DETROIT by DETROIT hits The Loving Touch stages in Ferndale this Saturday, featuring 15 local acts performing 3-song sets by other artists with Detroit ties.
CBS 62’s Detroit Proud chatted with a few folks taking part in this local music celebration – Michael Miller II (of A Year In New York), Ryan Meadows (of Wolf and the Crane), Zander Michigan, and Abigail Grace (of Foster Muldoon) – get a sneak preview of Saturday’s festivities in our interview!
As a Detroit by Detroit first-timer, tell us what playing this event means to you.
Michael (A Year In New York): First of all, we are extremely thankful for the opportunity to be a part of DETxDET this year. Being able to play such a wonderful event that not only showcases the great musicians of our past, but also the great musicians of our present, is a dream come true.
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): Playing DETxDET represents the opportunity to take part in the rebirth and revitalization of classic Detroit music with the intentions of bringing it to a present audience.
You’re both Detroit by Detroit “veterans,” so to speak. What does it mean to you to be joining the roster again?
Ryan (Wolf and the Crane): DETxDET was the communal foundation on which many life-long friendships have been made for me. Take note of the many facets in which DETxDET has served our community. From the financial support for young children (who might not otherwise be able to afford it) to participate and create in one of the best music programs in Michigan (School of Rock)…to the opportunity for many local artists to perform to a sold out audience who genuinely love music…to the personal and musical connections that are created from mutual admiration and respect for one another.
Zander Michigan: DETxDET is a celebration of old and new. It’s a celebration of the community the Detroit music scene has to offer and how much Detroit artists enjoy and are influenced by other Detroit artists. I don’t think you could do this in many other cities, honestly. In other cities, artists are so focused on self-success that they lose sight of the great community of artists, but Detroit is exactly the opposite! Detroit artists grow on each other’s positive energy and everyone benefits from that.
How did you decide to cover the artist you chose?
Michael (A Year In New York): We chose to cover Mike Posner because we really wanted an opportunity to be creative in our interpretations of his songs. We also wanted to try and be as unique as possible in our choice of artist and try and pick someone that not everyone knew was from Michigan.
Zander Michigan: Well, Melissa (the DETxDET queen) and I were brainstorming and she suggested Smokey. I had never even considered it, but I’m always up for a new challenge. And Smokey is definitely a challenge to arrange as a folk artist. I think it’s going to turn out well though, and definitely unexpected!
Ryan (Wolf and the Crane): This year, Wolf and the Crane has decided to perform as Rare Earth; partly due to the enormity of Rare Earth’s sound, which lends itself well to our group, which boasts a current 10 member ensemble and counting, but also because their music feels like a celebration of life and no other even that I’ve been a part of signifies that emotion more than DETxDET.
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): Blues is a genre near and dear to all of us. We are here to remind people of how important blues music is to the history of Detroit. John Lee Hooker represents the embodiment of what makes this city beautiful.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Michael (A Year In New York): We’re most excited to see Jerry Dreams play their set as Bob Seger, we’ve been friends with those dudes for a while now and can’t get enough of their creativity.
Zander Michigan: All I can say is the Andrew WK set by the Messenger Birds is going to be out of control in the best way possible.
Ryan (Wolf and the Crane): I’m truly excited at the prospect of the School of Rock kids performing as P-Funk! Every year, the SoR kids perform as artists that you would least expect from youngsters and they usually steal the night. I’m also interested in the Vulfpeck performance. It’s difficult to categorize bands from here, as the city itself, since the 40’s, has given birth to a myriad of genres. Detroit is a cultural melting pot, so it’s only fair to assume that its art will mirror its creators.
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): We are excited to hear the inspired adaptations of all the other local talent participating in this year’s DETxDET, and to share this experience with other great musicians and friends.
Without giving way too many spoilers…what can attendees expect from your set on Saturday??
Michael (A Year In New York): For Saturday’s show, attendees can expect to hear our interpretation of some of Mike Posner’s hit songs. We picked some of his more popular songs to cover because we want the audience to be invested in the set similarly to how we were very invested in learning his songs.
Zander Michigan: They can expect me to be looking unbelievably stylish. Musically, though, they’re just going to have to wait and see (listen, actually, but you get the picture).
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): Attendees can expect classic Detroit blues with down tempo beats and grass roots flavor.
Your personal Top 5 artists from Detroit (past or present)?
Michael (A Year In New York): These aren’t in any particular order because that would be too hard haha. The Hard Lessons, Young the Giant, La Dispute, Big Sean, and Chiodos.
Zander Michigan: Bear Vs. Shark, Jack White/White Stripes, Sunlight Ascending, Anthony Retka, and Headlights Over Hills.
Ryan (Wolf and the Crane): Vulfpeck along with Greensky Bluegrass, Vox Vidorra, Escaping Pavement, Avalon Black, Ashley Peacock, and Fifth and Main are just a few of my favorite local acts. These artists all have that “thing” that only bands from Detroit have where they may play bluegrass, or folk, or rock, but there is a visceral element that makes it almost indescribable.
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): Sufjan Stevens, Jr Jr, James Linck, Greensky Bluegrass, and Griz.
Learning 3 new songs specifically for an event like this is no easy task – what drew you to jump on board?
Michael (A Year In New York): We really wanted to be a part of this show because like we said above, the fact that this event showcase Michigan’s talent on a past and present level is really powerful. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share that.
Zander Michigan: Like I said before, I’m always up for a fun musical challenge. And this is such a great event! So much fun to see the different interpretations of artists, and get turned on to new artists on both sides that I might not be familiar with (covering and covered). Such a cool concept and the fact that all of the money raised goes toward music education for the next generation of Detroit superstars is really awesome! It’s literally a win-win-win all around.
Ryan (Wolf and the Crane): The Detroit music scene has experienced multiple ebbs and flows over the last 75 years and this event should be ear marked as an important underpinning to our current wave.
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): The challenge to jump out of our comfort zone and bring a fresh new feel to the blues is an exciting adventure for us.
Since this weekend is a celebration of local music – describe Detroit’s music scene in one word.
Michael (A Year In New York): Growing!
Zander Michigan: Delicious
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): Resilient
Anything else you’d like to add?
Michael (A Year In New York): We’re extremely grateful to be part of DETxDET this year and we cant wait for Saturday!
Zander Michigan: I’d like to add…all that money up and give it to the kids! To the kids, I say!
Abigail (Foster Muldoon): “Tough times need easy tunes.”
Detroit x Detroit VII
This Saturday, April 22nd – Doors @ 8pm
The Loving Touch
22634 Woodward Ave, Ferndale
Tickets: $10. All Ages
For more info on the interviewees Detroit Proud spoke to above (and their bands/music):
Michael Miller II – A Year In New York: facebook.com/ayearinnewyork
Zander Michigan: facebook.com/zandermichigan
Ryan Meadows – Wolf and the Crane: facebook.com/wolfandthecrane
Abigail Grace – Foster Muldoon: facebook.com/fostermuldoon