“It turns out that my challenge is not the Republicans or the capitalists, it’s my own apathy and sense of meaninglessness,” asserts MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer. “That’s one of the reasons we’re out here on tour, to carry a message of determination and self-efficacy – that people can change the world if they go at it wholeheartedly.”
Five decades after Detroit’s MC5 recorded rock & roll’s most righteous live platter, the ever-combustable Kick Out the Jams
, Kramer’s assembled a new “Five” to sow seeds of revolution amongst his “brothers and sisters.” The MC50 tour supplants the band’s depleted original lineup with Soundgarden six-stringer Kim Thayil, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, but the most extraordinary selection is Zen Guerrilla vocalist Marcus Durant, looking and sounding strikingly similar to late Afro’d howler Rob Tyner.
“My main objective was having good brothers to tour with,” says Kramer of the new unit. “Guys who are genial, mentally stable, intellectually curious, and good company.”
Brother Wayne reports that he and Thayil are locking in on the double-guitar solos that hallmarked the MC5’s sound.
“You have to be confident in each other’s playing, attune to it and adjust to it, while still developing your own ideas, motifs, themes, and having an overall sense of direction on where you want to go,” he says. “It’s not easily done, but when it works, it’s spectacular.”
The MC50 shows trail the release of Kramer’s autobiography Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities
, which resulted from his wanting to “tell the story of the MC5 from the inside,” and document his against-the-odds journey from drug addict and prisoner to upstanding father.
“[Writing the book] helped me figure out who the hell am I and why I made the some of the decisions I made.”
Read our full Q&A right here
Fri., Sept. 28, 8pm
L.A. retro-psych done right.
Fri., Sept. 28, 9pm