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New York Glam Rockers Benefit From Gaga's Friendship

of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

A friendship with Lady Gaga several years ago has paid dividends for the glammy rock quartet Semi Precious Weapons.

Gaga — who SPW’s flamboyantly outspoken frontman Justin Tanter says was “a huge fan of ours when she was just out of high school” — enlisted the group to open for her on tour last December, a gig that’s continued ever since despite a few naysayers.

“People around her were not nervous but concerned — this filthy rock band opening for the biggest pop star in the world?” Tanter, 27, recalls. “But Gaga was like, ‘Trust me. Give them two weeks and see what happens.’ She really believes in us.

“And luckily everyone who works with her saw how her fans were responding so well to us, and now we’ve been on tour with her forever.”

The Gaga endorsement, Tanter says, also spurred some interest from “a bunch of labels who were interested in us but were dragging their feet. All of a sudden they became very interested.” Fortunately SPW had the goods for them — a spruced-up version of its 2008 debut album, “We Love You,” which came out in June with new songs and improved sound and what Tanter and his Berklee College of Music-educated bandmates feel is a stronger representation of their band.

“We took that first LP away; we bought it back and it doesn’t exist anymore,” Tanter says. “We loved the album, but it was never what we wanted. We feel proud of this (version) of the album. As far as the mainstream world is concerned, we wanted this to be our first album.

“There are a lot of people jumping on our bandwagon thanks to the Lady Gaga (association). Now we feel like we have the right music out there for them to get. It’s very exciting.”

Semi Precious Weapons perform with Lady Gaga at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $52.50-178 reserved and $88 general admission floor. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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