The annual Pig & Whiskey festival is coming to the streets of Ferndale this weekend, running Friday, July 19th until Sunday, July 21st. In addition to the BBQ and Whiskey, attendees will also get a chance to see 19 bands perform, including some fantastic local bands!
Pig & Whiskey is located in downtown Ferndale on 9 Mile Rd. and East Troy St. and admission is free for all ages. Check out more event details here!READ MORE: Election Denial Probe Looms Over Critical Races In Michigan
We had the opportunity to sit down with a few artists performing at the 2019 Pig & Whiskey festival, including Remnose, Brother Elsey, Emma Guzman, Angelo Coppola from The Lows, and Kevin Kline from Jerry Dreams. Here’s what they had to say about the upcoming event:
What is your favorite aspect of Pig & Whiskey? If this is your first time performing, what are you most excited about?
Remnose: I think our favorite aspect of all of the Ferndale street festivals is just running into friends all over the place. We’ve never played the festival and we’re so excited because over the years we’ve seen many a great band play up on that stage and it’s cool to finally be a part of it.
Brother Elsey: We’ve never played or been to the festival. But we’re stoked to see what it’s all about. Ooh yeah, and whiskey…
Emma Guzman: This is my first time at Pig & Whiskey. I’m looking forward to being able to share my music with a new audience. I am also excited to walk around the festival, check out all the vendors and get some food!
The Lows: I couldn’t say there’s a single aspect about Pig & Whiskey that’s my favorite, but more like all aspects combined that make it a one of a kind, extremely fun festival. Top-notch entertainment along with the tantalizing BBQ aromas and whiskey tasting together make it unique. This will be my first time performing at Pig & Whiskey, but I went to last year’s event and the attendance was incredible! I had an amazing time and can’t wait to perform this year.
Jerry Dreams: Our favorite aspect of playing Pig & Whiskey is the opportunity to perform our music outdoors for a crowd of enthusiastic festival goers!
With BBQ playing a huge role in the festival, do you plan on indulging in anything in particular when you’re not on stage?
Remnose: We’re in it for the beer and the whiskey. Love pig, too.
Brother Elsey: Absolutely, we’re big on pulled pork sandwiches.
Emma Guzman: After my set, I will be on the hunt for some brisket. That is usually my go to for BBQ.
The Lows: Absolutely! I’m definitely a big fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so there’s no doubt I’m going to be on the lookout for that. I’m sure the smells of BBQ will be driving me crazy until I get my hands on some.
Jerry Dreams: We’ll have to resort to our drummer and resident meat lover, Maxwell Sullivan, to try the BBQ as we (Kevin & Giancarlo) are boring vegetarians. That said, we’ll be sure to sample some whiskey, some Lagunitas beer and the various mac & cheeses offered.
Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from? How did you get involved in music – and in your style of music?
Remnose: We’re a couple of brothers from Metro Detroit who grew up playing songs around the fire and on the water up in the U.P. with friends and with family. We just put out a new 13-song album called “Waiting on the Wind” and are super proud of it! Our music is about the water and inspired by nature.
Brother Elsey: We grew up in Rochester, MI and have been playing together forever. We’re all brothers who grew up in a pretty musical household, and it worked out so that we all had very similar tastes and all had the urge to create. We’re pretty lucky in that sense. We love Americana and Rock and I think that stemmed from our early exposure to country and ballads growing up.
Emma Guzman: I live in Mount Clemens. I first got involved with music through musical theater, and in downtown Detroit at the opera house. This evolved into playing the guitar, playing in bands at Rock and Roll Prep School and ultimately becoming a singer-songwriter. Now I usually play laid back solo acoustic music. My roots are in Folk and Americana.
The Lows: I’m from Macomb Township, but the rest of The Lows are from westside Detroit. We come together to rehearse in Detroit so that’s considered our hometown. I got involved in music, and rock music in particular, at a very early age. It began for me playing drums at around 2 or 3 years old. My dad is a musician and introduced music to me as early as I can remember. I’ve been a lead singer/drummer in all of my previous bands, but being the primary songwriter for The Lows, I decided to come out from behind the drums and front this group.
Jerry Dreams: I (Kevin) am from Troy Michigan and I began playing piano around age seven. I wanted a haircut like The Beatles from a young age after a healthy exposure to their anthology albums and would go on to learn saxophone and eventually guitar which immediately led me down the path of songwriting and being in bands in early high school. My songwriting style is a tip of the hat to those that came before us, but also an open embrace to the necessity of breaking new ground as artists have always strived to do. Nowadays I’d consider my writing style and our sound as indie/singer-songwriter/psych/experimental rock, as each of us brings something unique to the table when it comes time to produce and arrange our songs.
What do you think sets Detroit apart from other cities like Chicago or New York, as far as the music scene is concerned?
Remnose: Detroit is the perfect size and shape. We have so many great bands and performers in this city and what sets us apart is that no matter how many bands there are, at least for us, it feels like you know everybody still.READ MORE: Police Search For Suspect In Fatal Shooting On Detroit's West Side
Brother Elsey: I think there is such a deep history of music in the city that it sort of acts as a furnace for all artists involved in the city. It keeps the passion going in a much more important way than most cities can really capture.
Emma Guzman: On top of Detroit’s rich history in music, we continue to look forward and move forward. There are so many great bands and artists in and around Detroit. There are also a lot of opportunities for musicians because people in Detroit have come to expect good live music. In all my experiences, Detroit musicians have always looked out for one another, sharing opportunity and inspiration. Other places may have that dog eat dog mentality, but I’ve found here a sense of community.
The Lows: I think there’s a real “blue collar” feel to the musical artists in Detroit. The bands are all so hardworking in this town and I think it’s a reflection of the attitude here. The artists from this area take nothing for granted and earn every bit of recognition they get from the blood, sweat and tears they put into it. Also, I may be partial, but the talent level is unmatched in this city. You can go out any night and find amazing talent on display all over town.
Jerry Dreams: Detroit has an intimacy to its music scene that is entirely unique, something that places a greater responsibility on each and every artist to step up to ensure our relevancy nationally and internationally. Thankfully many artists have proven that it’s possible to have success on a grand scale and we now walk around aware of their footsteps, carving our own niche and sharing our artistry with the local community today.
What are your favorite places in the city to perform?
Remnose: Hamtramck is probably where we find ourselves most often.
Brother Elsey: We loved playing at Saint Andrews Hall and Beacon Park. Some of our greatest memories are playing at the Shelter and the Underground.
Emma Guzman: Well PJ’s Lager House is always fun, I think I just heard it is being sold and hope whoever buys it loves live music. I recently played at the Armageddon Beach Party Art Gallery off Putnam and Trumbull and that was amazing. It was a unique space with a lot of killer art. I’m always at the best Bohemian coffee house in the area, The Dovetail in Warren.
The Lows: We love the summertime in Michigan. The Lows have always had an affection for playing outdoors, and the summer gives us a lot of great opportunities to perform outside at so many awesome festivals all over Metro Detroit. We also had the opportunity to play the newly-renovated Fillmore Detroit earlier this year and it was fantastic
Jerry Dreams: Third Man Records is a favorite to play as it feels special to be surrounded by vinyl and so much music history as you perform. Other favorites around town include Trixie’s Bar in Hamtramck, PJ’s Lager House, and The Loving Touch in Ferndale. Each venue has a distinct vibe and we have had some amazing shows over the years!
Is there a Detroit legend that has been an inspiration for you in your music?
Remnose: Not in particular, Rodriguez and Jack White are amazing though.
Brother Elsey: Jack White is always the first to come to mind, what a better representation of someone devoted to the craft than him? Always such a role model. Bob Seger has played a huge role in our influences as well, we can’t ask for a more iconic artist to represent what Detroit songwriting is all about. We’re lucky to have been surrounded by so much talent in such a great city.
Emma Guzman: Every time I hit an open mic or a show, whether it be at the Ghostlight, The Gaelic League, or the Dovetail, I always find inspiration. There are so many great songwriters in Detroit right now. If I had to pick one of the big guns from Detroit, it would be Jack White. The guy is just an amazing musician. I got to cover a song by him on stage at Saint Andrews when I was a kid and I loved it. It is great to see Jack come back and invest in the city, too. Third Man Records is such cool place to shop and hang out, and he has also started pressing vinyl. He inspires me because it is so easy to recognize his passion for music, and to see the many different ways he pursues those passions.
The Lows: Not one in particular, but as musicians, we were all influenced by the Motown sound. The Lows’ sound is definitely influenced by the hard rock school of Alice Cooper & Ted Nugent, punk school of MC5 & The Stooges, with the bluesy foundation of Jack White.
Jerry Dreams: J Dilla comes to mind as he was clearly a genius ahead of his time in regards to sampling and texturing. The way he was able to create something new from that which had come before was an amazing gift and something very inspirational to hear as another artist here in town. On the complete other end of the spectrum, we also had the pleasure of covering Bob Seger for an event here locally called DETROIT x DETROIT, and I (Kevin) developed a much stronger appreciation for his music and how he was able to latch onto the spirit of Midwest Americans in that time period and create music that felt relatable and intimate, but also something that sounded right at home being performed in massive stadiums.
What’s next for your band?
Remnose: We plan on getting out on the road as often as possible over the next year and getting this show on the road, pumping out more music and putting in all of the work we can into this project. Remnose!
Brother Elsey: More music, more shows, more states, more miles, more of what we’ve been doing. It’s been an absolute dream and we’re excited for what’s ahead.
Emma Guzman: Well, right now it’s just me, we’ll see what the future holds. I am currently a finalist for TIDAL Unplugged Detroit, so I have my fingers crossed and I’m hoping to do some big things in the near future.
The Lows: We just released a new single one week ago called “Love Xtinction” which is available for download and streaming everywhere. Plans are in the works for a music video for that song, and we plan on releasing another single by the end of the summer. Along with many other performances around town, we also plan on branching out regionally throughout the Midwest in the coming months.
Jerry Dreams: Next up for Jerry Dreams we will be releasing a brand new EP as well as a couple music videos and if everything goes to plan we will have a single ready for the public’s ears by Saturday (the day of our performance at P&W). Beyond that, we intend to get back to writing and flesh out new material as well as get back to playing more regularly around town and sharing what we’ve been up to during our time away.
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Special thank you to all of the bands and artists that took the time to answer questions. See you this weekend!