M897 Artist Spotlight: December 2013
Irresistible Good Times with The Macpodz
A team of professionals show you how it's done
Story by LCC Radio Staff Reporter Karen Hopper
The Macpodz are fighting for a rebirth. This quartet out of Ann Arbor has been around since 2006 and has seen band members come and go.
During a five year period, they played as many as a 150 gigs per year in states as far away as Maine, Florida, and Colorado. In 2012-2013, that number dwindled to fewer than 100 gigs in those two years . But The Macpodz are on an upswing, with a line-up confirmed, gigs booked, and a plan to conquer 2014.
The Macpodz are founder Brennan Andes on bass, Shawn McDonald on keyboard, Steve Harris on drums, and Ross Huff on trumpet. If the names are familiar, that’s because you’ll find these professional musicians performing around the state in other bands. Shawn used to be in Larry McCray’s band. Steve was in Four Fingers Five. Brennan is a professional bassist who has most recently played with The Ragbirds on the Brave New Baby Tour. But The Macpodz provides a creative home for their “Disco Bebop” sensibilities. And a Macpodz show is a “no shushing affair.”
A conversation with Brennan Andes is a manic, high energy, free-for-all. He is driven, enthusiastic, and optimistic.
“We’re not going to give up. Ever. They’re going to have to kill us,” he says.
With the changes in line-up over the years and dwindling gigs, “I thought we were doomed.” But then the Macpodz booked five gigs in one day, and the group re-coalesced.
“Everybody’s in. Everybody’s committed,” says Andes. Their booking agent told them to play the long ball, and with the band re-dedicated, they are hoping to make it to NYC in 2014. There’s the possibility of a new record, a 45 called “The Macpodz Present . . . Partying with the Macpodz (Haven’t Had a Bad Time Yet).”
Andes praises the Michigan music scene, even as he acknowledges that it can be challenging to get by as a musician. “It’s the most--it’s one of the hardest places. It’s hard to do well because there’s not a lot of money in the state for music. It demands a high level of quality. If you want to succeed, you have to have your sound together and be prepared. In other places, there are a lot of bands. You can find a good band in any corner of the state in Michigan, because you have to rock so hard. People take it really seriously. They really know the difference between good music and bad music.”
The Macpodz want to wish LCC Radio listeners a happy holiday season. If you stay safe, you can attend their concerts.