Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dear and the Headlights

     Dear and the Headlights is a small time indie band that broke up in July of 2011. The band unofficially began back in 2002 when Joel Marquard and Ian Metzger started playing together, Joel playing the keyboard and guitar and Ian on vocals. Joel wanted to start a band and approached Ian about it but was somewhat reluctant to due to his bad experience with christian band Justifide in which he co-founded in 1999. Eventually Ian caved in and that was the beginning of Dear and the Headlights.  Joel found PJ Waxman who originally started out playing drums but ended up becoming the guitarist after his talent was recognized. There was still one slight problem...the band was left without a bass player and a drummer. The band tried to make several people work, but it never did. Joel received a call one day from old friend/former band mate Chuckie Duff, who played bass, and also recently purchased some recording equipment he wanted to try out. The very next day they recorded three tracks which were titled Daysleeper, Sweet Talk and Run in the Front. Even though the three tracks were successful, Ian was tired of looking for band members and wanted to call it quits and move to California. Chuckie, who fell in love with the demo, decided to offer to play bass. Chuckie decided that he wasn't going to let the band give up and promised that the band would find a drummer. Evidently right, they found drummer Mark Kulvinskas. Ian did end up moving to California, but Chuckie was determined and practiced the songs with Ian still gone. Chuckie booked a show and Ian flew down to meet the drummer the day of and played that night. After playing several more shows, Ian decided to move back and the band decided to make and album with producer Bob Hoag. Nearing the completion of their album Small Steps, Heavy Hooves, they signed with popular indie label, Equal Vision Records. They gained a higher status from touring with bands such as Jimmy Eat World and Paramore. In September 2007 Joel left the band due to the heavy touring schedule and was replaced by Robert Cissell. After a couple more laps around the country, they recorded album Drunk Like Bible Times in 2008. In September 2009 Chuckie Duff left the band so he could focus on graduate school and his recording studio. Chuckie was replaced by Patrick Taylor in January 2010. Despite the replacement, the band was not mean to last. PJ announced that the band had broken up in July 2011. Dear and the Headlights had broken up because of a negative experience with the industry and felt as thought "they got all that they wanted through the band" (Wikipedia). PJ also said that the band wasn't producing music from their original intentions. In my opinion, it's hard to tell when the band started drifting from their original sound. They only produced 2 albums, but I believe it is better that way. I always say it's better to produce few well-made albums then many crappy albums (like most artists do these days). The quality of the albums is sufficient enough for me, though I still wish they were producing music. Music was always the most profound thing for them, but was unfortunately difficult for them. I will link a couple of songs below that I really enjoy. If you want a subject to comment on, what do you think are the meanings of the songs Daysleeper and It's Getting Easy?

It's Getting Easy by Dear and the Headlights

Daysleeper by Dear and the Headlights

Sweet Talk by Dear and the Headlights


  1. I think I might have actually heard of this song before, but it was probably from them touring with Paramore (one of my favourite bands). Who would you say is your favourite ex-band member? Chuckie seems like a pretty cool guy to me.

  2. Ian will always be my favorite member because his music has always had a deeper meaning than what people perceive it. He sings about some pretty dark stuff (It's Getting Easy, for example) and it sounds wonderful, but means something completely opposite to what you are hearing.

  3. I think I've heard of this band as well, probably when they toured with Paramore (one of my favorite bands as well Tina!). What's your favorite song by these guys, personally I like Daysleeper. It's pretty disappointing when you're favorite bands split up-its good that they at least left behind some good music to listen to!

  4. It wasn't too saddening for me because with a lot of reluctance I do have to agree with PJ about the band deterring from their original sound. My fave. is probably It's Getting Easy, mostly because that was the first song that I listened to by them. It was the song that made me fall in love, and well... I'm a believer in love at first sound. :) Happy In Love is also one of my fave's. I didn't link it though!

  5. I definitely agree with your comment about making a few well-made albums as opposed to a bunch of crappy ones. I feel like some of the artists I listen to have lost their passion and originality from becoming successful in the music industry. If Dear and the Headlights had put out another album, do you think it would have been any good?


    1. You know, it's hard to say due to the limited amount of albums they had produced. Two albums isn't really enough to have to big of a change but as soon as people hit that golden #4 things start to change a little bit because they've been doing what they do longer (well, not necessarily). It's like comparing 80's pop to today's pop. Completely different, yet the same thing. Things are updated, sounds are made better when produced. Change is inevitable, no doubt about it Sam, but there's something a little bit sad about a band that changed their sound. It's like the death of a band, and the announcement of them breaking up is the funeral.