Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Means EP Release Show at The Berkley Front

The Means have finished their latest EP and are ready to unleash it to the world this Saturday, August 23rd at The Berkley Front. They would like for all of you to join them to hear the new tunes and see how much the band has changed over the last few years. We had a chance to talk to them about the album and the release show and it is clear that they are passionate about what they do. Check out what they had to say about the new alum and head out to see them this weekend.

HID- How would you describe the music of The Means to someone who has never heard you before?
The Means- "That is always the most difficult question because I don't think we have a sound that's easily described. I've had people come up to me at shows and tell me that we sound like everything from Smashing Pumpkins to Jamiroquai, which are both super flattering but totally unexpected. Our songs can move between punk, alt-rock, pop, funk, you name it. But at our core we're a rock band with a healthy respect for the Motown sound. I think the easiest way to describe it would be to say that we play "soulful rock and roll"."

HID- Why did you name your latest album "Understand?"?
The Means- "We named the album "Understand?" for a couple reasons, actually.
First, the title track was something that came out of a jam-session with my Dad when he was visiting Detroit back in March. He still lives in Alaska, where I grew up, so anytime he's in town we make a point to sit down a jam together. I was playing the main chord progression for the song that became "Understand?" and he started singing this melody that he said he'd heard in a dream, which became the song's hook. The song got it's title because my Dad used to end his sentences with "understand?" anytime he explained something to me as a kid which was sort of a running joke in my house growing up. It's a nod to his contribution to the album and to the fact that he's my biggest influence, since his tutelage is the reason that I play music in the first place.
The second reason is that after completing the song "Understand?" everything for the EP fell into place. We felt like we'd finally found our sound after restructuring the band in 2013 and we wanted people to know that The Means of 2014 are not The Means they heard on our 2012 debut EP. We felt like the name was our way of acknowledging that by saying, "Forget what you've heard. WE are The Means, understand?"

HID- Why did you record this album at Little Elephant Recording in Ohio?
The Means- "We recorded with Little Elephant because they are great guys and they do fantastic work. I contacted them after I saw a live video they did for Undesirable People and got talking with Rob Courtney, the co-owner and engineer. We recorded one song in February to test the waters and had such a positive experience that we knew we'd becoming back to record the EP. Not only did we have a great time working on the album but we also had a great time just hanging out, playing Mario Kart and drinking beer after exhausting 12-hour recording sessions. By the end we'd all become great friends; to the point that they're actually driving up here for the release show. We're really happy to have them as collaborators and even happier to have them as friends. At this point I can't imagine going anywhere else to record."

HID- Why did you ask Five Pound Snap, Passage to India, and Go Tiger Go! to play your album release party with you?
The Means- "We chose those bands because they're some of our favorites and we wanted a show where each band brings something unique to the night. All the bands have their own distinct sound and are a good cross-section of different aspects of the Detroit music scene.
Passage to India are old friends that make great music. We've known them since we got started and they actually played our first EP in 2012. Plus, I think it's been over a year since we played with them and, quite frankly, we missed them.
Five Pound Snap was chosen because they've become one of our favorite bands to gig with. I think they've played almost every show that we've been on this year and it's been a blast playing and hanging with them. They're great people and on top of that, they've got this groovy, soulful pych-rock sound that sounds like the walls are melting. I love it.
Go Tiger Go! was chosen because I think they've got a great sound and we've been working to connect with them for awhile. They have a great reputation in our circle of friends and kept getting recommended to us for show but we just weren't able to make it work until this gig."

HID- Why did you choose The Berkley Front?
The Means- "We chose The Berkley Front for a couple reasons. First, it seems like everyone we know has heard of it and loves the place. It has a great atmosphere and people seem to get excited about seeing a show there.
The biggest reason though is that we've done a ton of shows there, including our last EP release, and they always treat us incredibly well. We've worked really hard to cultivate a reputation with the Berkley Front as a band that they WANT to come play because we're reliable, we treat the venue with respect, we aren't prima donnas and we pack the place with people that want to spend money at the bar. That attitude has definitely paid off because we've developed a great working relationship with the venue."

HID- You are having your album release at The Berkley Front, a bar that is known for its wide beer selection. What will you be drinking throughout the night?
The Means- "Great question! We are definitely a band the loves to drink.
I know Alex, our drummer always goes straight for the Atwater Vanilla Java Porter or a Two-Hearted Ale from Bell's.
Dan spent a semester in Kalamazoo so he has a special love of Oberon, although ever since we met and I introduced him to bourbon he's developed a taste for Jim Beam.
As for me, I am a whiskey man to my core. I do enjoy a nice, dark porter or stout with a meal but a stomach full of 36 ounces of beer tends to make me a little sluggish on stage. When I'm performing I'm usually drinking Jim Beam at the beginning of the night and Wild Turkey 101 by the end. Also water. Lots of water."

HID- Any other upcoming shows or performances in the works?
The Means- "Right now we're in the process of booking for October and November. I'm getting married the first week of September; just two weekends after the release show. Between planning a wedding and releasing an EP I will need some serious relaxation time after it's all over. When October and November come people can expect to see us in Metro Detroit at least once or twice a month but we're also going to be spiraling out from the area and hitting places like Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Marine City, Saginaw, etc. We also plan to get out to Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania over the next year."

HID- Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
The Means- "We are not the band you heard in 2013."

The show starts at 8 p.m. and it is only $5 to get in the door. The Berkley Front is located at 3087 12 Mile Road in Berkley, Michigan. Copies of the new EP will also be available for purchase for only $5 at the show. To keep up with details and get updates on the show add the event on Facebook here.


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