Bay Area rock band Dad’s LPs is headed to Live at Lakeview, playing the South Shore stage at Lakeview Commons on Thursday, July 30.
Dad’s LPs is John Morales (drums, lead vocals), Jay Seals (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Chris Toomey (bass, lead vocals) and Andrew Harris (guitar).
The band came together in Sacramento in 2011, when Morales and Seals began playing together. The members variously knew one another from playing around the Northern California music scene in recent years. Seals was a member of Tahoe’s popular Blue Turtle Seduction, and Morales played regularly with his band Ten Mile Tide. Morales and Toomey had met years earlier when the latter’s band Toomey opened for Ten Mile Tide. The two also played in some side gigs together in Sacramento, duo gigs and cover gigs.
The members share a devotion to a wide range of popular music, using the music of yesteryear as a muse that inspires their own original tunes. Morales described the members as musicians that “grew up on classic rock; children of the ’80s who started playing in the ’90s.”
“Our music is fairly diverse, but we generally just say that we play retro-inspired pop rock,” he said. “As the name would suggest, we try and take inspiration from the classic songs that we grew up with, the classic music that we grew up with.
“Really the only thing we don’t draw from is electronica or hip-hop. We try to shoot for the modern equivalent of the classic three- or four-minute pop song that we liked growing up.”
Quality songwriting is a main focus of the band.
“If the song’s got a good hook, I can appreciate it, and Jay is the same way,” Morales said. “We both really appreciate well-written songs.”
As noted, the band’s name is a nod to that same musical influence, one that had been sitting around in Morales’s head for a while.
“Dads LPs was a name that kind of popped into my head well before the band started,” he said. “I actually used the name for a one-off gig for four guys playing some gigs in Tahoe.
“That’s where I discovered all my music in my parents’ record collection. When we first started, Jay and I were kicking around names, and I had had this name in the back of my head.”
The name has poignancy for the members beyond mere reminiscence.
“Everyone’s father has passed away except Andrew’s, so it made sense to pay homage to our dads that had essentially brought our music to us,” Morales said.
Dad’s LPs is currently at work on its third album.
“We’re working on it now. I’m a little more antsy than the other guys, but we have about nine songs ready to go. We have to figure out where and when we are going to record them,” Morales said.
The group has also been tweaking its stage setup to make Morales (on lead vocals) more visible to the audience.
“We experimented a little bit with what I was doing, because I sing the majority of the lead, and being a drummer, that was challenging for a while,” he said. “Sound guys didn’t believe I was the lead singer; every set we would be four or five songs in before the sound guy would go ‘who is that singing? Oh, it is the drummer,’ and turn me up.”
Rather than place the drum kit in the rear as is often done, the band now plays in a line, with Morales in the center, angled slightly away from the audience.
“That way no one’s looking through a wall of guitars to try and figure out if the drummer is singing,” he said.
For now, the group is keen to head up to Tahoe for the Thursday show.
“We love Tahoe,” Morales said. “Jay clearly has a huge affinity for Tahoe, he lived there for years. We’ve got a whole bunch of friends up there. We’ve always had good times in Tahoe. The only thing that’s unfortunate is that we can’t stay for longer this trip.”
Dad’s LPs aims to keep the afternoon crowd on its feet with an upbeat, dynamic performance.
“They can expect some pretty high-energy music,” Morales said. “We like to keep it moving, don’t like to have a whole lot of down time. I think people will see some songs that they recognize, some stuff that they know and like, and be surprised by some stuff that they didn’t expect to hear.”
South Lake Tahoe string band Worn Out Welcome will be opening for Dad’s LPs on Thursday, and playing an after party at Rojo’s Tavern that night.
Related story: Worn Out Welcome takes the beach LINK
- Dad’s LPs with Worn Out Welcome
When: 4:30 p.m, Thursday, July 30
Where: Live at Lakeview, Lakeview Commons, South Lake Tahoe
Tickets: Free show