It’s been 50 years since there has been new music from MC5. But now, Wayne Kramer and his current musical company are once again going into overdrive.
Kicking off a campaign called We Are All MC5, the band released a teaser for “Heavy Lifting,” the first track from a new album due this fall and ahead of May airdates with new MC5 lineup. The stomping track was co-written by Kramer, Brad Brooks and Tom Morello, and also features Don Was on bass and Abe Laboriel Jr. of Paul McCartney’s band on drums. The full song release is TBA, featuring a new version of “Edge of the Switchblade” from Kramer’s 1995 solo album, The hard thingwhich features co-lead vocals from William Duvall of Alice in Chains.
The album, produced by Bob Ezrin — with whom Kramer worked on Alice Cooper’s recent album Breadcrumbs PE and Detroit Stories album — due out in October. Kramer said Rise Against’s Alejandro Escovedo, Jill Sobule, Kesha and Tim McIlrath co-wrote songs for the set, while original MC5 drummer Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson plays on two tracks.
“It’s been a long time since there’s been any new MC5 music,” Kramer said in a new video posted to YouTube. “I’ve been busy writing and recording a new album, produced by the great Bob Ezrin, and we’re going to take it to the streets, because I feel like we’re all MC5s.” In a statement, Kramer added, “I’ve come to realize that the music on the MC5 is needed more than ever. It’s really high time to write and record new songs and deliver a message of hard rock. without compromise to fans around the world. .
“We barely survived four catastrophic years of a failed presidency and a devastating pandemic. Brad and I started writing new music with the express purpose of pushing back the cruelty of it all. It had become so polarized and depressing that bringing in other writers was like an injection of hope…. The results are earth-shaking rock ‘n’ roll.
You can watch the video below.
MC5 was recently nominated for the sixth time in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Kramer co-founded the band, whose heavy rock and avant-jazz influenced attack influenced a myriad of bands that followed in the early ’60s in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Over the next few years, they released three albums, including the classic 1969 debut. Expel Jams – and disbanded after a 1972 New Year’s concert at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom.
The group reunited on February 22, 1992 to pay tribute to its late frontman Rob Tyner at the State Theater in Detroit, while Kramer, Thompson and bassist Michael Davis toured as DKT/MC5 in 2004, with guest vocalists . This lineup lasted until Davis’s death in February 2012. (Original guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith died in 1994.) In 2018, Kramer formed MC50 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kick Out the Jams concerts, with members of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Fugazi, Faith No More, Zen Guerilla and King’s X joined.
The current MC5 tour lineup includes Kramer, Brooks, Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, guitarist Steve Salas (David Bowie) and bassist Vicki Randle (Mavis Staples). The eight-date spring tour kicks off May 5 in Detroit and concludes May 15 in San Diego. Tickets go on sale March 11. Details are available on the group’s Facebook page.
You can see a list of tour dates below.
MC5 Tour 2022
May 5 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
May 6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
May 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
May 8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
May 12 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
May 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
May 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater
May 15 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
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