The Gelheads are an Alternative Rock band from Chicago who have paid their dues. Originally formed in 2001, the group has amassed a sizable and loyal following in their two decades. In their time they have shared the stage with superstar acts like; KISS, Everclear, Fallout Boy, Goo Goo Dolls, The Killers and more.
A few years ago The Gelheads recorded a handful of songs as a demo for Island records. The band recently unearthed the tapes. They have remixed and remastered them, and on March 12, 2021 released them as a three song EP titled “Tail Lights.” From beginning to end the record is marked by expert musicianship and keen Pop/Rock sensibilities. The drums, guitar and bass all rock with the perfect balance of technique and abandon. They are matched with powerful radio-ready lead vocals and impeccable backing harmonies.
The rocking breakup song “Little String” opens the set. With equal parts 80’s Pop/Rock and 90’s Alternative the band knocks out a witty and high energy “I’m better on my own,” farewell. The song delivers a witty send-off with a smirk. By the end the track has built into a big Blink 182-style Pop/Punk power ballad.
“After These Messages” takes a look at a solitary life from the inside. The track rolls on an excellent mix of Pop hooks and riff rock reminiscent of Cheap Trick, and that’s never a bad thing. “Lie Awake” closes the EP. The song’s tale of love and longing is told with an infectiously catchy verse that then opens up to an anthemic Alt Rock chorus.
We had the opportunity to chat with The Gelheads about the record and the band. Check out their answers to our 8 questions below. Give a listen to “Tail Lights.” You can also hear the song “After These Messages” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the band. Get on their socials and get in the loop on all of their projects, past, present and future.
8 Questions with The Gelheads
The Static Dive: Where are you from?
The Gelheads: Chicago, Illinois
SD: How long have you been making music?
GH: 20 years as of February 1st.
SD: Who are the musicians involved in your project?
GH: Frankie D’ Angelo – Vox/guitar Tim Lydon Drums/Vox Jeff Malas Bass/Vox Eli Chen Guitar/Vox
SD: Who are your biggest musical influences?
GH: Jimmy Eat World/Lawrence Arms/Cheap Trick/Pre 1995 Goo Goo Dolls/Kiss…to name a few…
SD: What is your greatest non-musical influence?
GH: Showing our families & friends that if you work hard, you can definitely play hard as well and never stop adapting to new things. The “get off my lawn” syndrome is real…
SD: What inspired you to create this project?
GH: COVID! Last summer, we had all invested in some new technology & started talking about new music. Upon further talking, we realized we had some old songs from a courtship from Island Def Jam that were never given the proper care. We contacted Andy Gerber at Million Yen Studios (Cheap Trick, Local H) who recorded us to see if he still had the files from the sessions. After a few days, we got word that he did and the project quickly took on a life of its own that you now have in your earbuds to help celebrate our 20th anniversary after a hiatus as a recording unit.
SD: What are your plans for the future (musically)?
GH: Well, now that we have released “Tail Lights”, we are focusing on making some music this summer. We have the most ideas we’ve ever had that we’ve been sending to each other. We will be getting in a room soon enough to flesh out arrangements and record some music this year. Additionally, with a lot of talent agents talking about late summer/early fall festivals and shows happening in the Midwest, we have been working on getting on some festival dates as well as a proper 20th anniversary blowout show in Chicago in the fall.
SD: Is there anything else you would like to say?
GH: Please check us out at thegelheads.hearnow.com and we’ll see you on the road soon enough!