Behind the Music...
THRIFT STORE HALO - 29 Years and Counting
Formed in 1994 by bassist/lead vocalist/songwriter Frank Gradishar and drummer Scott Proce, Chicago indie pop-rock stalwarts, Thrift Store Halo (“TSH”), could easily be compared to local contemporaries such as Material Issue, Fig Dish, Local H or Urge Overkill, as well as more well-known acts such as Suede, Teenage Fanclub, Sugar, The Wallflowers, Catfish & the Bottlemen, Gin Blossoms and Velvet Crush. The common thread among all: well-crafted, hook-heavy, radio-friendly, guitar pop-rock buzzing with loud, crunchy riffs, big drums and earnest, yet unpretentious lyrics and vocals.
The band’s 1998 LP, “World Gone Mad” received strong local radio and press and featured the tracks ‘If I Go’ and ‘Crashing In’ which featured on hit 90s TV shows (the former featured on Smallville and Pensacola Wings of Gold while the latter appeared on Party of Five.) Several placements on MTV shows followed, as did a runner up finish in the Disc Makers Best Unsigned Bands of 1998 contest. The resulting traction almost netted a coveted “big deal” with A&M offshoot, Almo Sounds (Garbage, The Pulsars). But, when the deal went south, Gradishar and Proce took an extended hiatus to, as the pair jokes, “earn money from real jobs to pay off the self-funded recording of the record and numerous bar tabs” at a slew of Chicago’s top venues the band frequently played in 90s.
In 2012, the band was invited to play a one-off support slot for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame members and former British Invasion chart-toppers, The Zombies, before slipping away again until a full reunion was mounted in 2016. Since then TSH has released four “EPs”, a “double A-side” single, a surprise Christmas track, and contributed a track to the Pop Aid CD (Kool Kat Musik) benefitting World Central Kitchen’s work in war-torn Ukraine – all with the loyal backing of venerable Chicago indie label and publisher, Pravda Records and the band’s “fourth member”, studio owner and producer, Kevin Mucha. Each offering has been greeted by strong FM and internet radio airplay, favorable reviews, indie chart placements and regular inclusions in year-end, “Best of” lists, proving that being 50-ish has not slowed these Chicago veterans from producing memorable, hook-filled indie pop rock ‘n’ rolls songs and stellar live shows.
While past incarnations of TSH were rounded out by different guitarists over the years, including Brent Seatter (Kevin Lee & The Kings) and Lance Tawzer (Material Issue and The Lupins), finally, in 2022, almost as if by fate, the ideal permanent guitarist/vocalist/songwriter arrived. Enter Chicago scene legend, Cory Hance (ex- Box-O-Cars and The Cells) who immediately bonded with Gradishar and Proce, sharing common influences, drive and talents. Now, the band prepares to unleash the new 6-song EP, “Live and Unlearn” which will be released vinyl, CD and streaming on November 10, 2023.
The band's songs have charted over 518 times on various indie radio charts, including 37 weeks in the Radio Indie Alliance Overall Top 75, and have been played on over 100 radio stations around the world.
In total, TSH songs have been streamed over 347,242 on Spotify and in total, the band has amassed approximately 351,000 streams across all platforms as of 8/17/2023.
THRIFT STORE HALO is:
- Frank Gradishar (Bass Guitar/Vocals)
- Cory Hance (Guitars/Vocals)
- Scott Proce (Drums)
- Brent Seater (Guitars; 1994- April,1998; July, 1998-1999, 2005; 2012; 2016; 2021- October 2022)
- Ed Dulian (Guitars; May-July 1998)
- Lance Tawzer (Guitar, Backing Vocals; 2016-2021)