Summer is here, and that means Vans Warped Tour is just around the corner! This summer on Warped, there are a lot of smaller bands. Of course, that isn’t meant to always be taken literally, as you can see looking at Stacked Like Pancakes. This ska punk band was formed in 2007 by frontman Kellen McKay and has seven members including McKay as the songwriter, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, percussion, Zach Foote on the bass-trombone, Alec Leventis on the trumpet and backing vocals, Michael Busch playing lead guitar, Andy Dawson on the trombone, Kevin Goren on the drums, and Will Lopez playing bass guitar.
“There were a few pivotal moments for me, but one in particular was when I was in high school,” said McKay in a recent interview with Volume Up! USA, “One of my good friends who was also a percussionist played a marimba solo for me to prepare for his college auditions. I was mesmerized by the fact that he was holding 4 mallets – two in each hand, on top of the beautiful piece of music he was playing. As he was playing, I thought to myself, ‘I want to do this. I want to reach that level and make people feel the way I feel right now about his performance’. And so I practiced for hours a day and prepared for my own college auditions the next year. It is a drive that stays with me today; I have the same commitment to the highest quality performances with my band”.
After watching Stacked Like Pancakes play at the 2017 Warped Kickoff Party in March, I’m sure we can all agree that Kellen has stuck to his commitment to put on high quality performances. Living on the road and traveling with the festival is tough, but the boys in SLP are resilient. Back in 2015, the boys toured with Warped for 10 days and experienced an immense amount of success. McKay is excited to be on the tour again, playing the Skullcandy Stage, meeting old fans and making new ones. He’s especially looking forward to touring with Watsky. “Oh, and also the food. The catered food on Warped Tour is incredible”. Like many other bands, SLP has found that the festival setting is where they thrive the most.
“We learned a lot from our outing in 2015 and have done everything we can to prepare for a safe and healthy run this year,” says McKay. When they toured in 2015, the boys switched off and took turns driving at night. This year, they have hired a driver, so they can all get some sleep and focus on the music. This year, their goal is to get as many people in front of their stage as possible. Well, when it comes to catching people’s attention, there’s definitely an advantage to having horns in the band!
Stacked Like Pancakes will be at their tent every day, every day! “We want to meet everyone!” said McKay. In terms of merch, SLP will have their regular logo shirts, their SFDD shirts, some accessory items, stickers, pins, and they are looking into hats, tank tops, and perhaps booty shorts.
To any other bands or musicians who are trying to follow a path similar to his, McKay advises them to “Keep the drive. Be ruthless. Surround yourself with people who share similar passions and ambitions, and people whom you can share the dream with. Don’t force friendships and relationships to be forever. Put yourself in positions to meet new people and expand your networks until you are constantly surrounded by people who truly support you. And give back. And most of all, be kind”.
Check out Stacked Like Pancake’s music video for ‘It’s Too Late’ from their album, THIS IS US!