"In 2006, after my father passed away from cancer at the young age of 57, I decided to stop making excuses and put out the first Widetrack CD. Now, 13 years later, my 14 year-old son has joined the band as bassist and we continue this journey together." -Ron Tippin
Widetrack is the musicial partnership of Ron Tippin and his 14 year-old son, Zach.
The band's "Alterna-Prog" sound has been described as, "Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling holds a group therapy session with members of Pink Floyd and Soundgarden."
All three albums were co-produced by Andy Patalan, guitarist for popular '90s grunge-rock band, Sponge.
The songs strive to find a balance between the moody undertones of such progressive groups as Pink Floyd, Tool/A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, etc., with a more flexible edginess of alternative/hard rock bands like Soundgarden, Queens Of The Stone Age, Deftones, etc.
Beginning in January 2019, the father-son team is writing, recording and releasing one new song per month, marking Zach's debut a a songwriter, as well as the first time Ron has written Widetrack music with another person.
The band plans on playing shows with two other musicians (TBA) in the coming months.
In 2005, musician Ron Tippin came to a crossroads of sorts...
"I'd been writing songs pretty much my entire music life", Tippin says, "But I rarely played them for anybody. I was known as a drummer 'who often sang because we couldn't find anyone else to do it' (ha ha). I really didn't think the people in my local scene would care too much for me reinventing myself as a singer/songwriter."
"But that all changed when my father passed away at such an early age. As cliche' as it sounds, I suddenly realized that this is the one chance we get to do the things in life that make us most happy. And so, I made a decision right then and there that I was going to bring this music to life one way or another, and ignore the inevitable criticism the best I could."
"Man, I can't even begin tell you what an amazing feeling it was to open that first box of CDs with my son... Absolutely priceless..."
In no time, Tippin had put together a "skeleton crew" band to begin playing live shows, eventually landing a side stage slot two years in a row at the 2007 and 2008 Voodoo Music Experience shows in New Orleans.
Given the opportunity to play at an event that featured such premier artists as Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, etc., Tippin gained a much greater sense of confidence in developing as a live performer.
"The Voodoofest shows were such an amazing experience", he says. "I was still finding my way as a singer/guitarist, and playing such a big event gave me a much clearer sense of what I needed to work on to be more effective onstage. I still had a long way to go, but those shows really helped me get on the right track."
But alas, progress was not to be so easily sustained, as personal setbacks and band member departures sidelined the group for most of the early 2010s. Tippin reflects: "Things were going great, but I was still playing with temporary band members; friends lending me a helping hand..."
Still, he continued writing and recording new songs, while searching for the right musicians to rebuild the group from the ground up.
Tippin: "Having played all the drums, bass and vocal parts myself on the demo recordings of the new songs, I just needed to find the right musicians to add the final piece of the puzzle - an actual band... Musicians who would hopefully want to be more than just a hired hand for the recordings...
"Man, was I in for a surprise..."
Indeed, fortune was about to get outrageous... In early 2017, just as Tippin had begun recording the final tracks for the long-delayed third album, Ron's son Zach expressed the desire to try out for the band as bassist. Much to his dad's surprise, the then-12-year-old had already developed the skills to not only handle the job, but to actually push the group's sound even further ahead...
Ron was beyond ecstatic at the prospect of joining musical forces with his son, but the most amazing part of it all was how well the two of them immediately clicked as musicians: "The chemistry was there from day one", Tippin says, "Zach's age didn't matter whatsoever; from the first time we played together, everything just clicked."