It's About Time
Top Dead Center is an electric rock band that has it's roots in the classic rock, punk, metal and jam scenes that have been the building blocks and inspirations for most modern bands. TDC has it's origins in weekly jam sessions held in founding member Dave Miller's garage. While some players brought several years of experience to the music, for others it was true 'on the job training'. c. 1998 -2003: The Garage Band Less a band and more of a jam, these weekly practice sessions started out with Dave Miller on guitar and lead vocals & Jeff Wilhite on lead guitar and backing vocals. Soon a drummer was recruited, Micah Goodman, as well as a drum tech, soundman, part time drummer, and all around guru in the form of Jon Riggs. Eventually, as is often the case, for no other reason than he had recently acquired a bass, Paul Krause was brought into the ranks despite having no musical experience whatsoever and in spite of his membership in another band, the Track Scabs. Additional players from this period include Tony Dorris on guitar & Mike Dorris on keyboards. With no band name, a limited number of original songs, and an extremely loose approach to cover songs, these years were spent learning to play together as a band, and often learning to play their instruments as well. Several TDC classics emerged from this time, among them 'On My Way', 'The Jam', 'Hate Me?', and 'Soul'. Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Funkadelic, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult, REO Speedwagon, Van Halen, Angel, Phish, the Kinks, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, and the Velvet Underground all had their songs used, abused, and often discarded during this time as well. Unfortunately, as more gear was acquired, Dave's garage was no longer able to contain the high volume output. A new, less understanding neighbor also brought the police and the concept of a 'noise ordinance'. This effectively ended the days of the garage band, and the search began for a new practice space... c. 2003 - spring 2007: Into the Abyss After being ousted from Dave's garage, the group found a new space in the basement of a former bookstore and esoteric emporium, the Abyss. A new guitar player, Ross Hansen, of Chicago area band Earls Truck Stop, became a more fixed figure at practice, as Jeff Wilhite moved over to bass to replace Paul Krause, who left to pursue the Track Scabs full time. It was during this time that the band, now no longer a jam, decided upon a name, after over 5 years of intense deliberation. Top Dead Center, or TDC, a term describing the timing on a combustion engine when the #1 piston is at the top of it's cycle. Toby Ellis, another local musician and record producer, recorded a live demo of the band during this time, as it continued to expand it's roster of original material. Fan favorites like 'What I Say', 'All Of the Time', 'Sacrifice', and 'Duh' are among the songs that appear on this recording. Danny Hayes sat in with the group on acoustic guitar during this period as well. In 2006 Jeff Wilhite left the group and Paul Krause returned on electric bass. This solidified the current lineup of: Micah Goodman - drums Ross Hansen - lead guitar, backing vocals Paul Krause - bass, armadillo Dave Miller - rhythm guitar, lead vocals Other major contributors include: Jon Riggs - drums, live sound, video, & drum tech Toby Ellis - studio engineer, producer, arcane sonic divulgation Matt Meth - cowbell, beer, roadie After wrapping up their 'Going Nowhere Tour' at the end of 2006, having played no live dates, Top Dead Center concentrated on expanding their songbook of original material. All of the songs and lyrics have been written by Dave Miller, but the arrangements evolve naturally through band interaction and input. By 2007, having assembled 20 original songs and a select group of covers, Top Dead Center was finally ready to take it to the stage on 2/23/07 as the opening act for Hog Luvdog & the Gas Guzzlers at Lanhucks Tavern. They also headlined Lanhucks on 4/6/07, opening up for themselves as Toby Ellis & Friends, a group comprised of Toby Ellis, Paul Krause, Dave Miller, & Jon Riggs. Shortly after wrapping up their spring tour 2007, the band was informed once again they would be losing their practice space to commercial interests. As every ending is a new beginning, the search began for a new practice space... Spring 2007 - Present: Electrophonic Labs (a top secret location to be named elsewhere) The perfect practice space became available almost as soon as it was needed, and after a few weeks of cleaning, remodeling, and soundproofing, all the gear was put in place, as well as a separate studio control room for recording projects. After playing a show on 8/24/07 opening for JEB at the Duck Inn, Top Dead Center set to learning more new material, expanding to more than 30 originals and a solid group of cover songs, featuring the Hollies, Nashville Pussy, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, and T. Rex. 2008 was filled with recording sessions for their debut album, soundtrack work on the movie 'Scorned', video shoots, personal appearances, and preparations for their first U.S appearance in over a year. After headlining a show at the Deerhead Tavern on 10/24/08, the band rang in 2009 with a cross county tour playing in Newburgh at Hootie Hoots on 1/10/09 and a triumphant ice storm show on 1/31/09. February saw the final mastering of the long awaited CD "It's About Time". A pair of stealth gigs at Lanhucks on 3/20 & 3/21 were scheduled as a gift to our dedicated fans, and to prepare for the CD release party at Hootie Hoots on 4/25/09.