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Interview:
The Subdudes Still Happily Together
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

It’s been five years since New Orleans roots rockers the subdudes regrouped after a five-year hiatus. And three albums into this second phase, the five band members don’t plan to part ways again anytime soon.

“We definitely learned something from breaking up,” says keyboardist John Magnie. “We learned to appreciate (the band) more. I think we communicate with each other a little bit better. We don’t let things fester and just try to keep them out in the open. I think that helps.

“Like they always say, it’s like a family. You could try and trade your brother in for somebody else, but somebody else is going to have problems, too. You accept your family and work on it.”

With the new “Street Symphony” album, the subdudes’ tried to “capture the live vibe of this band,” according to guitarist Tommy Malone. But it’s also the group’s first album since Hurricane Katrina hit its hometown, and some of the songs — particularly “Poor Man’s Paradise” — were inspired in the wake of the disaster, taken from what Magnie, 58, calls a “bleeding heart liberal’s” point of view.

“I’m living it every day,” says Malone, 49, who’s trying to move out of New Orleans right now. “I read a lot of stuff from artists I really respect who say they’d rather not use the stage to be involved with politics and all of that, but I don’t know how you avoid it right now.

“But at some point, you get angry and tired of it. It’s not necessarily comfortable, but we all have a duty at this point to say something about what’s going on.”



The subdudes perform at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 10-11) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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