Droppers talks about ‘Scooter’ and the rock band’s many changes for Local Spins, which also debuted some Halloween tracks and new music from Izubel, Feeding Grizzlies and others.
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When Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions began recording the follow-up to their 2021 album, “Dad Rock,” they knew they wanted to make it “really huge and epic.”
So “Scooter” – which officially gets released Nov. 3 at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids – features trumpets, strings, choirs and a grateful attitude that the seven-year-old rock band has survived and thrived.
“Over the last seven years, a lot has changed in our six lives,” Droppers said.
“We’ve added five children, a few master’s degrees, one doctorate, one ADHD diagnosis, two marriages, half of our members started another band (Phabies), career changes, one failed documentary, and I know for a fact that one of us is on his third therapist.”
How has the band endured all those transitions? “The one constant is our love for each other,” he stressed. “It’s such a gift to make music with these friends, and we’re at our best when the six of us are in the same room together.”
Indeed, those six band members – Droppers (lead vocals/guitar), Laura Hobson (vocals), Devin Sullivan (guitar/vocals), Garrett Stier (bass/percussion/vocals), Josh Holicki (drums/vocals) – take on a potent and vigorous personality on stage, with Droppers conceding he’s “just so lucky” to have such talented comrades on board.
“It feels really stupid to have my name out front,” he conceded while sitting at the dining room table in his home on Grand Rapids’ Southeast Side. “Six of us in the same room, it’s magic.”
Even if he’s a bit of a reluctant frontman, Droppers does pen the band’s material and as a result, “Scooter” – Droppers’ nickname as a kid – rolls out as a “memoir-like collection of songs” that’s “all about how we tell the stories that define who we are.”
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Droppers spotlighted the title track and “The City” from the project. Scroll down to listen to the songs and the full radio show interview. Watch the music video for the track, “Sanity,” here.
VIDEO: Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, “Sanity”
Recorded in 2021 and 2022 at Local Legend Recording in Grand Rapids (as well as at Hope College’s Dimnent Chapel, Grand Rapids’ Four Star Theatre and a couple of band members’ houses), the group’s fourth album was produced by Droppers and Drew Elliot.
The project features guest appearances by singers Shamara Tumblin, Adrienne Johnson, Ron Radcliffe and Elliot.
“Our sound has gotten bigger,” Droppers acknowledged.
The album-release show at The Pyramid Scheme, which will also feature opening sets by OHLY and Turtledoves (Ashley and Alex McGrath, formerly of The Soil & The Sun), is the only full-band performance on the docket for now, though Droppers hopes the group can book a national tour with another band in 2024. (Droppers plays a solo show on Saturday at Lager House in Detroit.)
He noted this is the band’s first album being released on a label, Detroit’s Birdfight Records, and there are plans to promote “Scooter” more robustly on radio and via social media. The album also will be released on vinyl.
“The dream is to be added onto a tour or two as an opening act next summer,” Droppers said. “On the writing end, I’m committed to putting out records until I die, so if I’m alive this time next year, Devin and I are probably tracking a country record in his barn on Hickory Creek.”
Tickets for the Nov. 3 album-release show are $15 in advance and available online here.
In addition to showcasing Droppers’ music, this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE featured new music by Feeding Grizzlies, Turtledoves (this week’s musician’s pick by Droppers), Overdrive Orchestra, Ford & Kim Turrell and Izubel, with fresh Halloween-propelled tracks by Lazy Genius, Snoonie and Coley Kennedy. Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (10/27/23)
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