The lauded Detroit heavy rock troupe Speedball has never actually split up, but real life tends to get in the way of the quartet playing more together.
Frontman Chuck Burns keeps a number of projects active, including other bands such as Knife; he also released a solo album last year. Guitarist Bill Kozy is Cheap Trick's sound man, drummer Mike Alonso plays drums for the Electric Six and bassist Jeff King is co-owner of The Imperial restaurant in Ferndale. "Getting the four schedules together is no small feat," says Kozy. "We really enjoy it. We get offers, but everybody's got other commitments that take precedent now.
Speedball -- which performs this weekend for the first time in two years -- has released two full-length albums and an EP, but Kozy says that another recording is probably "unrealistic." But the group is eyeballing a 20th anniversary celebration in 2013, and Kozy says that when Speedball does get together "it's kind of like riding a bike. Mostly it's just knocking off the cobwebs, deciding what we're gonna do, brushing up and learning the tricky parts again.
"We're just all giddy we get to play once or twice a year and people still come to see us," the guitarist adds. "If that's how it is from here on out, that's fine with us."
Speedball, Wilson and Knife perform Sunday, Dec. 30, at Small's 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Call 313-873-1117 or visit www.smallsbardetroit.com.