Formed in 2010, Kedder Avant brings a pop feel to their catchy indie rock sound. Featuring David Grammer on guitar and lead vocals, Aaron Barbee on bass and noise, Greg Smith on guitar, Tony Archer on drums and Jimmy Morris on percussion and vocals, Kedder Avant have been a fixture on the Radio OPIE People's Choice Countdown for the past few months.
In July 2012, the group released their first full-length album entitled Sky Is Falling. We sat down with last week to talk about their new album, how the band got together, the state of the local music scene, and more. Here are some highlights:
Radio OPIE: What bands or musicians influenced you both individually as players and overall as a band?
David Grammer: Elvis Costello. He’s not afraid to do his own thing, has had a long career, is an amazing songwriter with a pop sensibility, and is capable of writing in multiple genres. I'm also influenced by John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pixies, Weezer, Radiohead, Nirvana, The Beach Boys, The Clash, Johnny Cash, Ramones, The Cars, and the Beatles among others.
Aaron Babee: I don’t try to be like anyone but coincidentally I think I might be ripping off The Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads bass style.
RO: What's your favorite local venue to play?
DG: My old favorite was The Elbow Room. I had a lot of good memories there. My new favorite is Woodruff’s. Pretty much the best place to play and it’s in my home town. The staff is awesome and the sound man won’t try to kill you like some other venues. There is plenty of parking and people like coming to Depot town so you can usually pull a pretty good crowd. Aaron played Hart Plaza once... I think that’s his favorite.
RO: What local bands/musicians would we find on your iPod:
AB: J Dilla - he is the Brian Wilson of Hip-hop. Soundcloud beatsmith Don Bo - his style is genuine and deserves a larger audience. Tone and Niche, Terri "Whodat" McQueen - her new beat on Soundcloud reminds me of Housequake by Prince.
DG: Little Island Lake, Lightning Love, Chris Bathgate, Eugene and Rusty, Johnny Headband, Truman, Nine Years Away, The Hard Lessons, Misty Lyn and The Big Beautiful, Matt Jones, The Tens, The Finer Things.
RO: How did you guys meet?
DG: We met on Match.com!
AB: Well, Dave and Aaron met at Harmony House back in 2000. Dave and Jimmy met in 2005. Jimmy worked with my wife with my friend. Dave, Jimmy and I met Greg and Tony through good old Craigslist. We got together, played some songs, and really enjoyed how it fit together.
RO: What is your favorite Kedder Avant song to play live?
DG: It changes from week to week. This week it is Opportunities.
AB: I agree with Dave and have to say Opportunities. I love all the different musical parts and how they all blend together, especially during the breakdown part.
Greg Smith: I have to also say that Opportunities is my favorite to play right now.
RO: Global Warm My Heart has been getting a lot of requests on our station. What's the story behind that song?
DG: I wrote "Global". It was inspired by a professor I had in college. He was this really bitter ultra-conservative old man who always tried to start a political debate in class. One of his favorite topics was global warming. He did not believe that it existed and he would let you know how stupid you were if you had a different opinion. So I got to thinking, "what if this guy doesn't actually believe the propaganda that he's preaching?". I also felt that he was just lonely. I felt sorry for him. I started formulating the story about him losing his love and being cold-hearted because of it and that was the reason he didn't care or believe in global warming. Why save the Earth, if he's got no one to share it with? That was the thought. I also took the opportunity to name off some causes of global warming so that people would be aware. In that way, "Global" is kind of a public service announcement.
RO: Where and when is your next local gig?
AB: We'll be at the Old Miami on Cass in Detroit on Saturday, September 29 wsg Little Island Lake and Nine Years Away. Doors at 9pm, Music at 10. $5 cover, 21+ welcome.
We'd like to thank Kedder Avant for hanging out with us and rapping about their group and the scene, and congratulate them on being this week's Band of the Week! You can find these guys on Facebook or their website.