The feisty Grand Rapids band playing Festival this weekend rocked Local Spins on WYCE, which also aired new music by The Blue Pines, The B-Sides, Cameron Blake and more.
It’s no surprise that Slumlord Radio’s cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” would not only be a big hit with fans at live shows, but the Grand Rapids rock band’s most-played track on Spotify.
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After all, band members Tommy “Captain” Erickson (guitar, vocals), Mike “The Westside Wolfman” Todd (bass) and “Rattlesnake” Matt Claucherty (drums) were heavily influenced by the likes of Detroit rock icons such as MC5, Alice Cooper and The Stooges, not to mention heavy-hitters Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Motorhead, Circa Survive and Deftones.
As Erickson puts it, the band formed in 2010 cranks out “dirty, gnarly, Detroit-gritty-style, dive-bar, action rock.”
And make no mistake: While Slumlord Radio takes its cues from some hard-rocking heroes, they unleash their own fresh, rollicking original material, reflected in seven different recordings released since 2012.
The band is back in the studio with plans to release a single later this summer, followed by another album (after releasing a couple of singles the past few years).
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Erickson showcased the band’s take on that aforementioned Stooges classic as well as its 2019 single, “Gonna Be a Riot.” Watch the video for 2017’s “Holy Smokes” here and scroll down to listen to the other tracks, the interview and full radio show.
VIDEO: Slumlord Radio, “Holy Smokes”
Of course, Slumlord Radio’s feisty approach is best experienced live, which makes the band’s appearance this weekend at Grand Rapids’ Festival of the Arts a much-anticipated event – especially since Festival has been on hiatus since 2019 due to COVID.
“Absolutely there is some pent-up demand for Festival,” Erickson said. “I think there definitely is a celebratory feeling and excitement about this year about the return of some of the bigger stages.”
Slumlord Radio plays the Lyon Street Stage in downtown Grand Rapids at 10 p.m. Saturday, following a set by the band’s pals in the Kalamazoo rock band Drink Their Blood.
“Festival is always a wonderful event, we certainly missed it,” Erickson said.
“Every year, it is an event we truly look forward to. There is something special about being able to play downtown outside in summertime with a festival attitude. It’s always a neat feeling to hear your music bouncing and reverberating off the downtown Grand Rapids buildings.”
That reverberation will continue indoors for Slumlord Radio with upcoming shows June 10 at Turnstiles in Grand Rapids (with Lucid Furs, EPCYA and A Rueful Noise) and July 16 at Holland’s Park Theatre (with Secondhand Drugs and EPCYA). The band also plays Ann Arbor’s Fuzz Fest in August.
The power trio has evolved from its humble beginnings, honing its rock ‘n’ roll punch over the years.
“Like anything, the more you do it, hopefully the better you get at it … being influenced by people we play with,” Erickson said. “Hopefully, we look handsomer than we did 10 years ago.”
Check out Local Spins’ preview of the 2022 Festival of the Arts with a full schedule: Festival Returns with West Michigan music, energy, community, joy & 10,000 feet of toilet paper
This week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE – which trains its attention on local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – spotlighted several bands playing Festival of the Arts this weekend, including The Blue Pines, Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, Edison Kitt, Whorled and James Reeser & The Backseat Drivers, as well as tracks by The B-Sides, EPCYA, Ian Gorman & Dave Bruzza, Luke Winslow-King and Cameron Blake. Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (6/3/22)
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