With a name like Stacked Like Pancakes, it's a pretty predictable joke to say “they better be bringing pancakes!” But, turns out, they are. Baltimore natives SLP have been combining trumpets with rock and roll since 2007, and while their music is funky, quirky, and definitely danceable, they prefer to coin themselves as brass rock rather than ska. Singer, Kellen McKay, started the band while in high school, building upon an idolization of Reel Big Fish, Big D and The Kids Table, and Streetlight Manifesto. “I had seen those bands and others throughout middle school and wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to make people dance and sing along.”
SLP has been rising in popularity since their 2014 win in the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands contest. The win got them onto Warped Tour and the band was invited back to the road in 2015. During the remainder of the year, SLP found themselves back on the road supporting Reel Big Fish and releasing their fan-funded sophomore album THIS IS US. In 2017 SLP returned to Warped playing alongside Bless The Fall, Microwave, and more. Most recently? A new song titled “45” that is a cleverly crafted love letter to the current president. And while their fans are digging it, turns out Facebook warriors have not been as kind. McKay is unphased, though, stating “when you make a statement like the one we made, you know what’s coming. It is what it is.”
So why Stacked Like Pancakes? “I think at this point… why not Stacked Like Pancakes?” answers McKay. And it's working. The band sold V.I.Pancake packages on their most recent tour which got you a meal of, you guessed it, pancakes, to share with the band after the show. Even better? They're making them themselves! In honor of the Pancake Popularity, the band is bringing the new traition to it's hometown at The Ottobar in Batlimore on February 17th. The first 100 tickets sold are granted early access to join the band for pancakes and hot chocolate prior to the show. And when asked if they'd be making the pancakes for this event as well? “Who the heckin heck else is going to? Yes!” McKay confirms.
Check out the rest of our interview with Kellen McKay below.
For more information on the Pancakes & Chill event click here
Hi there and thanks for chatting with Photopassed!
Thanks back at ya!
Why Stacked Like Pancakes? How did the name come about?
I think at this point… why not Stacked Like Pancakes? I sat down with the two original trumpet players and brainstormed for about a minute or so and we landed on Stacked Like Pancakes pretty quickly. There’s really no meaning behind it. And yes, twenty one pilots loaned their logo to us.
How did the band come together?
I started the band in high school and fell in love with the quirkiness of ska music. The roots of SLP derive from inspirations like Reel Big Fish, Big D and the Kids Table and Streetlight Manifesto. I had seen those bands and others throughout middle school and wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to make people dance and sing along. So I found a couple trumpet-playing friends who had at least heard of those bands before and basically said “we’re going to be a ska band.” At the same time, I had already begun writing original music, so it kind of all came together.
SLP returned to Warped Tour in 2017, what was your favorite moment on that tour?
There’s no way I could decide on any one moment. But one in particular that comes to mind right now was in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. We were one of the last bands to play on our stage and we played right after Plain White T’s and Andy Black. Our crowd was huge and the show was phenomenal. We were performing as the sun went down and everything was just beautiful. After our show, the line at our merch tent was so long that they actually kicked us off of the festival grounds because they needed to clean up. So we were with all of our fans outside of the gate, meeting everything, taking photos, signing autographs in the dark. It was a great feeling.
The “Pancakes and Chill” event with your fans is an uniquely awesome idea. How did the idea come about?
Kind of developed from our super successful V.I.Pancake tour last Fall! After every show we made pancakes for the first 30 ticket purchasers. People couldn’t believe that we were actually making pancakes for people at the venue. Why stop doing what works? Why stop doing what makes people happy and smile?
Will you guys be making the pancakes and hot chocolate?
Who the heckin heck else is going to? Yes!
Is the get together a celebratory hometown event for Baltimore or is this an idea you'd like to spread to your fans nationwide?
Not sure if we will be continuing it after this show. We wanted to do something special for our hometown. We’ll see!
“45” is a catchy fuck-you to Donald Trump, and while the general consensus online is positive, have you received any backlash?
There’s a lot of negativity on the comments of the facebook video. Surprisingly, not so much on the YouTube video. When you make a statement like the one we made, you know what’s coming. It is what it is.
Any current plans for a third album?
What can we expect from SLP in 2018?
A third album.
What is your dream venue to play at? Your favorite you've played thus far?
I really want to play at the 9:30 club in D.C. It’s known around the country and it’s right around the corner from us. I’ve been to several shows there myself. It’s a marvelous venue and I want to be a part of the history. I want to be able to say that we’ve played there.
Honestly, I think my favorite venue is Rams Head Live in Baltimore. It feels like home to me. But we’ve played some fantastic venues across the country.
What song do you remember most from your childhood?
I remember watching the music video for “Everything Sucks” by Reel Big Fish on my friend’s Macintosh computer. The one that took floppy disks. That was part of the inspiration to start a ska band. The video took forever to buffer.
If SLP were to open a pancake restaurant what would be the signature pancake flavor?
Vanilla pancakes with pure maple syrup. Keep it simple for the signature but still have some wild options.
Is syrup pronounced “seer-up” or “sur-up”?
I don’t think I’m qualified to say which is right, but I say “sur-up.” Or at least I think I do. I forget now that I just said it like eleven times out loud.
Any last words?
Why, are you going to kill me? (Editors note: Kellen is the first person to make me laugh with this answer - the bar is set!)
press photo provided by Big Picture Media