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The Stranglers are coming May 30! Plus a few words from JJ Burnel

After a 20 year absence from Detroit (I was there!), the Stranglers are bringing their new album and four decades of awesomeness to the Majestic on May 30.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This week, I got a chance to talk with Stranglers legendary bassist/singer/writer/asskicker JJ Burnel for a few minutes, and one of the things I wanted to know was why the tour was starting off in Detroit, one of only 8 cities on the North American tour. This kicked off a conversation about Our Fair City, which seems to interest JJ quite a bit.

"I was quite amazed, because the very first time I came to North America, people said 'you're playing Detroit!' and we actually played in Ann Arbor. And yet people said, at the time, 'Yeah, Iggy Pop and MC5 come from Detroit!' And I thought, fantastic, Motown! I'm intrigued that people generically call it 'Detroit' When we were in quite large communities that weren't in the metropolis at all."

I suggested there were a couple of answers to that: Detroit is really Michigan's only city, and sprawl brings Ann Arbor closer every day.

"Detroit has a musical pedigree, though -- a lot of the stuff I love! It's been such a long time, it's almost as if it's the first time we've ever been to North America, so I'm like a teenager all over again. I'm quite excited by the prospect. It is a long time, but I think we're ready for you. We're ready for you now. But are you ready for us now?" he laughed. "We're as good as we'll ever be!"

Some people just better looking. It's hardly fair.
I'll be bringing you more from the super-badass JJ Burnel in my post-show writeup. (I don't think it's much of a spoiler at this point to say that I'm smitten. Nothing like interviewing a favorite artist and having him turn out to be affable, smart, and downright charming.)

Their latest, "Giants," is their 17th official release: even with their massive history, the Stranglers are no nostalgia/reunion act. They've never stopped recording, performing, and evolving. Take a look at "Mercury Rising" from the new disc:


05/30 – Majestic – Detroit, MI
05/31 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
06/01 – Telus Theatre – Montreal, QC
06/03 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
06/04 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
06/05 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
06/07 – Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL
06/09 – Iron & Ink Festival – Long Beach, CA