The White Tie Affair may attest to how, sometimes, all it takes is the right combination. Lead singer Chris Wallace and guitarist Sean P honed their chops in Chicago band A Perfect Gentleman while guitar and keyboard player Ryan McLain and drummer Tim McLaughlin did time in fellow Windy City group Made In Hollywood. But when the pairs serendipitously came together, adding Wallace’s high school friend Ryan Cook on bass, Wallace subtly notes, “It all worked out.”
The partnership of core songwriting team Wallace and Sean P seems equally fated. “We met through other bands and became friends and started writing music together and realized we had a chemistry, a yin and yang kind of thing,” says Wallace. “He’s more spontaneous and random, and I have my feet on the ground but I’m also kind of in the clouds as well. So all that comes together and works out.”
Since singing with Slightly Dangerous/Epic in 2007 and releasing their first album Walk This Way in April 2008, the group has worked relentlessly, playing 200 shows last year including Playboy’s College Tour. Videos for songs “Allow Me to Introduce Myself… Mr. Right,” “Candle (Sick and Tired)” and “Take it Home” have also stoked a buzz among a growing contingency of music fans.
The key to The White Tie Affair’s appeal is a sound that draws from such diverse influences as Stevie Wonder, AFI and The Police, and is laced with an infectious dance beat. “We have all kinds of influences, like musical Attention Deficit Disorder,” says Wallace. “We like it that way. That way we get to do everything we like to do. And for listeners, it’s like a roller coaster ride.”