The “Shut Up and Jam!” Tour, featuring Detroit rocker Ted Nugent, has rolled its way across the country. Even though many know and behold the legendary headliner Nugent, many will be new to the openers on the tour, also hailing from Nugent’s hometown Detroit, Pistol Day Parade.
The five-piece band consists of: lead singer Dave Fuller, guitarist Guido Johnson, guitarist Rob Banks, drummer Jason Hartless and bassist Jason Lollio.
The tour started in July and has less than a week remaining. But that has not stopped the crowds from rocking out with the openers.
“It’s working out real good,” said Johnson. “I think we were all nervous in how it could go, but after the first show, we knew. This is right where we needed to be.
That’s going to delegate where our next move is as far as where we go on tour again. I think this was definitely a good choice, a good fit. Uncle Ted called, and we answered.”
Like Nugent, some of the members of Pistol Day Parade are gun enthusiasts.
“We’re all outdoorsman, especially me and [Rob],” said Johnson. “We believe a lot in what Nugent stands for. You [have] the combination of the outdoor element. You [have] the combination of the music element. So it was the perfect fit.”
Fellow guitar player Banks started playing when he was eight years old when he first heard his dad and uncles playing. Banks said Nugent influenced him as well as other legendary guitarists.
“[I’ve] been influenced by several others like Marty Friedman of Megadeth and Dimebag Darrell from Pantera especially,” said Banks. “All of the guitar playing that I knew at that young age is what I wanted to do. I picked up many different instruments and learned how to play them over the years and here I am now.”
Pistol Day Parade’s name was explained by Banks.
“When we get our instruments on, it’s like carrying guns, like a parade of people carrying guns,” said Banks. “We’re an army. And we’re going to force our music into the air.”
Earlier this year, the band played the famous South By Southwest Festival in Austin. At first, the band was playing to an empty room, but that wasn’t the case further into their set.
“It was packed by the end of the set,” said Banks. “People liked us. We drew them in from the outside. That’s all you can ask for when you’re out there. That’s a hard thing to do.”
Bassist Lollio said that the band also played SXSW to further a relationship to get more widespread publicity.
“We went down there to form a relationship with Landshark Promotions,” said Lollio. “That’s the stage we played. They’re the ones who are promoting our new single, “Rockstar’s Girlfriend,” nationally right now.”
Lollio didn’t expect to be in a rock band when he was younger. He went to college to be an athlete and his brother approached him with a life-changing opportunity.
“I moved in with my brother, who’s a singer-songwriter and he said, ‘I booked a gig for us in 30 days and you’re going to be my bass player,’” said Lollio. “He taught me some of his original songs and said, ‘Play.’ And I [have] played ever since.”
The youngest member of the group, Hartless, is only 19 and talks about how he got to know and love the drums, even though his dad didn’t want him to.
“He wanted me to be a hockey player and before I could even walk I picked up the drums and I started playing,” said Hartless. “Before I was five I played my first professional gig.
I’m mainly a jazz musician, funk and all this other stuff which I feel comes into my style. Most rock drummers are just rock drummers. I try to hint in different other ideas.”
Hartless said that being in a rock band is a great thing that has happened to him.
“This is what I do for a living [and] I love it,” said Hartless. “Even when I’m not touring, I’m home teaching music professionally. I do music 24/7…Especially being out on the road. Living on a tour bus and playing different cities every day travelling around the world, it’s what I love to do.”
Lead singer Fuller never intended to be the singer, but volunteered because no one else wanted to and excels at his spot in the band.
“I wanted to just play guitar,” said Fuller. “Nobody would ever sing a song back in the day…I just stuck with it and here I am.”
For those who have yet to see Pistol Day Parade in action, Fuller talks about what one can expect.
“They can expect to have a good time and expect to be blown away because we pride ourselves on sounding great live,” said Fuller. “We just want to come across to the fans and hopefully gain a lot of fans. Hopefully they enjoy it.”
Fuller talks about how the music making process comes about with the other members of Pistol Day Parade.
“It usually starts on the acoustic guitar,” said Fuller. “If it sounds good on that then we’ll take it to our producer and see what he thinks about it. That’s the best part about being in the studio, adding other instruments to that acoustic sound.
I write a lot…It could [be] memories, somebody else’s relationship, a tv show. I grab it from anywhere. Usually I’ll just start playing the guitar and then I’ll just start humming something or spitting out words and I’ll record it and if it sounds good then I’ll go off of that. We[’ve] got a song called “High,” [and] that’s pretty much from me watching [the] “Intervention” show.
The band is starting to gain fans across the country with each show they put behind them. Of course, the band puts thanks in many people.
“Detroit’s been great,” said Fuller. “Our radio station, 101 The WRIF back home [has] just been wonderful to the band and all [of] our families have been supportive and everyone’s great.
Our management, Rick and Dana, and our label Goomba and our crew Chris and Bull. [We] couldn’t do it without any of them. Thank you to everyone. Hopefully when we’re out here we can connect with people and gain fans and spread the word.”
All photos by Corey Kleinsasser