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The Upbeat: Tripper

Of the Oakland Press

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Name: Tripper

Formed: April 1999 in Mt. Pleasant Sound: Melodic rock with a harder, contemporary edge.

Members: Frank Buscemi of Royal Oak, guitar and vocals; Steve Marvicsin of Madison Heights, guitar and vocals; Rob Carr of Center Line, bass and vocals; Aaron Berch of Sterling Heights, keyboards and vocals; and Ken Thomas of Royal Oak, drums and vocals.

Influences: Steeped in what Buscemi calls “ ’80’s rock stuff ... Bon Jovi, Poison, Def Leppard, anybody with hair.” Tripper branched out to integrate ’90s sources such as Matchbox Twenty, Nine Days, Stroke 9 and the Gin Blossoms, subsequently adding “heavier, edgier, driving kind of stuff, and we brought punk into it, too.”

Day jobs: Buscemi is director of strategic communications, at an integrated marketing agency in Troy. Marvicsin is an insurance agent representing John Hancock. Thomas is a Chrysler engineer. Berch works for General Motors and Carr handles IT for PMV Technologies in Madison Heights.

What’s in a name? Tripper took its name from Jack Tripper, the character played by the late John Ritter in the sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Three’s a Crowd.” “We were all ’80s TV fans,” Buscemi notes. “We were basically just throwing around all these names. I wanted to call it the Jeffersons, but we ended up going with Tripper.”

A decade in the life: Buscemi says the fact Tripper has lasted 10 years is “an unbelievable surprise” — to the band members and to peers in other groups. “They say, ‘How the hell can you stay in a band for 10 years? I was in one for five, and it was too much.’ But over time you realize you like the guys and like playing with them. We’re friends — three of us went to high school together, three of us have Lions season tickets together, the drummer is my son’s godfather. We’re all intertwined in real life, and if we’re not playing music together then we’re playing cards together or playing golf together or talking football or in fantasy football. That makes a big difference.”

Hear ’em: Tripper’s most recent release is “Perfect Plot Line,” a five-song EP released in 2005.

See ’em: Tripper celebrates its 10th anniversary tonight at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. JTX and Just Off Turner will also perform. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $7. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Surf ’em: www.myspace.com/tripper2

Web Site: www.myspace.com/tripper2

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