Experienced lineup to debut Saturday at Friends
Ben Turner/ Staff writer
Issue date: 12/6/02 Section: The Verge
Friends & Co. keeps its streak of bringing experienced Chicago bands to town going with another Saturday night full of music. The Ghost and The Honor System will make their inaugural Charleston performances with The Siderunners joining the bill to complete an all-inclusive musical lineup.
The Honor System is a powerful, lyrically rich quartet. Frontman and guitarist Dan Hanaway is gifted in crafting lyrics filled with angst and frustration, but also sports a level of insightfulness. Somewhere between political consciousness and flat-out asking the question "Why?" Hanaway is able to express, in song, the questions and bewilderment many of us share about the shortcomings of America.
Hanaway played the trumpet and sang backing vocals in suburban Chicago ska outfit, Slapstick. After Slapstick split in 1996, Hanaway took over on guitar in forming The Broadways with Slapstick frontman Brendan Kelly. Current Honor System drummer, Rob DePaola, also joined forces with Hanaway at this point, taking over behind the kit for The Broadways. The Broadways sported a sound much like The Honor System, except Hanaway and Kelly split time on lead vocals.
When The Broadways split, Hanaway and DePaola were joined by Chris Carr and original guitarist Nolan McGuire to form The Honor System. With that lineup, the band recorded its two previous releases, its full-length debut titled "Single File" in 2000 on Asian Man Records and a six-song EP, "100% Synthetic" in 2001 on Double Zero Records. McGuire left the band in the fall of 2001 with Tyler Wiseman replacing him on guitar.
The Ghost and The Honor System have played together quite a few times since The Ghost permanently relocated to Chicago from the California Bay Area. Frontman and guitarist Brian Moss, bassist Jordan Schalich and drummer Randy Bleichner recruited current guitarist Paul Lask after Shane Stevens left the band.
"The Chicago music scene is much more of a community," Moss said. "Everyone is honest and upfront and not as pretentious."