Reinvigorating the sounds of classic ska, Stacked Like Pancakes (SLP) piles on boisterous horns and punk rock attitude to create high energy music synthesizing the vibes of Reel Big Fish, twenty one pilots, Foo Fighters, Paramore, Cage the Elephant, and an untraceable amount of other artists and genres. Since 2007, SLP has shared the stage with national and international acts, toured on the Vans Warped Tour, headlined their own self-booked tours, released their latest crowd-funded 15-track monster-album THIS IS US in December 2015, and in 2016 went on the road with Reel Big Fish for a month-long nation-wide syrupy tour.
The token with this group is their live performance. Concert venues and music patrons alike should be prepared for the stage to shake, the crowd to be wild and unpredictable, and the show to be a deliberate fusion of spontaneity and precision. Their community fan base – the #PancakeNation – is hungry for their band to grow. Stacked Like Pancakes epitomizes a tough DIY band despite a meaningless band name, and are rightfully on the rise to claim an international stage of their own.
Why are we Stacked Like Pancakes?
Frontman Kellen McKay started the band in 2007, eager to put a ska band together in Carroll County, Maryland where many hadn’t heard of ska before. And now I’m going to make an awkward switch out of a 3rd-person biography. Why pretend someone else is writing this when I am? Why lie to you?
“How did you come up with the name?” is definitely the question we’re asked the most when we play shows. It’s interesting when we go to explain it to people because for some reason they expect an elaborate story and you can see the hungry anticipation in their eyes as syrup drools from their mouth. My mom likes to think that it’s because she was making pancakes for dinner the night I held the first rehearsal in my basement. I don’t quite remember that being the case, but I’ll give her some of the benefit of the doubt and tell people that anyway. Maybe she’s right, and the inspiration was subliminal.
I really like band names with catchy abbreviations and chant-able acronyms: Reel Big Fish = RBF, Stone Temple Pilots = STP, Red Hot Chili Peppers = RHCP, A Day To Remember = ADTR. I remember sitting down with the band’s first horn players (just two trumpets at the time) for a few minutes and brainstorming some of the stupidest band name ideas you could imagine. I liked the letter “P” in an abbreviation. I think at one point we were set on using the color purple. A minute later, we settled on Stacked Like Pancakes. S-L-P stays with people – especially because it’s associated with a popular breakfast food.
Over the years, SLP has shape-shifted and the band has seen upwards of thirty members in its history. The amount of horn players, the instrumentation of the horns, personnel changes with bassists and drummers, and the addition of a second guitarist are just a few developments to name. We’re not your average garage band. We are musicians, we are perfectionists, and we are performers. We’re not afraid to try stacking the pancakes differently.
Fast-forward to today. I’ve learned for myself that it doesn’t matter how deep of a meaning or back-story there is with your band name – what matters most is the quality of the music you create and the connections you make with the people who come out to shows to hear it. The band name is a part of the image, but creating good music and sharing an experience with you matters first and foremost. SLP exists for you.
When we stand on a stage in front of you, we’re there to deliver a high-energy and high-quality show whether it’s a crowd of five or five-thousand. After you see our show, come talk to us and tell us what you think. Then tell a friend. We came up with the image in 2007 and today we’re committed to fueling our passion. Now it’s your turn to tell our story.
Kellen McKay: song-writer, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, percussion (2007–present)
Zach Foote: bass-trombone (2012–present)
Alec Leventis: trumpet, backing vocals (2013–present)
Michael Busch: lead guitar (2013–present)
Andy Dawson: trombone (2015–present)
Kevin Goren: drums (2016–present)
Will Lopez: bass guitar (2017–present)
At a glance
- First original song: “Mr. Sane”
- First performances at high-school battle of the bands, city festivals, and first show at a concert venue.
- Released debut album “We’re Not Insane” – our first studio album, recorded at Boy Downstairs Studios.
- Began opening up for national artists including The Toasters and The Pietasters.
- Launched successful Kickstarter campaign to help with band costs.
- Opened up for Kid Cudi at Towson University Tigerfest (7,000+ attendees).
- We got a van! We got a van! We got a van!
- Released our live album, “Setting the Table.”
- Headlined Helluva Music Festival, created by Kellen for Towson University Campus Activities.
- The Ravens won the Superbowl.
- Self-booked and toured the North-East (MD, PA, VA, NY, NJ).
- Released new single “Suburban Superhero“
- Headlined the Moose Stage at Launch Music Conference and The Lane Stage at Ellicott City Music Festival.
- Hugely successful Summer Kick-off Party at The Ottobar Baltimore.
- Won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands (Columbia, MD) and performed at Vans Warped Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
- Opened up for Badfish – Sublime Tribute at Rams Head Live in Baltimore.
- Raised over $10,000 with our 2nd Kickstarter Campaign for a new album
- Donated $1,000 to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
- Performed a 10-day leg of Vans Warped Tour: Nashville, TN | Atlanta, GA | St. Petersburg, FL | West Palm Beach, FL | Orlando, FL | Jacksonville, FL | Charlotte, NC | Virginia Beach, VA | Pittsburgh, PA | Camden, NJ
- Released new single “Planetary”
- Released new album THIS IS US December 24th
- Sold out CD Release Show at The Metro Gallery, Baltimore, January 9th
- Released new single and music video “Money Sucks”
- Headlined Frozen Harbor Music Festival at Luckie’s Tavern in Baltimore
- Featured artist at Launch Music Conference & Festival; 3rd consecutive year performing
- First radio interview for WLOY – Loyola College Radio
- First headlining 15-day Spring Tour: Baltimore, MD | York, PA | Virginia Beach, VA | Charleston, SC | St. Petersburg, FL | Jacksonville, FL | Atlanta, GA | Nashville, TN | Columbus, OH | New York, NY | Worcester, MA | Pittsburgh, PA | Stroudsburg, PA | Philadelphia, PA | Washington, D.C.
- Won the Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands for the Baltimore district (among 800+ bands)
- Opened up for RDGLDGRN at Baltimore Soundstage
- Guest performer Steppin’ Out Music Festival in Blacksburg, Virginia
- Headlined Main Street Music Festival on the Tiber Park stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland
- “Turn The Radio Off” U.S. Fall Tour with Reel Big Fish & Masked Intruder