The Ann Arbor progressive rock, funk and jazz fusion quartet will share new tunes and covers as they close out 2018.
“We’re definitely going to try to change it up from the norm. I think for a lot of people coming out that night it will be new. We always like to bust out new covers for special events and holidays, so you can definitely expect some of that,” said Jay Frydenlund, Chirp guitarist and vocalist.
“I think there will be some fun interaction amongst the bands and sit-ins. It will be different from your normal Chirp/Stormy Chromer/Biomassive show.”
This is the third year Chirp has teamed up with Stormy Chromer, a homegrown progressive jam band, for a New Year’s Eve show in Tree Town. It’s the second consecutive year for the event at The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St.
“Stormy Chromer brought us into the fold. We just wanted to go down in the hometown because the last couple of years have been so fun,” Frydenlund said. “Stormy Chromer has always been one of our favorite groups to play and collaborate with. We’re happy they invited us back to do it again.”
While Chirp and Stormy Chromer have a long history of playing together, it’s the first time Chirp will share the stage with Biomassive, an electronic rock band from Traverse City. Biomassive will blend the organic feel of real-time music with deep, intelligent beats of their ground-shaking, sub-bass mechanics.
“I’ve heard good things about Biomassive,” said Frydenlund, who grew up in Ann Arbor and started playing guitar in college. “I’ve listened to their stuff online, so I’m definitely excited.”
Formed in 2015, Chirp features Ken Ball (guitar, synth, vocals), John Gorine (drums, vocals), Brian Long (bass) and Frydenlund. Together, they have played more than 200 shows over three years, and their fresh sound has taken them across Michigan and the Midwest to play a variety of venues and festivals.
Chirp does their share of genre-hopping by blending catchy progressive rock, funk and jazz originals with majestic reinterpretations during their high-energy, dynamic shows. Though their music incorporates many technical, well-crafted elements, they’re committed to moving and grooving with a solid, dedicated fan base.
“I think we started off really rock-heavy and progressive-heavy, and we’ve gotten funkier, especially when Brian joined,” said Gorine, who grew up playing the drums and being inspired by Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Brian is a really funky bass player, he does that thing with the bass where you slap it. We still play the rock and progressive stuff, too.”
The “Live at Ann Arbor Summer Festival” EP, which was recorded in June and released in August, features soulful, funk-filled covers of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” and Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” as well as the groovy instrumental original, “Trey’s Song.”
For the band, performing at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival was a magical moment in time.
“I think that’s something we all kind of dreamt growing up, and pretty much since I got involved in music, that was definitely a huge local goal of mine, so to finally land that spot was nerve-wracking and exciting,” Frydenlund said. “It was an absolute blast. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a show.”
With three live EPs in their nest, Chirp is working on their first studio album, which will feature new instrumentations and fresh takes on familiar tracks fans have heard at live shows. Scheduled for a late winter or early spring release, the upcoming Chirp record will include appearances by several guest musicians and artists.
“I like the studio aspect of recording just because you get to add so many things,” Gorine said. “You can make it sound like the way you intended it to.”
Chirp will continue to take flight in January with upcoming shows at Rubble’s Bar in Mount Pleasant (Jan. 11), The Loving Touch in Ferndale with Desmond Jones and Paddlebots (Jan. 12) and Founders Taproom in Grand Rapids with Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish (Jan. 19). The band also will expand their tour itinerary this spring.
“I think Colorado is pretty high on the list, and then hopefully making a push toward California and swinging back, maybe we could go south,” Frydenlund said. “The goal is to go far and wide, and our favorite thing to do is to play live.”
Stormy Chromer with Chirp and Biomassive
New Year’s Eve at The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St. in Ann Arbor
Doors at 8 p.m.