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Top Heavy Crush wins a contest, lands a big concert deal and works on their debut release

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As if enough things in life hadn’t been making me feel old lately, like marriage and fatherhood and the way my naked ass looks in the mirror, Kevin Day of Top Heavy Crush delivered a real zinger Tuesday. As we talked on the phone about his band’s upcoming show at Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday, Nov. 10, Day made reference to a simple, undeniable fact.

Top Heavy Crush has been a band for four years.

Four f***ing years! I had to stop and think about the implications.

Admittedly, it does seem like Top Heavy Crush has been playing Hell’s Kitchen for as long as I can remember. But then again, I clearly remember pre-Top Heavy Crush Tacoma. I remember doing interviews with Top Heavy Crush guitarist Jimmy Paulson when he was in Point Defiance. How ancient does that feel? I remember Kevin and Andy Day when they were in Gift. Even writing “Gift” feels kind of funny now. I remember a Seattle Seafair show the band played with the Jet City Fix on a rented party boat that got sent back to dock by the captain for illicit bathroom activities.   

I guess I didn’t need Kevin Day to confirm it, but all signs seem to point to me getting old.

Top Heavy Crush, however, seems to getting younger and fresher — kind of like Mork. I was friends with the members of Top Heavy Crush before Top Heavy Crush existed, so, admittedly, I was a little biased going in. I wanted to love Top Heavy Crush, but I only liked them. There was a level of depth missing from the band when they started four years ago.

Present day Top Heavy Crush, however, has finally found their stride. As the band prepares for the release of their (seriously) long awaited debut record — yet untitled — THC is now firing on a level I’ve never seen before. After spending nine months recording and rerecording the new album with producer Pete Matthews, partly in Seattle and partly in Memphis, Tenn., THC has found a place where all five members can contribute, and the creative strengths of the chemistry can be fully recognized. Couple that with the fact that drummer Geoff Reading recently beat cancer, and all signs point to a band on the brink of serious success.

“We’ve all worked with producers before. Some of us haven’t worked with producers that actually produce,” explains Day of the band’s relationship with Matthews. The producer, who is credited with discovering Evanescence among other things, was introduced to a THC demo and was immediately intrigued. Before the band knew it, Matthews was signed on, and Paulson and the Day brothers were spending months at a time at Matthews’ studio in Memphis.

“Primarily (Matthews) helped with arrangements. We get along really well. He’s more our age and he really fits in with us. When he was up here he stayed at my house for a month. He was like the third roommate.

“Our sound has grown. Andrew has been writing piano songs for the last year or so. We’re featuring three of them on the record,” says Day.

“(The new record) has surpassed our expectations. The four of us are all writing and you can definitely hear a difference.”

The yet untitled debut from Top Heavy Crush is expected to be released early next year. Day was satisfied with the finished product, which no one outside of the band’s circle has heard. It seemed fair to ask where the band was hoping this record will take them, and where, in the end, THC is hoping to go.  Will this be the record that ultimately lands Tacoma’s Top Heavy Crush on a label?

“You really need to have a record out,” says Day, who admitted he was confident about the record’s chances and the band’s chances of attracting label interest.

“Once this comes out we’re just going to see what happens.”

If public support is any indication, Top Heavy Crush is poised for success. The band recently emerged victorious from KISW’s “American Idiot” local band competition, and will open KISW’s Holiday Hangover Ball that Seether will headline.

“The coolest thing is they’re mentioning our name every hour and a half,” says Day of Top Heavy Crush’s KISW success.

“Seriously, I was surprised. I didn’t think we’d be in the top nine. Every time (KISW) mentions our MySpace page it explodes. We’ve actually gotten calls to play at different places for guarantees that we wouldn’t have gotten before.”

That’s all fine and good, but who wants to see Top Heavy Crush in some venue they’ve never played before when you can see them at the venue they’ve made home — Hell’s Kitchen? Saturday’s show will probably go down like so many before it. The place will be packed. The band will work the crowd with perfection — winking and hugging all the right people. Then they’ll take the stage and tear it down. Top Heavy Crush has evolved. They’re less predictable than ever, but you always know they’re going to rock.

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Sirens Sister, Cadillac Radio, and Titans of Oblivion, Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 p.m., $6, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

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