Automatic Theory
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Automatic Theory

Tacoma, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Tacoma, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Pop Rock




"“Automatic Theory is one of those..."

“Automatic Theory is one of those musical talents who rolls in, plays a great set, and winds up leaving a line of folks signing their guestbook and wanting a CD. They're good, they craft good songs, and the lyrics are actually worth listening to. Presenters will want to book this band again and again, and their audiences will be very happy for it. I am!”

Serni Solidarios - Event Producer and Music Educator of the University of Puget Sound.
- Serni Solidarios

"Endorsement Deal - Heinzman Drum Co. Drum Review"

My name is Steve Albert and I’ve been playing the drums for 16 years now. For the last two years I have been playing drums for pop/rock band Automatic Theory, and have recently had the pleasure to play on a Heinzman Drum Co. Manhattan Series Elite hand crafted snare drum over the last few months. Thus far, with 20+ live performances, a studio recording for 6 tracks, and 30+ band rehearsals, I can confidently say that this snare is one of the best I’ve ever played.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its vibrant music scene with plenty of bands and musicians who love to make instruments. Our friend and owner of Heinzman Drum Co., Rickie Ray Heinzman, pulled me aside last August after we finished playing our set at the 19th Annual Grahamstock Music Festival and offered me the endorsement deal there on the spot, of which I am very grateful.

The Heinzman Drum Co. Manhattan Series Elite handcrafted snare drum is a 14-inch 10-ply maple shell with a beautiful two-tone wood finish. Unique from most other snare drums, this one features triple flanged s-hoops drum rims, which adds for a distinctive rim shot sound. My favorite feature of this snare is that it comes equipped with 10-lug nuts that provide the perfect amount of tension on both batter and bottom drum heads. Most snare drums need to be tuned before every performance. Not this drum. After all the intense play I have had on this drum, it has not gone out of tune. Even my studio producer, Andrew Nalty (MountainHouse Recordings) truly enjoyed recording and mixing this drum. The drum tone compliments the overall sound of Automatic Theory very well and can be heard on their upcoming EP set for release in April, 2012. I am very thankful to have this opportunity to use quality handcrafted equipment from our friend Rickie Ray. Thanks, Rickie!

Steve Albert
Automatic Theory
- Steve Albert

"Local performer giving music his all"

At age 27 Dave Hannon is young enough to be enthusiastic about his potential success in music, but old enough that he has considered other career paths if playing music does not turn into a full-time job.

The singer/songwriter recently moved to Steilacoom from Spokane. Hannon grew up in the North End. His introduction to music came from his father, who often played a piano in the family’s home.

Hannon took piano lessons from the time he was 6 to 12 years old. While he never was thrilled with the tedious study of music theory, he did like to compose. His father had an old guitar, and when Hannon was 13 a friend taught him a few chords. Guitar soon replaced piano as his instrument of choice.

As a child Hannon’s family began attending church at Life Center. His parents enrolled him in the affiliated school, Life Christian. It had a big impact on his life. He ran cross-country at the high school and earned his diploma there.

He formed a worship band as a teenager. The group used to play for the youth group that met at the church on Friday evenings, usually to an audience of between 500 and 700 teens. “It was good exposure, a good experience for us.” They also played occasionally at a local all-ages club.

Hannon enrolled at Northwest College in Kirkland but soon found it was not to his liking. He transferred to Tacoma Community College (TCC), where he earned his associate’s degree, then went to Gonzaga University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a teaching certificate.

While attending TCC he had coached the track team at Life Christian. Hannon considered a career in teaching and coaching, but was hesitant about pursuing that as a career upon graduation. “I still had that appetite for playing music.”

A friend of his in Spokane had a Christian band and Hannon joined the group. A pivotal moment came when they were driving along an icy stretch of freeway in eastern Oregon while returning from a gig at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

One of his bandmates was driving. Concerned he might get drowsy, Hannon left the back of the van and sat down in the passenger seat to keep him company. Before Hannon could put on his seat belt the driver lost control of the van, which flipped over and went off the side of the road. Amazingly, no one was hurt. However, friction had been building within the band, and the wreck elevated the tension to the point where they broke up soon after.

Hannon decided to be a solo act and began writing original material and playing at open mics around Spokane.

He recently moved back to Tacoma to try his luck at the music scene in his hometown. He connected with Steve Albert, a percussionist, through a mutual friend. The two perform together, although Hannon wants to add a bass player. “I think it would add to the flavor,” he remarked.

He has a part-time job at the Starbucks on Steilacoom Boulevard in Lakewood. He played a gig at a rival coffee shop. Many of his co-workers showed up, as well as a regional manager for Starbucks. Impressed by how many people were there, the manager requested he do shows at the Starbucks, which Hannon has done several times.

Hannon will go on tour for several weeks beginning March 18. He has shows lined up in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. He expects to log 3,000 miles on the tour.

Hannon has released one EP, which has his dad playing piano. He is wrapping up recording his second EP.

His songs cover a range of topics. Some are about relationships. Others delve into social problems, such as one inspired by observing homeless people on the streets of Spokane. He wrote one about himself and a group of college friends when they graduated, which pondered where exactly their home was as they entered a new phase of adulthood.

He does a few cover tunes including “A Day In The Life” by the Beatles, “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes and “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Hannon feels confident playing guitar, but sometimes feels nervous or uncomfortable about his singing. He has found playing a song in a lower key helps keep him from over-reaching his vocal range. “I am starting to feel more confident with my singing,” he commented.

Hannon would like to make music his career and is feeling a little sense of urgency.

“I am a dinosaur - I am 27,” he said with a laugh. “I am more determined now than ever so I am going to try my hardest.”

Dave Hannon plays Inni’s in Lakewood at 8 p.m. Feb. 19.
- Tacoma Weekly - February 12, 2009 by John Larson

"Big Year For Local Band"

Dave Hannon Band is a pop/rock trio based in Tacoma. It consists of Dave Hannon on lead vocals and guitar, Ian Webb on bass and vocals and Steve Albert on drums and vocals.
It was formed in 2008. The group has released two EPs, “Better for the Long While” in 2008 and “Bridge” in 2009.

The group did 175 shows in spring and summer of 2009 in an acoustic format. In November 2009 Albert deployed to Afghanistan with the Air Force Reserves. He returned in May and has since left the military after eight years of service. The band recently rented out a practice pad in Tacoma to establish a more structured rehearsal schedule.

They began recording a full-length CD, “This Time Last Year,” prior to Albert’s deployment. They resumed recording this past summer. The drum tracks are done and most of the bass tracks are as well. The album will have some electric guitar tracks, with three of them completed. The group plans to wrap up recording in January.

The group recently played at Starbucks in University Place. They covered songs by John Lennon and Ryan Adams, as well as “Winter Wonderland” to get the audience in the spirit of the holiday season. Their version of “What’s Up?,” the 1992 song by one-hit wonder 4 Non Blondes, really displayed the higher end of Hannon’s vocal range.

Among their originals was “Dig,” which they have in electric and acoustic versions, and “How Goes,” a tune they plan to have on the album.

“Sucker Punch,” an original song about relationships, featured three-part vocal harmonies. Hannon said developing this vocal style is something he is proud of. “I think they do an amazing job,” he said of his band mates.

“Dave is a good vocal coach,” Albert remarked.

They plan to come up with a new name, as Hannon no longer wants it named after himself. The current name stems from Hannon’s beginnings as a solo acoustic act.

The group has 32 songs in its repertoire, a mix of originals and covers. “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers is among their favorite cover tunes. “Two” by Ryan Adams is something they recently learned. Hannon said they try to select covers that all three bandmembers like. “If it fits what we do, we will learn it.”

The three members look forward to accomplishing much in 2011. Besides releasing an album, they are trying to book some festival shows for next summer and plan to do a short tour to California and back. “We are ready for whatever we can get our hands on,” Albert remarked.

“We want to play on bigger bills and have a chance to prove ourselves,” Hannon said. “We are hard-working guys who like to bring a smile to people’s faces when we are on stage.”

Dave Hannon Band plays Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. at New Frontier in Tacoma. - Tacoma Weekly Article - Dec. 16, 2010 by John Larson


Better For The Long While EP (2008)

1. Make Your Way In The Dark
2. Home
3. Suckerpunch
4. Turned Down
5. Walk On
6. Somebody New
Bridge EP (2009)

1. Look Out Below
2. Right Here In Memory
3. Build A Bridge
4. To Be As One
5. Which Is Worse
Two Sides EP (2012)

1.Two Sides
2.Too Scared
3.The Price of Hiding
4.Which is Worse
5.Heavy Hands Heavy Head
6.My Misery



Automatic Theory is a high-energy, three-piece pop/rock band out of the Pacific Northwest, established in 2008. Since then, the band has played over 1000+ shows, completed three music tours, released three albums – Better For The Long While (2008), Bridge (2009), and Two Sides (2012) and built a solid fan base across the Pacific Northwest, Western Region of the United States, and beyond. The band includes Dave Hannon (Tacoma, WA) on guitar/vocals, Steve Albert (Dover, NH) on drums/vocals, and Ian Webb (Ukiah, CA) on bass/vocals.

The band has gone through a significant musical evolution. Stemming from Dave’s stint as a solo artist and acoustic beginnings, the band has taken the core of Dave’s songs and become, well, a band. Under the new banner, the guys of Automatic Theory take their diverse musical influences and backgrounds and fuse them all together to make their own brand of refreshing melodic rock.

Like Weezer, the band brings a punk-rock energy to the stage, with songs that have a strong pop structure in arrangement, along with prominent melodies. The influence that Automatic Theory can agree upon most as a band is Jimmy Eat World. Drum parts are reminiscent of Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, and Third Eye Blind, while guitar parts are similar to those of Mae, Jimmy Eat World, Switchfoot, and Weezer. Bass lines reflect those of Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, and Muse. Vocals have been most influenced by Jeff Buckley, Muse, The Beatles, and Ryan Adams.

“Automatic Theory is one of those musical talents who rolls in, plays a great set, and winds up leaving a line of folks signing their guestbook and wanting a CD. They're good, they craft good songs, and the lyrics are actually worth listening to. Presenters will want to book this band again and again, and their audiences will be very happy for it. I am!” Serni Solidarios -Event Producer and Music Educator of the University of Puget Sound.