Untimely death in Rock is a tragedy as old as the form itself. Last summer, Fort Collins, Col., Emo/melodic Pop quartet Tickle Me Pink joined that sad roll call when bassist Johnny Schou inexplicably died in his sleep on the eve of the release of Madeline, the band’s full-length debut. It was a blow that could have derailed the young group, but TMP was motivated to push ahead.
“To be honest, it was Johnny,” says TMP frontman Sean Kennedy. “He wanted this as badly as we did. If he had been around and one of us had passed away, he would have wanted to go on because he knew the passion all of us have shared. There’s a lot of songs on the record that bring a whole new purpose to our live show. It’s almost like our purpose is to get Johnny across at every show.”
Rather than dwell on Schou’s death, TMP continued as a tribute to their fallen friend. After a brief but appropriate period to collect themselves, the remaining members (vocalist/guitarist Kennedy, drummer/co-founder Stefan Runstrom, guitarist Steven Beck) made adjustments and resumed touring. Kennedy’s move to bass and guitarist Joey Barba’s addition to the lineup made Tickle Me Pink reasonably ready to tour.
The quartet forges ahead after the death of their bassist and friend with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and The Becoming at the 20th Century Theater.
Read Brian Baker's interview with the band here.