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Interview:
Verve Pipe at Saint Andrew's Hall, 3 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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You probably couldn't have told Brian Vander Ark back in 1992 that his band the Verve Pipe was built to last the way it has.



Formed in East Lansing, the group quickly established a strong regional following before going national in a big way with the platinum "Villains" album and its Top 5 hit "The Freshman." And even without reaching those heights again, the Verve Pipe has continued to record and perform, launching a side pursuit in the family music world along the way...



Vander Ark, 55, says by phone that the Verve Pipe is comfortable knowing that most fans are coming to show to hear the band's past more than what it's doing now. "The majority of people come for nostalgic purposes now. I think the people that just want to hear 'The Freshman' have gone away -- there's maybe still a handful of people that don't know the band has done anything else. In Detroit it's a little different; We can play a lot of stuff from the first two independent records and maybe some new stuff. But when we go to play new places -- like Rhode Island, where we haven't been since '97, '98 -- people expect to hear a lot of 'Villains,' and we'll give them what they want to hear."



The Verve Pipe's last album, "Parachute," came out in 2017, but Vander Ark says he's still "writing all the time, in the studio at least twice a week working on new stuff. At this point I feel like we're making albums for ourselves, just to stay creative. But I still enjoy the process of recording and writing and still get that thrill out of it, and we get to play a few new songs, which is good for us whether people like it or not."



Vander Ark -- who's released five solo albums and collaboration with Jeff Daniels and has also done some acting -- says the Verve Pipe will start releasing new songs during the spring, putting one out every couple of weeks leading up to the release of a full album in May or June. "We did that the last time, with ('Parachute'), and it seemed like a good way to get people into the idea of a new album coming. It's hard to get people's attention for much of anything now, but hopefully a song at a time can hook 'em in and get excited to hear everything together." In addition to the band's new material Vander Ark is also collaborating with the director of the Grand Rapids Ballet on a stage musical called "Walking Beauty."



The Verve Pipe, Domestic Problems and Brother Elsey play Saturday, Feb. 8, at Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors at 8 p.m. $28 and $45. 313-961-9358 or saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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