2005 – 2011 (6 years)
Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
Dear and the Headlights was an Indie-Rock band from Tempe/Chandler, Arizona.
Joel Marquard (guitarist and keyboardist) and Ian Metzger (lead vocals and acoustic) started playing together in roughly 2002. Marquard convinced Metzger that they needed to start a band, but Ian was reluctant due to a somewhat negative experience with the Christian band called Justifide he co-founded in 1999. He finally gave in and Marquard quickly found PJ Waxman, who initially, started out playing drums for the band until they realized what a talented guitar player he was. PJ is also known for voicing the character of "Plucky", which is Ducky's little sister in the animated film "The Land Before Time", though it didn't make it into the film officially. Despite the film's success, PJ felt his calling was in music. Once PJ took the role of guitarist, DATH were still left without a drummer and bass player. They tried out several people but nothing worked. Joel received a phone call from an old friend and former band mate named Chuckie Duff who played bass and had recently bought some recording equipment that he wanted to try out. So that next day he came over and recorded three songs (Sweet Talk, Daysleeper, Run in the Front.) The songs were successful but Ian was burnt out on trying to find people for the band, and determined to move to California. Duff kept listening to the demo and fell more and more in love. He was determined to not let them give up. He called Marquard and offered to play bass and promised him they'd find a drummer. Ian decided to give it a shot. Duff was right and Marquard found drummer Mark Kulvinskas through an ad on Craigslist. So Joel, PJ, Duff and Mark practiced the songs with Ian still in California, and got them down. Chuckie booked a show at Borders Bookstores and flew Ian down. He met the drummer, they practiced with Ian and played that night. Several more shows were played like this and Ian decided to move back. The decision was made to make an album famed Arizona record producer, songwriter of The Go Reflex and former keyboardist of The Ataris, Bob Hoag. Near the album's completion, the band started talking to, and eventually signing a contract with the popular indie label, Equal Vision Records. Small Steps, Heavy Hooves was critically acclaimed, and the band grew to a much higher status through endless touring with major label bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, The Plain White T's, and Motion City Soundtrack. Marquard left the band in September 2007 due to the heavy touring schedule and Robert Cissell was an obvious choice to replace him. They completed several more laps around the country and recorded Drunk Like Bible Times in early 2008. In September 2009, bassist Chuck Duffie left the group in order to "focus on graduate school and his studio." He was replaced by Patrick Taylor in January 2010. Unfortunately the band decided to part ways in July of 2011 to pursue separate ambitions.
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