Hailing from Cedar Falls, Iowa, Lick it Ticket is a group of past and current music students of the University of Northern Iowa. The band is Ryan Pearson on lead vocals and guitar, Robert Espe on saxophone and keyboard (also violin and melodica), Collin Braley on the beats, and Andrew Thoreen on the bass.
Lick it Ticket is a band for the people. People that like: wailing lead guitar and vocal lines, three and four-part vocal harmonies, intriguing lyrics, technical instrumental prowess, well-designed compositions, free improvisation, dirty dance beats, odd-meter drum and bass grooves, and of course, tight-rhythmic soul.
Q. How would you describe your music?
“A combination of progressive rock, jam band, funk and jazz, with bits and pieces of intelligent dance music.”
Q. Influences/ Inspiration (friends, family, other artists)
“Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Phish, Chris Potter, Frank Zappa… Also parents, teachers, preachers, and creatures. “
Q. How did you get your name?
“Accidentally. That is all we can say.”
Q. What was the best show/venue/crowd you have ever played for?
“When we opened up for the Motet at 320 South in Breckenridge, Colorado. We were on a summer tour and they packed the house 80 people past capacity. 80 people over capacity = fun + rocky mountain high = more fun.”
Q. Any of you been cow tipping? If so, please describe results…
“Yes. Cows are heavy and can run faster than you think. The rest is history. (Andrew)”
Q. If you could open for any band, who and why?
“Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gipsys in the 60s. This is what music is all about; groove, heart, and improvisation. See google for further explanation… “
Q. How do you prepare for a performance?
“We usually rehearse intensely for exactly and hour and thirty seven minutes a couple days before the gig. On the day of the gig we are pretty laid back, besides having a beer and a jager-bomb right before we go on stage. We normally get to the gig and talk with our fans and friends. We’ve found that the more we relax before the show, the better it goes…typically. “
Q. Favorite bands of all time…
“ummm…. Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Phish, The Beatles, The Doors, Ravi Shankar, Radiohead, The Chili Peppers, Thelonius Monk, A Tribe Called Quest, CSNY, Craig Taborn, Jimi Hendrix, Bela and the Flecktones, James Brown, and Frank Zappa. “
Q. To each member, “What listeners might not know about you, but should?” (fun facts, etc.)
Andrew: Andrew: I play bass in Lick it Ticket, but I actually got my degree in jazz trombone from the University of Northern Iowa. Bass was my first non-piano instrument at the at the age of 9. It was mainly because my mom thought bass players were cool. So do I. They’re as cool as trombonist are.
Collin: I collect my fingernail and toe-nail clippings. Don’t worry, my friends donate theirs as well. My plan is to make “Hu-Glue”, a glue made from human finger and toe nails. It’s actually composed of the same material as horse hooves, which were used to make glue back in the day. Also, I’ve been skateboarding longer than I’ve been playing drums. I started in 1996 and still do today, but I’m not as hardcore as I was before. I gotta take care of my limbs to play music! The coolest trick I’ve ever done is a nose-slide 270 shove-it across and down a pyramid box. I hate Muska and Erik Koston is one of my favorite skaters.
Ryan: Piano and sax were my first instruments and I took up the guitar at age of 14.
Robert: I first started my musical life on the violin at the age of three, which is when I first started reading and driving my parents up the wall.
Q. When visiting Minneapolis, you usually end up…
” Walking around uptown. Maybe eating some type of crazy ethnic food every where we can. We also end up in Dinky Town, on Snelling Ave., or at the Cabooze or First Ave. We end up anywhere we can appreciate the music and culture here in the Cities.”
Q. What do you love most about being a musician?
“Performing music for people can’t be replaced by anything. Creating new music and watching people get down on the dance floor will never grow old. “
Q. Any last words or shout outs?
“We want to thank Dave Cervantes of Obsolete for contacting us and Sarah Rose for an amazing graphic vision. We want to give a shout to our Minneapolis homies Roster McCabe, Deep Soul Deities, and Dead Larry from Iowa City (who just made the move to the twin cities). Funk yeah. “