Top Heavy Crush
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Top Heavy Crush

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""Our Awesome American Idiot's""

Our awesome American Idiots
Top Heavy Crush wins a contest, lands a big concert deal and works on their debut release
Posted: Nov 08, 2007 by Matt Driscoll

As if enough things in life hadn’t been making me feel old lately, like marriage and fatherhood and the way my naked ass looks in the mirror, Kevin Day of Top Heavy Crush delivered a real zinger Tuesday. As we talked on the phone about his band’s upcoming show at Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday, Nov. 10, Day made reference to a simple, undeniable fact.

Top Heavy Crush has been a band for four years.

Four f***ing years! I had to stop and think about the implications.

Admittedly, it does seem like Top Heavy Crush has been playing Hell’s Kitchen for as long as I can remember. But then again, I clearly remember pre-Top Heavy Crush Tacoma. I remember doing interviews with Top Heavy Crush guitarist Jimmy Paulson when he was in Point Defiance. How ancient does that feel? I remember Kevin and Andy Day when they were in Gift. Even writing “Gift” feels kind of funny now. I remember a Seattle Seafair show the band played with the Jet City Fix on a rented party boat that got sent back to dock by the captain for illicit bathroom activities.

I guess I didn’t need Kevin Day to confirm it, but all signs seem to point to me getting old.
Top Heavy Crush, however, seems to getting younger and fresher — kind of like Mork. I was friends with the members of Top Heavy Crush before Top Heavy Crush existed, so, admittedly, I was a little biased going in. I wanted to love Top Heavy Crush, but I only liked them. There was a level of depth missing from the band when they started four years ago.

Present day Top Heavy Crush, however, has finally found their stride. As the band prepares for the release of their (seriously) long awaited debut record — yet untitled — THC is now firing on a level I’ve never seen before. After spending nine months recording and rerecording the new album with producer Pete Matthews, partly in Seattle and partly in Memphis, Tenn., THC has found a place where all five members can contribute, and the creative strengths of the chemistry can be fully recognized. Couple that with the fact that drummer Geoff Reading recently beat cancer, and all signs point to a band on the brink of serious success.

“We’ve all worked with producers before. Some of us haven’t worked with producers that actually produce,” explains Day of the band’s relationship with Matthews. The producer, who is credited with discovering Evanescence among other things, was introduced to a THC demo and was immediately intrigued. Before the band knew it, Matthews was signed on, and Paulson and the Day brothers were spending months at a time at Matthews’ studio in Memphis.

“Primarily (Matthews) helped with arrangements. We get along really well. He’s more our age and he really fits in with us. When he was up here he stayed at my house for a month. He was like the third roommate.

“Our sound has grown. Andrew has been writing piano songs for the last year or so. We’re featuring three of them on the record,” says Day.

“(The new record) has surpassed our expectations. The four of us are all writing and you can definitely hear a difference.”

The yet untitled debut from Top Heavy Crush is expected to be released early next year. Day was satisfied with the finished product, which no one outside of the band’s circle has heard. It seemed fair to ask where the band was hoping this record will take them, and where, in the end, THC is hoping to go. Will this be the record that ultimately lands Tacoma’s Top Heavy Crush on a label?

“You really need to have a record out,” says Day, who admitted he was confident about the record’s chances and the band’s chances of attracting label interest.

“Once this comes out we’re just going to see what happens.”

If public support is any indication, Top Heavy Crush is poised for success. The band recently emerged victorious from KISW’s “American Idiot” local band competition, and will open KISW’s Holiday Hangover Ball that Seether will headline.

“The coolest thing is they’re mentioning our name every hour and a half,” says Day of Top Heavy Crush’s KISW success.

“Seriously, I was surprised. I didn’t think we’d be in the top nine. Every time (KISW) mentions our MySpace page it explodes. We’ve actually gotten calls to play at different places for guarantees that we wouldn’t have gotten before.”

That’s all fine and good, but who wants to see Top Heavy Crush in some venue they’ve never played before when you can see them at the venue they’ve made home — Hell’s Kitchen? Saturday’s show will probably go down like so many before it. The place will be packed. The band will work the crowd with perfection — winking and hugging all the right people. Then they’ll take the stage and tear it down. Top Heavy Crush has evolved. They’re less predictable than ever, but you always know they’re going to rock.
- Volcano Weekly


"Tacoma band aims for the top"

It has been many months since Top Heavy Crush played a show in Tacoma. With their debut album completed and a new drummer on board, the Tacoma-based band is optimistic about taking their energetic live set and hard-hitting yet accessible songs to the next level.

The band consists of Andrew Day on vocals and keyboards, his brother Kevin Day and Jimmy Paulson on guitars, Justin McDonald on bass and Greg Friesz on drums.

The band played its first show four years ago. It got started when the Days and Paulson started jamming and realized they had similar musical tastes. McDonald was asked to join. After several drummers, Geoff Reading took over on drums. He recently left to devote his time to Loaded, the side project band of former Guns ‘N Roses bass player Duff McKagen.

McDonald and Friesz played in a band together about 10 years ago. They had lost touch until recently. After Friesz’s last band broke up, he accepted an offer to join Top Heavy Crush.

The group got a big break through Dave Gintz, CEO of Tacoma-based real estate development company Gintz Group. A fan of the band, he was on a business trip to Memphis where Gintz Group has several properties. He brought along a demo CD of Top Heavy Crush and played it for a producer with Ardent Studios, a well-known recording studio.

The producer flew up here to see the band play live and agreed to work with them on their debut album. Gintz financed the album and serves as executive director. Pre-production work was done up here, then the band went to Memphis in spring 2007 for recording. The album has been mixed and mastered and is being shopped around to record labels.

The band is holding off on releasing the CD while they await any offers from labels.

Paulson is optimistic about its potential– the album was recorded in a noted studio and is of major-label quality in terms of the money spent to produce it.

Because the producers had other commitments, Top Heavy Crush had to wait a while between finishing recording and having the material mixed and mastered.

“It started to feel like ‘Chinese Democracy’ after two months,” quipped Andrew Day.

While the band focuses on original material, they toss an occasional cover tune into their set.

“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” by the Rolling Stones is one they have played in the past. They are working on another cover tune, “Drive My Car” by the Beatles. Andrew Day wanted to learn the song. His brother noted it is a natural choice given the band’s love of classic rock.

Last year Top Heavy Crush won KISW’s American Idiot battle of the bands contest. They were among three bands that made the final cut and played a show with the other two in which audience members could vote for their favorite. The band also did well in online balloting.

McDonald noted they got much support from KISW morning host B.J. Shea. “We got a lot of love.”

The band is itching to begin playing live again, especially in Tacoma. Their last gig was in Seattle April 1. Most of their shows are in the Puget Sound region, although they have ventured to Spokane, Portland and Aberdeen. “We are huge in Aberdeen,” McDonald remarked.

After being in the music business as long as they have, the members of Top Heavy Crush are pleased with their new album while realistic about their chances of hitting the big time.

“We are ready to take it to the next level,” Paulson said. If they do not get signed they will release the CD on their own. “It is going to find a home somewhere.”

“The glass is half full,” added Kevin Day.
- Tacoma Weekly


Discography

Just finished their 14 track debut album with Producer Pete Matthews

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Bio

The Day brothers (Gift, Second Nature) and Jimmy Paulson (New American Shame, The Lemons) started writing songs in the fall of 2004. After trying out many different drummers, the boys hired an old friend Geoff Reading (New American Shame, Loaded). Justin McDonald (The Jet City Fix, Link Wray) was helping them out on bass and decided to join around the same time. After Velvet Revolver axed their front man and decided to take a break, Duff McKagan decided to fire up his side band, Loaded. Since Geoff is the drummer in Loaded, he was obviously going to be busy, so THC went back to finding a drummer. After trying out a handful of drummers, the boys decided to hire Greg Friesz.

THC has recorded twice in Seattle at Orbit Audio but as soon as the tracks were done, they wrote another song that “had to be on the album”! They got a break in 2007 when a friend of their’s was in Memphis, TN., and played some of their songs for the manager of a local band. The manager was a good friend of Pete Matthews (Evanescence) and called Pete to come down and hear these songs. Pete enjoyed the songs so much that he flew up to Seattle to see Top Heavy Crush play, and worked out a producer deal with them. The Boys and Pete recorded bass and drums at Seattle’s London Bridge studio and then flew to Memphis to record the rest of the record at Ardent Studios. The album has been finished recently and Pete is looking for a home for the record.

The boys have been “breaking in” their drummer and have started booking shows again both locally and regionally to gain more fans and get ready to promote their new record!!