"The record is a guitar extravaganza": Heavy Lifting, the first MC5 album since 1971, will feature Slash, Tom Morello, Alice In Chains' William DuVall, Vernon Reid, and more

Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer, Slash
(Image credit: Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images | Scott Dudelson/Getty Images | HELLE ARENSBAK/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer is preparing a new Bob Ezrin-produced album from the band for a spring 2024 release.

Heavy Lifting, the first new album from the Detroit garage punk legends since 1971's High Time,  will feature guest appearances from Slash, Tom Morello, Living Colour's Vernon Reid, Alice In Chains frontman William DuVall and more.

"Some bands need a little time between records," Kramer tells MOJO magazine. "I needed a lot of time between records!"

Kramer reveals that he began work on the record during the pandemic, co-writing 15 songs with new MC5 vocalist Brad Brooks.

“I wanted to kind of pick up where we left off with High Time," the guitarist tells MOJO. "Pushing music forward, carrying a message of self-efficacy and empowerment – and just to have fun. It’s all in the MC5. Creativity is the solution for the challenges we face."

“I put everybody to work. The record is a guitar extravaganza – everyone, and yours truly, all bashin’ away on electric guitars. That’s my goal – to overload the guitar.”

Speaking about how he hopes that the new record - which features original MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson on two songs - will capture the spirit of the iconic band, Kramer tells MOJO, "It’s important from the fans’ perspective, and from my personal perspective, to honour the legacy and my partners when I was a young man."

No release date has yet been announced for Heavy Lifting.

Listen to the title track below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.