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Ticktockman - Ticktockman
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RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Self-Released
RELEASE DATE: Available now
FORMATS: CD / Digital

Band Members

Andy Lum: Guitar
Ryan Van Wieringen: Vocals
Brock Lowry: Drums
Phil Sells: Bass
Morgan "Boon" Bruner: Guitar

BIOGRAPHY

Seeking a musical outlet for organized chaos, Ticktockman was created by Ryan Van Wieringen (Gatsbys American Dream, Wild Orchid Children) and Andy Lum (Wild Orchid Children) in 2009. The duo bonded over a love of effects, unusual time signatures, and fast paced, high intensity songwriting. They proceeded to write and record five songs with producer Casey Bates (Portugal. the Man), which became their debut EP Periscope, released in February of 2010.

Finding their voice in rapid, technical drumming and heavy blues guitar riffs, Ticktockman rounded out its lineup to start playing shows in 2010 by adding Morgan Bruner (Guitar), Brock Lowry (Drums), and Phil Sells (Bass). The energy from these five multi-disciplined musicians led to the production of their brand new self-titled album, Ticktockman.

Working with producer Derek Moree in their hometown of Seattle, WA, the eleven new tracks featured on Ticktockman are a combination of technical guitar work, groove-based ambience, and brooding, catchy vocals; birthing a record that will make you forget what you know about the state of modern rock music. "Conceptually, this record centers around the feeling of not having a voice as an individual. Our record is sort of in line with the ‘loudest voice wins’ approach to life. Other themes include paranoia, corporate takeover, depression, and the idea of The Singularity."

“The Ticktockman” is a figure from a Harlan Ellison short story titled, “‘Repent Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.” The character represents a dictator who wants to regiment society and make everyone the same. The group was drawn to the story’s title because it relates to their musical identity, as Ticktockman was formed under the idea that louder, more challenging rock music can be made in a catchy and accessible way. The band explains, “the aggressiveness of our sound is inspired by the frustration with what’s popular in our region today. We want to bring loud music back to Seattle and make the younger generation feel alive through that sound.”

Reviews

February 13th, 2012. By CB Shamah for http://seismic-sound.com

Is that rock I hear? This full length features members of Gatsby’s American Dream and Wild Orchid Children getting their prog-rock jam on. Technically this album is slaying dragons: surgeon precision rhythm, Lum’s guitar crushes, while Van Wieringen vocals serenade your destruction. With tracks like “The Architect” and “Sinister Mystery Cloud Swallows Ships”, TT tip their hats to The Mars Volta in brain cramping song titles and arena sized sound. Hasn’t been anything in the NW music scene this bombastic in quite a while.

7.8
CB

March 19th, 2012. By Chris for anotherrainysaturday.com

Ticktockman are a somewhat new rock band in Seattle. One of the many excellent bands to come from members of the popular band Gatsbys American Dream, it put out its great self-titled LP last month. The music of Ticktockman is that of a challenging and intense rock band who uses a lot of different time signatures, combined with a brilliant drummer and multi-layered, guitar parts. It barely gives listeners a chance to breathe.

Ticktockman is largely a partnership between singer Ryan Van Wieringen and guitarist Andy Lum, both of whom played together in another great Seattle rock band, Wild Orchid Children and Lum recently became the drummer in the band Craft Spells. I met Van Wieringen for an interview at a Thai restaurant in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, and he said, “Andy and I pretty much are songwriting partners. We write everything together and we’ll jam it out together. When we have the song structure down, we’ll either demo it out or bring it in to practice and show the guys and they’ll add their own flavor to it.” He added that there is a contrast in styles between his and Lum’s styles of writing music. He told me, “Andy adds more like groove-based riffs and jams and I add this weird, chaotic, math element. I hear things in odd time signatures and when we get together, it evens things out.”

The name for the band came from the 1965 Harlan Ellison sci-fi short story, “‘Repent, Harlequin,’ said the Ticktockman,” which is one of the most reprinted short stories in the English language. The story is a dystopian fantasy where time is regulated and crimes like lateness result in time being subtracted from one’s life. People are “turned off” when their time expires. Van Wieringen said he became aware of the story through his Gatsbys American Dream bandmate (and a member of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground) Kyle O’Quin. Van Wieringen told me, “I just loved it so much that I brought it up to Andy for using it as a band name. It fits us. The story is about questioning what you’re being told. Why just listen to how society is structured and why not question it and try to understand what it is that we’re doing with our lives? It means a lot to me.”

That’s a theme that runs through Ticktockman’s music, the challenging or questioning of authority. As Van Wieringen said in our interview, “I just like to question everything that is going on in our society and reflect on it and understand my place in it. I try to put my own thoughts on it into a song.”

One of the best examples of a song that carries that theme is “Expose of New Orleans.” It’s a complex song that unexpectedly (but successfully!) opens with a slow, drawn-out Latin groove before its rock and/or roll instrumentation kicks in. Those few seconds are the only real chance the listener has to pause from the consistent rock of the album’s runtime. The song is about the Kennedy assassination. Van Wieringen said about its broader theme, “‘Expose’ is more about conspiracy theories, and how you should always leave a place in your mind for what else could have happened, and just be aware of the facts.”

It can be a bit of an albatross for a band to come from the ashes of a band with a dedicated fan base and not sound like that band. As is the case with Van Wieringen, who played in Gatsbys American Dream and who haven’t put out an album since its 2006 self-titled release. When asked how GAD fans have taken to Ticktockman, Van Wieringen told me, “They’re funny, they’re so loyal to the band. When you read what they say online, it’s always something like, ‘hey, this is great, but I really want a new Gatsbys album.’ I think that’s the same with Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and Bobby (Darling) and Nic (Newsham)’s projects.” He added, “They’re great, I still stay in touch with a lot of the loyal fans. We call them the Snicker at the Swine Kids because there was a fan site called Snicker at the Swine.”

Ticktockman’s first release was an EP in early 2010 called Periscope, which was recorded with just Van Wieringen and Lum. After that, the band completed its lineup, adding guitarist Morgan Bruner, bassist Phil Sells and drummer Brock Lowry. The self-titled album came out on Valentine’s day, so it’s barely a month old, yet the band plans to release another EP in the next four months or so. Van Wieringen told me, “We finished that record in early 2011 and we were just a new band and wanted to explore all of our options and build a team, find a manager and booking agent. By the time we got everything together, it was late in the year and we didn’t want to release it over the holidays.” He added, “In the meantime, we had already written some new songs, and songs that we thought were different for us, dynamically. We had grown so much in the past year that we had to get it out of our system. We did four songs and they’re all pretty long, they’re all over six, seven, eight minutes long.”

2012 should be a busy year for Ticktockman, with releasing its LP and likely an EP. The band is also set to bring their rock and roll up and down the west coast on a tour that wraps up on Saturday, April 7 at the High Dive.






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