other members: Joe Ballaro
Plagued by the fallout of his own actions, Shakespeare’s Hamlet cleared his conscience for just a moment, declaring, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” DEATH IN THE PARK is determined to prove that being in touch with your bad side isn’t always such a bad thing. Driven by personal tales of tragedy and heartbreak, this pop-punk band, based in Montgomery, Alabama, has tapped into that yearning all of us experience; needing to see our bad decisions turn out for the better. This punk quartet brings new light to the familiar genre, unafraid to take the next step, to stretch themselves musically, even in the face of creative crisis. The heartfelt lyrics and infectious melodies set them apart from the gathering mediocrity of the airwaves. DEATH IN THE PARK consists of Andy Jackson (vocals & guitar), Ronnie Gardner (guitar), Jake Sloan (bass), Derrick Karg (guitar), and Aaron Holmes (drums). Lead by vocalist Andy Jackson, DITP is capturing the ear of many an unsuspecting listener, hungry for an authentic sound, and lures them in for more.
DEATH IN THE PARK came together shortly after the 2007 Warped Tour, where Jackson made a musical connection with crew from the alt-band Paramore, for whom he was opening. On tour, Jackson met guitarist Ronnie Gardner, then a sound technician, and, after the fall of Jackson’s band, Hot Rod Circuit, he took the opportunity to focus on a new project. Originally conceived as a solo project, Jackson felt the surge of creativity in the moment, and joined with Gardner. Jackson recalled the name of a song from his favorite band as a youth, Archers of Loaf, and DEATH IN THE PARK was born.
DITP went immediately into Mission Sound studios in Brooklyn, NY to record their full-length self-titled album with Oliver Strauss. During the recording process, the band, now set with Sloan and Holmes joining Jackson and Gardner, was presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity: the chance to record a song with Paramore’s lead vocalist, Hayley Williams. The resulting song “Fallen”, their first single, was inspired by Gardner and written by Jackson, the lyrics of which Jackson believes are, “some of the best lyrics I’ve ever written.” On recording with a singer like Williams, Jackson remarked, “She knocked her stuff out like a pro.” Jackson soon met with Tim O’ Heir (Hot Rod Circuit, All American Rejects, Say Anything) who introduced and recommended him to John Kaplan (Hollywood Undead, Nevershoutnever, Maroon 5) who mixed and mastered their new track. Discussing the production experience, Jackson said, “I thought it was a chance to shine. They let us do everything we wanted to do. John is a really cool guy.” After the completion of the 10-tracks, DITP teamed up with Austin indie label, End Sounds, which will be digitally distributing the album on August 24 with full physical distribution on September 14.
Although DEATH IN THE PARK may be difficult to classify into one genre, their unique sound and set-up has been compared to a mixture of Queens Club, Minus the Bear, Phoenix, and Panic at the Disco. Regarding their music, DEATH IN THE PARK hopes to create a real “crime scene feel, very Dexter meets CSI, and kind of gory, actually.” Drawing from their quite varied list of inspirations and own experiences, their second single “Pitifully Exposed,” was written from an outsider’s view of a tumultuous relationship, and pays homage to awkward relationships, uncomfortable breakups and the decisions we make that keep us there.
DEATH IN THE PARK has already left their prints on the music scene, having already opened for Paramore, Underoath, Saosin, Alkaline Trio and Saves The Day. With the upcoming release of their album, the band is ready to take their spot on the punk-pop stage, and good or bad, it will be their own musical decisions that will make them so.