Around the block and back again
After hits and tours, love for the Royal Oak stage
Published: August 29, 2012
Amy Gore's Gore Gore Girls and Gorevette might be on hold, but her Valentines are about to release an awesome debut album and things are looking rosy. Still, it must get frustrating to have to keep starting over. Apparently not. "I'm happy to play for people anywhere," she says. "It doesn't matter to me as long as I'm on stage. That is what I live for: the energy between the audience and me. It's the best thing in the world. Detroit people are passionate. They know what they like and don't like, and aren't afraid to show it. When a Detroit audience likes you, I think it is worth more than anywhere else in the world."
Eddie Baranek's Sights seem to have stopped and restarted more than a few times, but they always come back stronger thanks to the fact that Baranek is an amazing songwriter who, you suspect, would do anything to avoid the aforementioned nostalgia trail. The Sights have just finished an extensive national tour with Tenacious D, and now the band is back to playing on a small festival stage. Typically, Baranek just wants to play.
"I always like playing open local festivals," he says. "It gives a chance to play for people who would never normally go see me at the Magic Stick — family and older folk. I like it. When I was younger, I couldn't stand that shit. I thought that it wasn't rock 'n' roll. But what's rock 'n' roll is when your kids are hanging out. That's pretty fucking rock 'n' roll. Punk rock is when you've got the kid, and you bring your kid, and you just party with your kid. That's pretty punk rock, having a family and all that."
It seems that everyone is in agreement: Playing around the world to thousands is nice and all, but there's really no place like home and, at the end of the day, if you love to play your music, it doesn't matter where you are on a bill. According to these five fresh rock veterans, there is little room for ego in Detroit. This place has a beautiful way of hammering that out of you. "If you believe in yourself enough, you go out and do it," Stollsteimer says. "This is not Lollapalooza. Nobody's coming here to discover a new band. People are coming to go shopping with their kids for art, and, hopefully, like the music that's playing."
Baranek says that he had to learn fast at the beginning of his career, playing with dudes older than himself, that complacency didn't wash, and that holds true today. "I don't know if there was no room for an ego, but you just had to be good," he says. "There was just so much good talent in this city and there still is. There's no room for fucking around and half-assing it. People miss the point and think that rock 'n' roll is like Rush, and you've got to be technically good. It's like, 'No, dude.' Let's say I started dating a girl, and we started a band together, but neither of us could play. That's the whole point of music – it's making this beautiful new thing together, like having a kid or something. I don't give a shit if you can play or not, it's when you can do something together."
Stollsteimer finishes by explaining perfectly and concisely what Arts, Beats & Eats is all about for the musicians involved. "For us, it's a fun, family experience. My kids and my grandparents will be there."
Why would anyone want to knock that?
> Email Brett Callwood