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Pistol Day Parade bringing their brand of Detroit rock to tour with Ted Nugent

Last week, Detroit's own Pistol Day Parade headed out on Ted Nugent's Shut Up and Jam! Tour.

Pistol Day Parade's Burn
Goomba Music

Rising from the tough economic times of the Detroit area, Pistol Day Parade is regarded as one of the top rising rock acts in the country and recently released their first full length album Burn, which was produced and mixed by Tim Patalan (Sponge) and Chuck Alkazian.

The album features a few tracks from their 2009 debut EP, She Wants More, which was recorded by Mike Brown (Velvet Revolver).

After the EP release, Detroit rock radio powerhouse, WRIF, picked up the song "Rockstar's Girlfriend" and has played the track well over a thousand times to date and saw the track shoot to number one on their playlist. Last week, the Burn version of the track was released nationally for the first time.

On Tuesday, Pistol Day Parade guitarist Rob Banks checked in from Phoenix, where the band was kicking off their first date with Nugent in hundred degree temperatures.

Q: So it's pretty hot there today?

Rob: Yeah, it looks like it's going to be 106 degrees today, or as we like to say, 106 WRIF rock-n-roll degrees! You know we like to quote WRIF on everything! [laughs]

Q: How did this tour with Ted Nugent come about?

Rob: Well our manager was just kind of looking around for tours for us. You know, just trying to find the right fit for us. They were looking for bands for this tour and he threw our name in. I'm not sure how many bands applied but they actually picked us. That was pretty awesome. It's a great tour and our first date with Ted is today. We're pretty excited; pretty geeked. We've been on the bus for a long time getting out here!

Q: What can those coming out to the dates on the tour expect from your set?

Rob: We only play for a half hour set so we're going to play as many songs off of the album as we can. We're gonna at least get all the power hitters in there. We're doing "Save Me" as well, which is one of our earlier songs from our EP. We're gonna rock their faces off. We're gonna hit them in the face with Detroit rock. They're not gonna know what hit them!

Q: What's your favorite song to perform live right now?

Rob: Oh man, that's such a tough question. You know, I love doing all of our songs. Challenge- wise it would probably be "Where I Lay" or "New Life" but for crowd participation and overall fun it would have to be "Rockstar's Girlfriend", of course.

Q: You played a couple of local shows recently?

Rob: Yeah, the Rock the Revolution one in Mount Clemens got cancelled. I guess the politician that was funding it pulled out and the promoters just weren't doing their job. At least that's what I was told. Yeah so we didn't do that one but we did do the Iron Coffin Rally in Erie. That was awesome! They have a pretty nice setup there. We played a great show. Then before that we did Pirate Palooza in St. Clair Shores. That was pretty rocking. It was right there on the pier.

Q: You have the WRIF show coming up on July 19 at DTE Energy Music Theatre?

Rob: Yeah the Biker Bash. We're going to be playing on a stage out in the lot before you get into DTE. Yeah there's gonna be harley's and WRIF rock before Ted Nugent takes the stage. Gonna be a great time!

Q: Obviously, WRIF has been huge in helping you guys get your name out there.

Rob: Yeah the WRIF has been amazing. They really gave a young band a chance. They gave the people a chance to like it and they gave us lots of different opportunities that just helped us open doors. It's great when you have someone like that to support you.

Q: What's the plan for when this tour with Ted Nugent wraps up?

Rob: That is to be determined. We've got several dates on this Shut Up and Jam! Tour with Nugent. Like I said, it starts tonight and we play pretty much solid every day or every other day up until we get to Sturgis. We're playing the Buffalo Chip Rally there on August 6th, 7th and 8th. On the 7th we'll be on the main stage playing with Pop Evil and Train.

Q: Have you ever been out to Sturgis before?

Rob: No we haven't. We're looking forward to that too. We've seen pictures and videos. It's like holy sh*t! [laughing] Yeah so we're going to be there for like seven days and then we get back onto the tour with Ted right after that. Our last show with Ted is on August 14 at the House of Blues in Houston so we'll probably be home around the 18th. Hopefully we'll get some rest and then we can get right back out there.

Q: What's your plan when it comes to touring? Obviously you guys have really covered the Midwest but is there somewhere in particular you want to get out to?

Rob: Interesting question. You know, I don't think there's really anywhere specific. We are playing a lot of different places on this tour. Really everywhere we go these days, especially any new places that we've never been, really the goal is for people to hear our music that haven't really had the chance to hear it. That's the goal to just introduce the music to new people. Hmm, where do I want to go? That's what I'm thinking about. I'm sitting here looking at this list of dates and cities in front of me and I'm thinking what looks awesome? I really would like to pretty much see everywhere. I've never been to California and we've got three shows there on this tour. I'm kind of looking forward to that.

Q: When you think about those new people who know nothing about your band, what would you say to them as a introduction?

Rob: I would describe it as in-your-face gritty Detroit rock and roll. I don't think we sound like anyone else. I mean I think we fit in the genre with some of what's out there but I do feel we stand alone as far as style wise.

Q: What has the reaction been towards the Burn album? From what I've seen it has been going well.

Rob: Well I've been doing various interview all over the place and everyone has been telling me it's getting great reviews. I only know what I'm hearing from the media and the people that I'm talking to. Everyone has been saying great things.

Q: What was your process in recording the album?

Rob: It was a long process. We worked on it for a long time. It took a lot of time and money to get everything right the way we wanted to in the studio. Tim Patalan, our producer who is in Sponge, was really the guru. He brings out the best in us. He makes us play our instruments better and he makes us sing better. It was quite the process putting it all together but here we are: out on tour with Ted Nugent. Today is actually the national release for "Rockstar's Girfriend". We had released it locally on the EP but hearing it now with a better overall song with the new mix from the album is pretty cool. That song really opened doors for us and again the WRIF really helped with that.

Q: What is your biggest goal as a band moving forward?

Rob: Ooh, another big question. You're hitting me with the tough ones today, I like it! Our biggest goal is for the world to hear our music and to love it. That's the best thing, when you get there and see that the fans are enjoying your music and by the end of the song they're singing it. Seeing them just connect with it is what we want to do. For me that's what music is: a way to connect with the masses and possibly inspire people as well.

Q: There are so many different artists out there in the Detroit music scene. What do you think was the biggest thing that you guys have done to get noticed and stand out from the crowd?

Rob: I mean WRIF and hard rock. Blood, sweat and tears, you know? Nothing has been easy. The music industry right now is a very tough place to be. It's dog eat dog. You've gotta work for it. Work, work, work and then more work. Just when you've sacrificed everything, you sacrifice more. We were fortunate to have someone like the WRIF who enjoys your music enough to add you to their rotation. That definitely helped out. I mean it certainly helped us reach more fans.

Q: It's kind of become a tradition now for you guys to play the Tigers' Opening Day show downtown at The Fillmore Detroit. You also seem to frequent the stage there quite a bit for other shows. Is there something about that place that keeps you guys coming back?

Rob: Well yeah for starters we love the Fillmore. We love the Fillmore sound. We love the Fillmore crew. We just like doing shows there. It's just the heart of Detroit. Yeah, we hope to continue to do that each year and hopefully our shows will get bigger and bigger. Originally we got on the Opening Day show as the opener through some kind of contest or something and then the following August our manager at the time was in the bathroom at the same time as the WRIF program director and he said that he had really liked one of our songs. That was the point where he decided to add us and give us a chance and "Rockstar's Girlfriend" just immediately went number one on the charts. The next year he asked us if we wanted to headline Opening Day and we were like, yeah! We've been doing it ever since. It's really been great.

The WRIF's Biker Bash takes place on Saturday, July 19 in the parking lot of DTE Energy Music Theatre from noon to 6 pm. There will also be performances from Citizen Zero and Chit! and then those with tickets for the Ted Nugent show can head into the amphitheater to catch Nugent and openers The Rockets and Brownsville Station.

It was also announced this week that Pistol Day Parade will be performing at Critical Bill's album release party on Saturday, September 13 at the Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield. Critical Bill will be celebrating the release of their album, The New Eternal.

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