Ryan Pardey is a musician, singer, song writer, promoter, tour manager, actor, and DJ from Las Vegas, Nevada. He is best known as the singer and song writer for Halloween Town, which has featured members of The Killers, Louis XIV, and The Shys. Pardey is also well known for portraying Santa Claus on Don't Shoot Me Santa, a Christmas song released by The Killers in 2007, for which he also appears in the video. In 2012, Pardey appeared as Santa again for The Killers on their Christmas single I Feel It in My Bones. He also appears in the video and as an illustration in the artwork for the single.
Ryan's father is professional poker player Rodney H. Pardey. His brother is Rodney E. Pardey, who is also a professional poker player and musician. Pardey attended high school at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts in Las Vegas during the late '90s. In his senior year, he played the lead role of preacher C.C. Showers in a production of the controversial The Diviners, where he acted on stage beside Matthew Gray Gubler, Baron Vaughn, and Rutina Wesley.
After graduation, Pardey soon became the owner and operator of Café Espresso Roma, a coffee shop and music venue located across from UNLV. While helping to jump start his career in event promotion, the café also served as the breeding ground for The Killers.
While touring with The Killers as their tour manager, Pardey became known as "The Captain" by fans of the band. During the tour, he also appeared as Santa on stage with The Killers during their performance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and during their performance in Los Angeles, CA for the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. He continued as tour manager for The Killers until the end of the Sam's Town Tour in Dec 2007. At this time, Pardey began writing the first Halloween Town album.
The song Questions With The Captain is a secret song that appears on the album Sawdust, by The Killers, and was written about Pardey's tenure as "The Captain". The song is also used as the theme song for a web series starring Pardey, in which he interviews members of The Killers.
(2008 - 2009) 7" release:
After returning home from touring with The Killers, Pardey experienced what he refers to as his "darkest most self-destructive period". He tells Las Vegas Weekly, "Without Mark Stoermer there'd be no Halloween Town...I knew I needed to stabilize my life. Mark helped me bring my ideas to life." With the encouragement of Stoermer, who was Pardey's roommate at the time, Ryan began writing songs for Halloween Town, a name Pardey has said he used to serve as a metaphor for Las Vegas. Stoermer would later play bass for Pardey's band at their first show.
In 2008, while writing for the album, Pardey test performed the songs for live audiences, opening for such acts as The Whigs, Tokyo Police Club, and The Silent Comedy. In Feb 2009, San Diego based rock band The Shys joined Pardey as his backing band on stage in Las Vegas, and again later that month at Bed Rock Studios in Echo Park. Ryan continued to utilize The Shys primarily as his live band, while he began recruiting members of Louis XIV as his studio band, along with The Killers bassist Mark Stoermer.
In September 2009, Halloween Town opened for The Killers at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The band's live performance featured members of The Shys, Louis XIV, and Transfer. Immediately after the show, Pardey and company appeared at The Aruba Showroom to celebrate the Las Vegas music festival Neon Reverb, where Halloween Town performed for the release of their EP Summer (The Dreamer From 1997), which the band released on vinyl 7". Ryan toured the Midwest as a solo artist in December 2009.
(2010 - 2012) Zafra Ct.:
Halloween Town continued to play concerts through 2010, opening for the Killers at a secret Highline Ballroom show in NYC in January. Between shows and traveling, Pardey took up a DJ residency at the Beauty Bar in the Fremont East music district where he also began hosting a karaoke night. In March, Pardey relocated from Las Vegas to Austin, TX where he would play in the SXSW music festival, after which he continued to perform shows in and around Austin for two months before relocating again to San Diego, where he would begin recording the band's first LP.
In June 2010, Pardey returned to Las Vegas to perform new songs from his forthcoming Halloween Town album at a benefit for Arbo De Vivo, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping impoverished people of the world. This specific event focused on support for Haiti after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the nation earlier in the year.
In May 2011, Halloween Town began a residency at The Palms hotel in Las Vegas. When asked when the Halloween Town LP would be released, Pardey responded by saying, "I guess some time in July...Since I'm an old man already, I don't need to rush."
On September 9, 2011, Halloween Town released their debut LP Zafra Ct. on Cornstalk Records, a label created by friend Matt Gubler. The album was named after the street Pardey grew up on, and features collaborations and production by a star lineup of musicians, which include Mark Stoermer and Dave Keuning of The Killers, Jason Hill and Brian Karscig of Louis XIV, and Matt Dublin of The Red Romance and Ambulance LTD.
Zafra Ct. was voted one of 10 best albums of 2011 in Las Vegas by CityLife magazine. In a 2012 reader poll given by Vegas Seven magazine, Halloween Town was selected as "Best Unsigned Vegas Band That a Big Label Should Go Ahead and Sign Already".