Akron’s Tight Whips has tight grasp on future, prepping for tour

Allison Bugg

Whip it good! The Tight Whips have been staples on the Akron scene for two years now.

Credit: Beth Rankin

For this group of talented musicians, the key to success starts with a good attitude and a lot of practice.

That’s how recent Kent State graduate Sean D. Whip III, drummer for the Tight Whips, described his band’s philosophy.

“We want to be able to create music every day, so we play as much as we can whether it means practicing or playing a show,” he said.

The Tight Whips is an Akron-based band that incorporates an optimistic outlook and heavy punk influence into its music. Whip describes it as hard, wild and melodic rock ‘n’ roll.

It all started when he and fellow musician Mike Stangelo kept running into each other at local rock shows and bars.

“I noticed that we both liked the same kind of music, so we started jamming together in Kent,” Whip said.

The Whips formed in January 2003 with Stangelo on guitar and vocals and Whip on drums.

Soon after, bassist Jason Tarulli showed up for a jam session and immediately joined the group. In 2004, Leona Ross became the latest addition on keyboards and vocals.

“Our sound really felt complete once Leona joined the band,” he said.

And for the past two years, the Tight Whips has gained valuable experience playing live shows around the area.

“We enjoy hanging out and playing music,” he said, “But our true passion is touring, which we hope to do a lot of soon.”

Whip said his ideal travels would consist of week-long tours in surrounding states, playing with a variety of artists.

“Our plan for this summer is to play out of town as much as possible,” he said. “We really want to expand our boundaries and develop a following.”

In the meantime, though, the group has focused its attention on recording.

“We recorded five or six songs back in January and are just waiting to get them mixed,” he said. “We also have some live shows we hope to put on a CD as soon as possible.”

While the group is dedicated to its music and fans, he said everyone takes on a part-time job, and some are involved in a second band.

Whip calls the band’s practices an open collective because there’s always the possibility of having other musicians jam with them.

“The bottom line is we love jamming, mostly because it gives us a chance to experiment with different sounds,” he said.

The group also concentrates on engineering a good show for its audience.

“We want people to come out and have a good time while paying little or nothing at the door,” he said. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the music.”

The band’s next show is Saturday at the Voodoo Lounge in Akron. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/tightwhips.

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].