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Interview:
The Legal Matters at the Magic Bag, 3 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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For years, Chris Richards was known as the frontman of Detroit power pop favorites the Subtractions.

But his new band, the Legal Matters, has definitely been an addition to his career.

The trio of Richards and fellow Detroit scene veterans Andy Reed and Keith Klingensmith has just released its second album, "Conrad," keeping itself in the same melodic rock vein but with the perspectives of three distinct writers who happen to sing together exceptionally well (so much so that they've released a vocals-only version of the album as a bonus download). Rich, catchy and compact, "Conrad" is a musical filing that 's a winner in any court of opinion...

Though it's the Legal Matters' second album, Richards says "Conrad" is more representative of the band than its debut. "I think when the first record came out we got together just over drinks, and once we realized we could really harmonize well together we fused our songwriting into this kind of project," Richards, 48, recalls. "By the time we started working on 'Conrad' I think we were much more confident and probably much more of a band as opposed to 'Let's bring a couple songs to a session and finish them.' This time I was actually writing songs for the Legal Matters, where the first album was songs that just weren't Subtractions songs."

Richards adds that both musical and personal chemistry was also key in making "Conrad" work so well."There's literally three heads in this band. "It's like a perfect marriage.; Sentences can be finished by another members. I may bring in a song that's going one way, but Andy or Keith could make a suggestion that was the right thing for the song. We never disagreed on any suggestion that came up on direction or instrumentation or vocals -- which is weird for any band. It was just a very easy album made with friends, and I can say that over my years of being in bands, that's something that's not always true. That made the whole record that much more comfortable to make. You can hear it; It's just a comfortable, assured-sounding record."

All three of the Legal Matters members have day jobs and families, but with fervent audiences worldwide for power pop -- even moreso than in the U.S. -- the trio hopes to find a way to build its touring schedule to serve the demand. "We've had success in Spain and the Nordic countries, and In Japan, because we've had some press," Richards say. "I think if the right opportunity came up we would absolutely do it. In Spain there are promoters that love the genre and they'll book an eight-city tour for the love of that artist, and we've been asked to come over a couple of times. We'll definitely consider it for this record."

The Legal Matters, David Bierman Overdrive and the Two Eugenes

Saturday, Nov. 5. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Admission is $12.

Call 248-544-3030 or visit themagibag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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