February 25, 1979 |
|Genres||indie folk, indie rock|
|Occupation(s)||musician, singer, song writer, promoter, tour manager, actor, DJ|
|Associated acts||Halloween Town, The Killers, Louis XIV, The Shys|
Ryan Pardey is a musician, singer, songwriter, promoter, tour manager, actor, left-handed guitar player, and DJ from Las Vegas. He is best known as the singer and songwriter for Halloween Town, which has featured members of The Killers, Louis XIV, and The Shys. Pardey is also well known for portraying Santa Claus on Don't Shoot Me Santa, a Christmas song released by The Killers in 2007, for which he also appears in the video. Pardey appeared as Santa again for The Killers in the two sequel Christmas singles, I Feel It in My Bones (2012) and Dirt Sledding (2015). He also appears in the videos and as illustrations in the artwork for both singles.
Ryan's father is professional poker player Rodney H. Pardey. His brother is Rodney E. Pardey, who is also a professional poker player and musician. Pardey attended high school at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts in Las Vegas during the late '90s. In his senior year, he played the lead role of preacher C.C. Showers in a production of the controversial The Diviners, where he acted on stage beside Matthew Gray Gubler, Baron Vaughn, and Rutina Wesley.
After graduation, Pardey soon became the owner and operator of Café Espresso Roma, a coffee shop and music venue located across from UNLV. While helping to jump start his career in event promotion, the café also served as the breeding ground for The Killers.
While touring with The Killers as their tour manager, Pardey became known as "The Captain" by members of the band's fan club. During the tour, he also appeared as Santa on stage with The Killers during their performance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and during their performance in Los Angeles for the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. He continued as tour manager for The Killers until the end of the Sam's Town Tour in Dec 2007. At this time, Pardey began writing the first Halloween Town album.
The song Questions with the Captain is a secret song that appears on the album Sawdust, by The Killers, and was written about Pardey's tenure as "The Captain". The song is also used as the theme song for a web series starring Pardey, in which he interviews members of The Killers.
(2008–2009) 7" release
After returning home from touring with The Killers, Pardey experienced what he refers to as his "darkest most self-destructive period". He tells Las Vegas Weekly, "Without Mark Stoermer there'd be no Halloween Town...I knew I needed to stabilize my life. Mark helped me bring my ideas to life." With the encouragement of Stoermer, who was Pardey's roommate at the time, Ryan began writing songs for Halloween Town, a name Pardey has said he used to serve as a metaphor for Las Vegas. Stoermer would later play bass for Pardey's band at their first show.
In 2008, while writing for the album, Pardey test performed the songs for live audiences, opening for such acts as The Whigs, Tokyo Police Club, and The Silent Comedy. In Feb 2009, San Diego based rock band The Shys joined Pardey as his backing band on stage in Las Vegas, and again later that month at Bed Rock Studios in Echo Park. Ryan continued to utilize The Shys primarily as his live band, while he began recruiting members of Louis XIV as his studio band, along with The Killers bassist Mark Stoermer.
In September 2009, Halloween Town opened for The Killers at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The band's live performance featured members of The Shys, Louis XIV, and Transfer. Immediately after the show, Pardey and company appeared at The Aruba Showroom to celebrate the Las Vegas music festival Neon Reverb, where Halloween Town performed for the release of their EP Summer (The Dreamer From 1997), which the band released on vinyl 7". Ryan toured the Midwest as a solo artist in December 2009.
(2010–2012) Zafra Ct.
Halloween Town continued to play concerts through 2010, opening for the Killers at a secret Highline Ballroom show in New York City in January. Between shows and traveling, Pardey took up a DJ residency at the Beauty Bar in the Fremont East music district where he also began hosting a karaoke night. In March, Pardey relocated from Las Vegas to Austin, Texas where he would play in the SXSW music festival, after which he continued to perform shows in and around Austin for two months before relocating again to San Diego, where he would begin recording the band's first LP.
In June 2010, Pardey returned to Las Vegas to perform new songs from his forthcoming Halloween Town album at a benefit for Arbo De Vivo, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping impoverished people of the world. This specific event focused on support for Haiti after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the nation earlier in the year.
In May 2011, Halloween Town began a residency at The Palms hotel in Las Vegas. When asked when the Halloween Town LP would be released, Pardey responded by saying, "I guess some time in July...Since I'm an old man already, I don't need to rush."
On September 9, 2011, Halloween Town released their debut LP Zafra Ct. on Cornstalk Records, a label created by friend Matt Gubler. The album was named after the street Pardey grew up on, and features collaborations and production by a star lineup of musicians, which include Shaun Cornell (Transfer), and Michael Stratton (12 Volt Sex), Mark Stoermer and Dave Keuning of The Killers, Jason Hill and Brian Karscig of Louis XIV, and Matt Dublin of The Red Romance and Ambulance LTD.
Zafra Ct. was voted one of 10 best albums of 2011 in Las Vegas by CityLife magazine. In a 2012 reader poll given by Vegas Seven magazine, Halloween Town was selected as "Best Unsigned Vegas Band That a Big Label Should Go Ahead and Sign Already".
New work (2015–)
In October 2015, Pardey led the second reopening of the Las Vegas venue bar known as The Bunkhouse. The venue was sold to Tony Hsieh's Las Vegas based Downtown Project in June 2013, closed, renovated, and then reopened in August 2014, only to close less than a year after reopening. Pardey was brought on as Entertainment Director when the venue reopened for a second time in late 2015.
In November 2015 Pardey appeared in the Matthew Gray Gubler-directed music video for the song Dirt Sledding by The Killers. Pardey sings on the song, which features actor Richard Dreyfuss, and he appears in the artwork for the cover of the single.
- "Talk of the Town". Las Vegas Weekly. July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Sounds like Vegas". Las Vegas CityLife. October 20, 2011. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Ryan Pardey: Waiting For His Defining Moment". 'BLVDS. Aug–Sep 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "The Killers Rock for Charity on 'I Feel It in My Bones' – Premiere". Rolling Stone. December 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "The Killers go "Dirt Sledding" with Richard Dreyfuss in their annual holiday tune". www.avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
- "Free music song of the day with Halloween Town". Fabric Magazine. January 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "New Noize Makers//Halloween Town". Noize UK. December 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Halloween Town-Zafra Ct". Indie Inferno. October 20, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Beyond Downtown". Vegas Seven. May 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Tokyo Police Club with Halloween Town at Wasted Space". Las Vegas Sun. September 13, 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "This Train Is Bound for Glory". SanDiego.com. December 15, 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Halloween Town and The Shys". Las Vegas CityLife. February 2, 2009. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Musical chairs musicians". Las Vegas Weekly. March 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Best in show". Las Vegas CityLife. December 24, 2009. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Neon Reverb is back, and it's bigger than ever". Las Vegas Sun. September 7, 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Beauty Bar hopes interior makeover works". Las Vegas Sun. January 14, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "SOUNDS:Feels Like Home". Las Vegas Review Journal. June 11, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Mademoiselle Robot still loves you – Catching up with Matthew Gray Gubler". mademoisellerobot.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Local picks". Las Vegas CityLife. September 8, 2011. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Record city". Las Vegas CityLife. December 22, 2011. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Reader Poll". Vegas Seven. July 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "The ballad of Ryan Pardey: The musician, DJ and scene architect makes another musical leap". Las Vegas Weekly. Nov 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "The Killers – "Dirt Sledding" Video". Stereogum. Nov 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- Ryan Pardey as Santa Claus in the music video Don't Shoot Me Santa