Macpodz explore 'The Truth' with new EP, eye-popping video and Blind Pig party Friday
“When you buy a copy you’re going to be able to get the 3-D glasses—we ordered 3,000 of them,” said bassist Brennan Andes. “We’re going very multimedia these days, keeping up with the competition.”
The band will celebrate the new release with a party Friday night at the Blind Pig.
The EP—four songs plus the video—is a precursor to a full-length album coming out in early 2012. “The 3-D part is definitely unusual,” Andes agreed. “I don’t think there are many bands doing 3-D videos currently.”
There’s another reason “The Truth” is special. “It’s a pretty epic release because we haven’t had any material released in three years,” he said.
The Macpodz have been an integral part of the local music scene since 2007. Proponents of a kind of funky kind of dance music they’ve coined “disco-bebop,” The Macpodz pay homage to musical concoctions like the groovy, unstructured big-band instrumental works of the late Frank Zappa, with psychedelic tinges of sunglasses-and-Afro era Miles Davis added in for extra spice.
Recently they took their sound to a larger stage, opening for Trombone Shorty at Power Center as part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.“That was a big deal for us. We’re getting trusted to play at the Power Center now, as opposed to just playing in clubs and at house parties like we were doing five years ago, said Andes.
Even though most bands commonly see changes in personnel over time, The Macpodz lineup has remained the same. Besides Andes, the group consists of Jesse Clayton (keys), Nick Ayers (percussion), Ross Huff (trumpet) and Griffin Bastian (drums).
The key, said Andes, lies in the band’s ongoing evolution.
“I think we were lucky enough to find each other at the right time,” he said. “Had we been any older or any younger it wouldn’t have worked as well. I have a 2-year-old; that has helped me become a more mature adult and that has made my music more mature. The band’s been maturing (and) I think the secret is constantly being aware of your growth.
“Because we’ve been growing that’s what keeps everybody interested. If we’d have been sitting around being stagnant, I think people would have a tendency to move on faster, but because we’ve been staying so busy it keeps everyone’s attention,” he said.
Summer tends to be a busy time for any band, and so it is with The Macpodz, who headlined the prestigious Dunegrass Music Festival in West Michigan and also played at festivals such as Electric Forest and Hoxeyville. “We’ve been doing a lot of work hitting the ground,” said Andes. “We’re trying to build our small local music business basically from the ground up.”
He said that the EP’s title, “The Truth,” speaks to the band’s message.
“The lyrics are ‘You’ve got to have truth.’ For us, that means doing what we love. Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing to follow your bliss? I think, in a way, live music is that for all of us. So we’re following the truth of that.”
As anyone who has ever seen The Macpodz perform knows, it’s pretty hard to stay in one spot when the groove kicks in, and that’s also part of the message.
"Wherever we go, we try to get people out of their seats and dancing, and we help them to forget about the stresses in their lives. America is not in the greatest of times it's a hard time for everyone with the economic situation. We show up and try to help people unwind, dance, and feel good about life. It's like a pressure-releaser,” Andes added.
“Dancing is a very healing kind of thing.”