LA band plans show in Dayton, promotes new album

By: Mary Kate Dorr – Staff Writer

The Rockstar Pro Arena will be alive with the sound of music on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the album release show for the native Los Angeles band Crooks on Tape. The band, consisting of John Schmersal, Rick Lee and Joey Galvan, recently released its debut album, “Fingerprint.” Originally released on Oct. 22, Misra Records compares the album to “snapshots of an altered crime scene.”

Crooks on Tape originally formed in Los Angeles in 2010, although Schmersal and Lee have worked on previous projects together, including Enon. Schmersal said he and Lee have been creating music together since the late 1990s.

Crooks on Tape began creating material together that was largely instrumental. Schermsal describes their style as surveillance, adding that there isn’t a style of music that the band does not appreciate. He could not pinpoint a specific musical influence for Crooks on Tape, as the band draws from a variety of musical and personal influences to create an original sound.

The band considers “Fingerprint” to be a pop record.

“We didn’t set out to create a pop record,” Schmersal said. Crooks on Tape first began improvising to create instrumental material and to see where it would take them as a band.

After three years of recording, a lot of their material is not featured on “Fingerprint.” The improvisation eventually led the band to realize the album was going in the direction of pop, so they began putting the most pop sounding material towards the album. They were able to create a pop sound through the hours of improvisation.

“When we started, it wasn’t about any specific kind of music,” Schmersal said.

As an album, Fingerprint created itself to be a pop record. Crooks on Tape was able to create a variety of sound and appreciated being able to work together without a musical context to see where this material would take them.

Crooks on Tape plans to release more music through this improvisation, focusing on the instrumental elements of the music. They are excited to continue creating new material for the band. Schmersal said that there will be more events to come for Crooks on Tape.

Although Crooks on Tape is native to Los Angeles, Schmersal is originally from Ohio. Schmersal was born in Toledo, but spent his formative years in Dayton and is excited to return for the album release show. However, he said he loves being able to travel as part of his musical career.

Schmersal said he has a good idea of the band’s most important goals for the future.

“We plan to take over the world,” Schmersal said. “There will be surveillance cameras in every home. Early fans of our music will be very gratified.”

Schmersal said the band is extremely excited to have their album release show in Dayton and even more excited to be playing together as a band.

The show is open to all ages, and with tickets ranging between $8 and $10, it’s perfect for the standard college student budget. The show begins at 7:30 pm. For more information, contact Misra Records or visit

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