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May 11, 1994 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-05-11

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ARTS
Page 9 W s , ,

'I hate it when they throw their bras
and panties at me, it's such a waste.
None of them fit me.'
- Englebert Humperdinck,
Vegas crooner, on his fans.

Brothers Gr. do it themselves

By Matt Carlson
Ever since the big punk-rock ex-
plosion shook the world with its raw
fury of energy and sound in the late
'70s, rock and roll bands around the
world have been doing it themselves.
Bands can produce albums, re-
lease their recordings and get gigs by
themselves. Though the work can be
time-consuming and difficult, the
payoff can be satisfying.
The Brothers Grimm are hoping
to share some of their DIY musical
spirit with the Ann Arbor area by
releasing their first cassette within
the next few months. The as-yet-un-
titled project is in the final stage of
production, after months of writing,
playing, and producing 12 songs for
the tape.
The fact that this recording was
not done in a studio, but in the Broth-
ers Grimm's basement practice area,
dubbed Fort Sumner, is something
the band is very proud of.
"There's not very many bands that
would have the patience to do what
we're doing," said Brothers Grimm
guitarist Ben Vermeylen, "and have
the big place to record the album like
we do."
The way the Brothers Grimm see
it, the advantages of creating a record
yourselfsometimes outweigh the con-
venience of a studio.
"We don't have a lot of crazy
state-of-the-art equipment," said
Vermeylen, "but we have enough
equipment.Circa 1964equipment that
gives the album character."
"I've talked to some bands that

have recorded in studios," drummer
Dave Oesterle said, "and they were
saying how they were going back to
recording in a basement because they
liked the sound better. It was too
clean-sounding in a studio, and that's
not good for a band like us or any kind
of band that's real stripped down."
The basement/garage band sound
is one of the most endearing aspects
of the Brothers Grimm. However,
Vermeylen, Girard, Oesterle and gui-
tarist Wally Schmid write music that
is neither easy to classify nor difficult
to recognize. Their unique sound is
created by throwing a diverse assort-
ment of influences like Led Zeppelin,
Cream,TheReplacementsandR.E.M.
as well as blues and country artists
into the pot and pulling out various
mixtures from the rock and roll soup.
"I always thought that one of the
most interesting things aboutour band
is that there really isn't one particular
sound," said Vermeylen. "We play
blues and heavier guitar stuff with
rockabilly and country too. All kinds
of shit. And that's what is cool be-
cause it means that there's probably a
song that we play that just about ev-
erybody would like."
The Brothers Grimm are currently
trying to bring their sound to the Ann
Arbor scene but are finding that get-
ting gigs is much more difficult than
producing their own record.
"It's especially hard to get in to
play in Ann Arbor because there are
so many bands and so few places to
play," said Girard. "I think Ann Ar-
bor has a problem because it's a col-

lege town, and a band will get to-
gether for maybe a semester, then go
home and split up."
"There's a lot to be said for chem-
istry in a band and figuring out the
walls or the common ground,"
Oesterle added. "There's certain
things that Ijust won'tplay, and there's
certain stuff that we all just won't
play. Those are the four walls. That's
not something you can get by playing
for a semester. Really good bands are
the ones that have stuck together for a
while like Groove Spoon or the Holy
Cows."
Because there are so many bands
competing for restricted playing space
in Ann Arbor, the Brothers Grimm
have bided their time playing occa-
sionally at the Blind Pig or local par-
ties in addition to out-of-town places
like the Hamtramck Pub. The band

hopes that their new tape willhelp
them get gigs.
The tape will also help get their
music out to the public to build a fan
base. As Vermylen said, "people like
to hear songs they know," and by
releasing the tape, the band hopes to
get more people to hear their songs
and come to their shows.
"I don't know how many people
I've had to totally beg to come see
us," said Oesterle. "I'm just wearing
out the knees of my pants asking
people to come. Once we release the
tape though, we'll be able to give
people a copy, and, if they dig it,
they'll come."
"Actually, this is our first tape,
which is weird because we've been
around for three years," interjected
Girard.
See BROTHERS, Page 10

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