Rhythm Corps hasn’t been an active concern since 1995 and hasn’t played a show since a 2001 reunion at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.
But frontman Michael Persh says that with a lack of animosity between the four members, getting together is not a Herculean task.
“It’s something we like, and it’s nice to know we can still do it,” says Persh, 49, who’s now a TV music supervisor in Los Angeles. “We certainly don’t see each other enough because we’re so separated, but we’ve stayed very good friends. There was never some implosion, like ‘Off with their heads!’
“So every once in awhile, the call will go out, ‘This year? Nah, not this year.’ Don’t even ask me what the rhyme or reason is. We all sort of agree one year, ‘Maybe this year ... Yeah, let’s do it.’ ”
Rhythm Corps was founded as Rhythm Method in 1981 and became a strong presence on the local rock scene with an anthemic brand of rock that was similar to U2, the Alarm and other “new wave” groups of the time. The group signed a national deal and had a modest hit (No. 9 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart) with “Common Ground,” the title track of its 1988 album.
Guitarist Greg Apro still plays music around the metro area. Bassist Davey Holmbo is technical director of an Upper Peninsula theater in Calumet, and drummer Richie Lovsin went back to college for a business degree. Mostly, Persh says, the group members have been busy raising families, which he says, “takes your head right out of art and passion and things like that. You really start focusing on the nuts and bolts of your day.”
Rhythm Corps began rehearsing for Saturday’s show in November, when Persh came to town for a quick visit, and has been preparing all week. Portions of the set list, he says, will come from a fan vote conducted by the local Web site www. motorcityrock.com, which is dedicated to the area’s ’80s music scene.
Persh doesn’t rule out the possibility of Rhythm Corps perhaps writing some new songs and even recording together again, but more frequent gigs, or even a permanent Rhythm Corps reunion, he says, are unlikely.
“We’re happy with our track record ... our history,” he says. “We feel like we’ve always worked from a good place, even if they weren’t the right moves business-wise or successwise. We don’t ever want to look back and go, ‘God, remember that stint? Remember that nostalgic run we did last summer? Oy vey ...’
“So we don’t want to do that. We want anything we do together to mean something to us in the present day.”
Rhythm Corps and Sponge perform Saturday (Dec. 22) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22. Call (248) 399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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