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Interview:
Detroit bands feel boost from Third Man Records tour
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Jack White's Third Man Records may be based in Nashville, but it's been a boon for some bands from his home town of Detroit.

Third Man -- which opened a store in Detroit's Cass Corridor during November -- has not only released albums by Timmy's Organism ("Heartless Heathen"), Wolf Eyes ("I Am a Problem: Mind In Pieces") and Video ("New Immortals"); It's also packaged the bands together for the Audio Social Dissent 2016 Tour, which kicked off Feb. 10 in Columbus, Ohio, and rolls into Detroit for a halfway stop on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

"It's been great," Tim Lampinen from Timmy's Organism reports by phone from New YOrk. "It's helped us get recognized a little more, especially with social media and Third Man advertising our shows and having PR agents and stuff. It's a lot different than us going on the road the way we used to; it was a little smaller and more underground.

"So it's cool to be able to feel more comfortable and stay in hotels almost every night and Air B&Bs. It's a lot different than usual."

Wolf Eyes' John Olson, meanwhile, says that the attraction of being part of Third Man is not only the company's high profile but also its approach, which allows his and the other groups to maintain creative independence.

"We don't really want to glom onto somebody else's aesthetics and modes of working," says Olson, 44, who tours part-time with Wolf Eyes while raising his young daughter in East Lansing. "Those (Third Man) guys are from Michigan; they've got their own design thing and all that going on, but musically we're given absolutely total freedom. It's a lot different than you get from almost every other company."

The goal now is for all three of the Audio Social Dissent tour bands to capitalize on the boost Third Man has given them. Though "Heartless Heathen" is Lampinen's "favorite album that I've ever done with this band," Timmy's Organism planning to record another new album later this year and is already working on new material during the tour's sound checks. Wolf Eyes -- started by former members of Nautical Almanac and Universal Indians -- has released more than 100 recordings for more than a dozen labels since 1997, while its members also play in several other bands.

"With electronics and technology you're offered a lot of freedom," Olson says. "Your only barrier is your imagination." And Lampinen is looking forward to sustaining the new interest Third Man ha brought his band's way.

"It's happening a little late in my life -- but I don't feel old or anything," Lampinen, who won't reveal his age, says with a laugh. "It seems like people get their chance when they're in their 20s. I'm definitely not in my 20s. But I don't think people care how old you are, as long as the music sounds good, y'know?"

Audio Social Dissent 2016 Tour with Wolf Eyes, Timmy's Organism and Video

9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Marble Bar, 1501 Holden St., Detroit.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

Call 313-551-3158 or visit Facebook.com/marblebardetroit/

Web Site: www.facebook.com/marblebardetroit

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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