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New Lemonheads Lineup Surprises Band Members

Of the Oakland Press

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When Evan Dandon asked Bill Stevenson to co-produce and play on the latest album by the Lemonheads, the latter figured he’d be in “a supportive role” and not part of the creative process — and certainly not part of the band itself.

“The only Lemonheads stuff I was familiar with was some of the more mellow pop hits, like ‘It’s a Shame About Ray,’ ” says Stevenson, 44, who in addition to myriad production credits (Rise Against, Puddle of Mudd and NOFX) also plays drums with hard-hitting punk bands such as the Descendents and All. “Growing up, I wasn’t a fan of theirs. I figured I’d probably just be kind of helping Evan implement his ideas and basically be his sideman or backing band.

“Very quickly he dispelled that notion. He got off the plane, ‘How you doin’? You got any songs?’ That was the first thing he said. It was obvious he was looking for partners in crime.”

The current Lemonheads tour, however, marks the first time those partners — Stevenson and Descendents/All bassist Karl Alvarez — have been able to hit the road together since “The Lemonheads” was released nearly 15 months ago. It’s a “pretty natural” situation that the drummer says is leading the trio to make another Lemonheads album together next year.

“We all kind of jumped through a lot of the same hoops growing up, starting our bands,” Stevenson notes. “We all lived through the same things. So it’s easy for us to be unified without having to put any effort into it.”

The Lemonheads, the New Rivals and Racoon perform Saturday (Dec. 15) at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show. Call (734) 996-8555 or visit www.blindpigmusic.com.

Web Site: www.blindpigmusic.com

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