From a spectator’s point of view, Seven Hats Parade from Cranston have a fairly normal setup for a band.
Sean La Porte and Justin Sacco serve as the rhythm section on drums and bass, while Steven Sacco and Dan Palmisciano play off each other as the guitarists. Dan McDonough exhibits quite the vocal range as the group’s frontman.
The band has a notable classic rock influence, but there’s nothing cookie-cutter about it. One song can be about Led Zeppelin-esque lore while another can be about a make-believe gang who scares people at night. On top of it, there are tons of progressions and riffs adorning their sound.
I recently had a talk with the guys in Seven Hats Parade about the origins of the band, recording techniques, one member’s affinity for sports jerseys, and their shared goals for this year.
Before Seven Hats Parade started, a couple of you guys were in different bands, right?
That was me and Dan Palmisciano.
Going from that time to now, how did Seven Hats Parade form?
There was actually another band in between. The Free Agents was a high school band that Dan and I joined. Dan was playing bass and I was playing guitar. We left that band and the other guys graduated high school. We tried to form a different band right before graduation, and then that didn’t work out. Then, sometime during the end of the first year of college, Seven Hats Parade started. We’ve all been friends since early high school and we just decided to start a band.
Did you guys go to Cranston West or Cranston East?
Sean La Porte:
What kind of musical experience did you have before starting the group?
Steven, Sean and I were in the Cranston West band.
I played clarinet (laughs).
I played saxophone and Steve played trumpet. That was the only music we had in our background.
Justin always had guitars laying around. We would play together growing up, and when he joined the band he started playing bass. Did you play a little bass before that?
Once I held the Ibanez, I was like, “This is it.”
The most recent release you guys have out is “The Frighteners EP” that came out last year. Who did the album art for it?
Shane O’Rourke, another Cranston West high school friend.
The EP doesn’t really have a theme, but the title track seems to have a horror movie influence. How did the idea for that song come about?
We had a riff and we didn’t really have a melody, so I came up with the lyrics. Dan [Palmisciano] usually names the song before it’s written, and the song was there, we just had to fine tune it and everything. I thought it was like a fake gang, like The Warriors or something, but they’re also a band.
I didn’t have the name at first, though.
He just started singing while we were jamming.
Steve, along with being in the band, you do a lot of recording, which you studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Do you have any techniques that you’ve either borrowed or are influenced by other producers?
Yes, that’s where most of my experience comes from … everything I’ve learned has been from someone else at one point or another. Probably my favorite has to be Joe Barresi. He’s worked with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Tool and The Melvins. Those sounds are so good.
For this year, what are some goals you guys have for the band?
We have three half-written songs and we’re going to finish those, so that would probably be the first goal.
I don’t really voice this, but I’d like to set something up for round three for a record.
Yeah, have enough songs to be recorded and hash out what we want on something.
We always joke about a concept album, but I don’t think that’s really going to happen.
Dan [McDonough] likes to wear jerseys, especially soccer jerseys, while performing. You could do the concept on sports jerseys.
You might be on to something.
To learn more about Seven Hats Parade, visit the band’s Facebook page (@sevenhats.parade) or check out its Soundcloud page at soundcloud.com/seven-hats-parade.