The Gelheads are a guitar-driven post punk quartet that began in 2001. Citing influences like Cheap Trick, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and The Replacements – the band formulates crafty, hook-laden melodies backed by a hard-hitting rhythm section to create memorable anthems.
After their first single “Deer In Headlights” debuted on Chicago’s Q101, the band quickly rose through the ranks and found themselves travelling around the U.S., amassing a grassroots regional fanbase.
Over their 20-year career, the Gelheads toured nationally opening for such acts as KISS, Everclear, Fallout Boy, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Sugarcult (among others); as well as securing a stint on the 2002 Vans Warped Tour.
The Gelheads have emerged from a period of lessened activity to release “Tail Lights”, an EP of three songs of a former session thought to be lost. The band worked with Andy Gerber (Local H, Cheap Trick) at Chicago’s Million Yen Studios to painstakingly locate the original tracks and give them the proper mix it deserved. “Tail Lights” was released on March 12th, 2021. The band is planning on festival appearances later in the summer and will re-enter the studio later this year.
Tail Lights EP
Independent Release – March 12, 2021
The Gelheads to Release Three-Song EP of Unearthed Gems to Celebrate 20th Anniversary
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In what has been an introspective year for many artists, The Gelheads have found themselves reflecting on their musical journey as they approach their 20th anniversary. The alt-rock outfit burst onto the Chicago scene as a trio in 2001, quickly rising through the ranks from small club shows to national openers including Everclear, Papa Roach, Sponge, and The Killers, as well as a spot on the 2002 Warped Tour.
Singer/guitarist Frankie D’Angelo explains, “At the height of our initial run as a band, we played a showcase at the Viper Room and met with Island/Def Jam the very next day. They instructed us to submit more songs as soon as we could, so we flew straight back to Chicago and recorded what we felt were our three strongest songs at the time.” The band’s first call was Andy Gerber at Million Yen Studios; Gerber had worked with several of the band’s favorite artists including Local H and Cheap Trick. “We made a quick board mix and sent it off,” says drummer Tim Lydon. “While things didn’t quite work out with the label, we continued to press forward, and the new songs quickly became crowd favorites.”
In mid 2005 the band began a hiatus that lasted several years with exception of a few high-profile shows a year; no new material was released, and the Million Yen Studio session never saw the light of day. Finally, in 2020 the band began talking about releasing the songs in honor of their 20th anniversary, but doubted the original recordings even existed. The band reached Gerber, who was a bit pessimistic, but promised to dig deep to see if by chance the master recordings existed somewhere.
The band waited... and finally received the call that they had been waiting for, Gerber indeed had the original recordings and immediately worked with the band to produce a fresh mix. “I really wish Island would have heard the songs as they are mixed today – but we are just glad to finally get them out for everyone to hear,” says bassist Jeff Malas.
The EP, Tail Lights, will be officially released on all streaming platforms on Friday, March 12, 2021. Later in the year, the band intends to support the record with live shows as well as re-entering the studio to record new material.
Tail Lights EP Track Listing
- Little String
- After These Messages
- Lie Awake
The Gelheads are:
Frankie D’Angelo – Vocals/Guitar
Timmy Lydon – Drums
Jeff Malas – Bass
Eli Chen – Guitar (touring)
Mike Catani – Additional Guitar (touring)