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Von Bondies Leader Says New Band Helps More Than Hurts

Of the Oakland Press

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Detroit rocker Jason Stollsteimer knows that the appearance of his new band,

Jason & Hounds Below, has set fans wondering about the future of his main band, Von Bondies.

No need to worry, he says.

“There’s still a Von Bondies,” says Stollsteimer, who expects to release the band’s second major label album, “Love, Hate and Then There’s You,” in 2008. But he adds that “Hounds Below is definitely a real band,” albeit one that operates differently than his other gig.

“The whole idea of (Hounds Below) is there’s no drama, ’cause every time I play, there’s a different lineup. And there’s not one lick of rock or blues in Hounds Below; it’s more like the feel or the tempo of a Velvet Underground, more singing than power, more about melody than the overall aggressiveness of the song.

“It’s a completely different trip.”

Stollsteimer, 29, plans to film Saturday’s Hounds Below show for a possible CD and/or DVD release. But he’s also gearing up the Von Bondies again for live work that begins in October.

There have been quite a few changes in the band since the release of 2004’s “Pawn Shoppe Heart” and its hit single “C’mon C’mon.” Longtime guitarist Marcie Bolen, bassist Carrie Smith and her replacement, Yasmine Smith, are all gone; now Stollsteimer — who also divorced from his wife in the interim — and original drummer Don Blum are joined by Detroit musicians Alicia Gbur, Leann Banks and Matt Lannoo.

Because of all that, Stollsteimer says, “Love, Hate ...” was a “difficult album to make,” taking a couple of years and going through five producers, including luminaries such as Rick Parker (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), Peter Katis (Interpol) and Butch Walker (Avril Lavigne, the Donnas). But he feels the results are worth the wait.

“When we got off of touring ‘Pawn Shoppe Heart,’ we were so exhausted,” Stollsteimer recalls. “In my own head, I was like, ‘ I don’t want to ever do it again.’ So in that regard, it didn’t make sense to put out a record two years ago. It wouldn’t have been as good as it is today.

“But these three years have revived my energy to do it again, and having Hounds Below really helped free me up, creatively, and finish the Von Bondies record.”

Jason & the Hounds Below perform with Wildcatting at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair Official After Party at 8 p.m. Saturday (August 4th) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $4. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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