On the heels of legendary punk progenitors the MC5’s nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the group’s guitarist and co-founder Wayne Kramer has released two new songs and announced The Heavy Lifting Tour in May, all as a “reanimation” of the pioneering group, dubbed We Are All MC5.
The tour begins with a special hometown show, celebrating the birthday of Detroit’s El Club, before moving on to the East Coast (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Brooklyn) and West Coast (Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego). Joining Kramer in the touring band will be singer Brad Brooks, drummer Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), bassist Vicki Randle (Mavis Staples), and guitarist Stevie Salas (David Bowie).
“Nonstop touring, especially the last decade, I’ve come to understand that the music of the MC5 is as necessary as ever,” Kramer said. “It’s definitely high time to write and record new songs and to carry a message of uncompromising hard rock to fans around the world.”
Ahead of the tour, the band will release two singles — Kramer’s first new music as MC5 since 1972 — previewing a full album on Ear Music scheduled for October 2022. The songs were produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss) and feature Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, bassist Don Was and Alice in Chains singer William Duvall, among others.
“We’ve just barely survived four catastrophic years of a failed presidency and a devastating pandemic. Brad and I started writing new music with the express purpose of pushing back against the cruelty of it all. It had become so polarized and depressing that bringing in other writers was like a hope injection. Tom Morello, Jill Sobule, Tim McIlrath, Kesha, and Alejandro Escovedo helped me expand the work using the most powerful weapon in existence: our creativity,” says Kramer. “Of course, Dennis ‘Machine Gun’ Thompson is playing strong and driving the beat on two songs, so I’m thrilled about that, too. Bob Ezrin produces because he is not only the titan of rock but also the most natural choice to deliver this music to fans in search of songs that capture an ultra- amplified soul. The results are earth-shaking rock and roll.”
Iggy Pop has said the MC5 belong in the Rock Hall “for their contributions to American music and its politics… They were hugely charismatic and influential. Their beliefs and approach had to do with things much larger than music and these things are coming to light more and more today on the world revolutionary stage. There is no band that I know of as dangerous as the MC5.”
The Heavy Lifting 2022 Tour Dates
5/05 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
5/06 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
5/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
5/08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
5/12 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
5/13 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
5/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
5/15 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar