Editor’s Note: It was a beautiful day and happened to be enjoying a very enlightened conversation with frontman Kellen McKay of the rising brass-rock group Stacked Like Pancakes. Stacked Like Pancakes have been receiving an outpouring of support over their melodies, their catchy songs, and fiery rhythms. This year, they have released the music videos for “45”, which is the middle finger to President Donald Trump and have recently released the music video for “Hollow”. Fans can find Stacked Like Pancakes at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Your band has raised over $50,000 dollars in your crowdfunding campaign?
Kellen: When I last checked, it was over $76,000 as of a few minutes ago.
Madness To Creation: What has been your reaction in regards to that?
Kellen: The fact that it’s well over $100 on average per person and that in itself is incredible, it’s a lofty really ambitious goal, but the support that we’ve generated so far in this campaign has been tremendous, it’s incredible to say the very least. Based on the support we’ve had, we’re going to make it.
Madness To Creation: What were some of the things that you were offering in exchange for the support?
Kellen: The way that we’re using Kickstarter is essentially we’re taking pre-orders for the album, so it’s not like people were just donating money, it’s like as long as you pledged $10 or more you’re at least getting the new album. That’s what the $10 rate is for is the album in physical and digital form and $25 got you the vinyl and digital form, $50 gets both vinyl and CD and some Kickstarter exclusive items, and $100 is where it starts getting interesting, in addition to all of the previous items, you get more exclusive Kickstarter items, like an autographed poster and t-shirt and personal album credit in the liner notes, and all of these rewards are named too starting with bronze, silver, gold, diamond, and platinum, triple-platinum and titanium we were surprised with because four or five of those went away within a few hours, and that includes free admission to all Stacked Like Pancakes shows for life, including so many other different items, we’ve really busted our butts to come up with the best possible rewards for everybody’s pre-order and commitment to this new album release. I tried to think of it in terms of “if I was a fan, what would I want”, and we all put our heads together to come up with what we really think are the best rewards possible for this new album.
Madness To Creation: What can fans expect from the “Strange Creatures” album? Take us into the writing process.
Kellen: I think people can expect an album of rock music to put it simply. I finished writing all 14 tracks and I can tell you that there isn’t a single bad song on the album, I’ve known that there was an evolution towards rock for several years now, and that’s why we’ve been pushing this genre of rock with brass instruments, it’s definitely going to be heavier, it’s more personal as far as the lyrical content, and it’s going to break some more boundaries in terms of style and composition, we’re all really excited for every single song on this record, but it also goes outside the boundaries of standard song structures, which I’ve already explored on the last record, I enjoy the challenges of writing music that is engaging and interesting, but not follow the typical song structures, so that was a lot of fun to write music, with that challenge in mind.
Madness To Creation: You all released the music video for the song “45” which talks about President Donald Trump. Was that written in tongue-in-cheek or is that how you really feel about President Donald Trump?
Kellen: It was definitely written based on how we feel as a band. 100%! We were actually on tour with Reel Big Fish on Election Day and that’s why it came to be that there’s so much emphasis on the song on Election Day in the pre-chorus and everything. But we all come from different backgrounds and are from different parts of the world and we all even have different political affiliations, but we all agree that Donald Trump is a despicable human being and should not be in the position where he represents the people of the United States of America.
Madness To Creation: Fun question for you, Donald Trump is at a Stacked Like Pancakes show and he’s in the mosh pit, how does the band react?
Kellen: *laughs* I would feel inclined to join him and make sure that he gets pushed around a little bit! I’m sure our fans in the pit with him would take care of him one way or another.
Madness To Creation: Stacked Like Pancakes released the lyric video for “Hollow”, it seems like a personal song, can you take us into that song?
Kellen: I don’t know if I can exactly pinpoint the message with “Hollow”, I wanted to tell this story from the point of view of this character of someone that has a lot going on in his head to say the very least and I still don’t know if this character is like in this insane asylum, in a psychiatric ward or in his own bedroom, in a locked room or something along those lines, but there’s a level of insanity to it kind of with the juxtaposition of simple lyrical content against the abrasive and harsh musical content, that was exciting and fun to explore that combination. As far as the message, I don’t quite know nor will I ever know what the message of that song is more of a story that I wanted to tell in this person’s voice.
Madness To Creation: Is that something you’re exploring more as you evolve in your songwriting?
Kellen: For sure, I like making up these stories and putting myself in these fictional stories and writing music in that way, it’s not what I do for every song, but if it feels right if I’m able to tap into this new world of new characters, I’m going to embrace it and try to make the best song out of it.
Madness To Creation: Stacked Like Pancakes have been featured on the Vans Warped Tour alumni page, what are your thoughts on Vans Warped Tour now that it’s reaching its swansong?
Kellen: It was definitely saddening to hear about the final run of Warped Tour, we were all crossing our fingers when Kevin Lyman was booking the tour that we would all be on the final run, it ended up not being able to work out that way, but we’re so grateful for the opportunities that the Vans Warped Tour team has given us over the years, the success that we’ve had from Warped Tour has stemmed into the tours that we’ve done since, every show that we’ve played on this tour so far we’ve had people come us to and say that they saw us at Warped Tour and now they are here at our show now. It’s a big difference when you have a 25 minute set on Warped Tour vs. an hour and 15 minute set where you can do everything that we want and more for our headlining show. It’s brought so many fans and it’s connected us with so many people, so it’s sad to see it go, but we’re grateful for all of the opportunities that they have given us and for all of the fans that we’ve been able to reach over the years.
Madness To Creation: What’s the plans for the rest of 2018?
Kellen: When Kickstarter is funded, we will be in the studio to record the rest of the album and the rest of the tracks. This summer, we’re playing a “Strange Creatures Preview Tour Part 2”, and in September which is the scheduled release date for the album, we’ve got some things mind which hopefully a big tour in the fall and in the winter.
Madness To Creation: Any message to the fans?
Kellen: Kickstarter was everything to us. We can’t wait for the album for everybody.
And there you have it, as of press time, Stacked Like Pancakes raised over $100,000 via their Kickstarter fund towards the production of “Strange Creatures”. Check their Facebook page for further news and information.