Hare plays, but what kind of music do you listen to?

MH : We all kind of listen to the same stuff but for different reasons, for instance we all love the Beatles. Charlie knows the most about jazz. None of us really listens to prog rock, but that’s what our music gets related to the most. It’s because of all the different sections in the songs, but those different sections represent the different personalities in the band. (laughing) We became a prog rock band without listening to prog rock. Except Chrissy, she was raised on Yes. - Freshout Media


Every Sunday, The March Hare practices in the basement Zack Guy-Frank's parents' home in Mt. Airy. Set apart from file-boxes and suburban house detritus, the corner practice studio is filled with what look like expensive gadgets. The big table nearby is littered with parts and audio odds and ends. Guy-Frank, vocalist and a Penn sophomore, brings together a group whose backgrounds are as diverse as their tastes in music: two have been students at the University of Arts, one is a classically-trained violinist, another builds custom bass guitars. Last week, the band's five members settled in comfortably for another six-hour practice session. The whole scene has something of "That 70's Show" to it - for their goofy, self-effacing dynamic as much as their basement hideaway. "Alicia and I were in a band in a past life," jokes Zack. "In the 70's" violinist Alicia Ritter responds.
The band first formed in 2004 after Zack, then a high school junior, posted flyers at University of the Arts. The original lineup - including Jon Hafer (keys/vocals) and drummer Charlie Heim - wend on to play, by Jon's account "almost all the clubs in town," including the Troc Balcony. Performing weekly for almost a year, they earned a reputation for an exciting live show and a reliable fan base. They knew "we wouldn't set the club on fire," Zach says by way of explanation. After briefly disbanding in September, they reformed with Alicia Ritter and bassist Ryan Hyde.
The March Hare's sound can be a bit hard to pin down - Alicia eventually stops to ask: "When you heard us, what bands did it remind you of?" Charlie, for one, readily compares Zack's vocals to the hardcore act, The Blood Brothers. But the music can veer to the other extreme, in the more gentle harmonies of tracks like "Through the Attic." At other moments, metal basslines come face-to-face with pedal-distorted guitar solos. When writing songs, says Jon "its whatever genre of music fits best for the idea we have. Our sound is constantly evolving." They hope to record their latest material - about an album's worth - some time this summer.
Friday's show will be their first with the new lineup. Charlie warns: their live act can be uncompromising. "Either people would be really into us, or we'd play 'Mr. Clean.' People would say, 'That's too crazy,' and they'd leave. There's too much stuff going on, and they can't dig it." Challenging or not, The March Hare are seasoned enough artists to guarantee that every show will be unique. As Zack puts it: "We're big on making it a performance."
- 34th Street Magazine

"Music Live"

The March Hare lurch and spazz through their action-packed "People Dressed As People EP" with such agility it's hard to believe they're not better known around town. Any description of their madcap racket is bound to fall short, but imagine the Blood Brothers hijacking Icy Demons. ("Overture" even turns all twinkling and Sterolab-ish when the girl sings.) The EP can be downloaded for free at - an act of kindness more Philly bands should try. Once you've learned their songs, hit one (or both) of The March Hare's shows in the coming week and experience the blitz firsthand. - Philadelphia Weekly


People Dressed as People EP
>Recorded in 2006 at The Music Shop
>Features 5 original songs, including:
-Through the Attic
-Skeleton Opera
-Assembly Line
>All tracks are available for free, high-quality download at

The March Hare Demo
>Completed in Spring of 2005, self-recorded
>Features 3 TMH smash-hits:
- Skeleton Opera
- Home Is But a Dull Fading Light
- The Errata Dialogues



The March Hare wants to make you laugh, cry, dance, clap your hands, and occasionally sit back and say 'woah.' We're silly when we're sad, and crazy when we're on stage. We make our music with our hearts and our minds. We make music because we can't imagine not making music, because without it we'd burst at the seams with sorrow, rage, love, and limitless joy and awe at the living world. We are explorers, experimenters, gatherers of new influences, and we do not sit still. The March Hare of yesterday is not The March Hare of today, is not The March Hare of tomorrow. We will have failed only if we have ceased to grow. You have found The March Hare. If you like it, tell your friends. If you hate it, tell your enemies.