Wayne Kramer announces first MC5 album in over 50 years

Wayne Kramer
(Image credit: Jim Newberry)

Brother Wayne Kramer has announced a new album from the MC5 camp. The album, Heavy Lifting, will be released under the 'We Are All MC5' banner via earMusic on October 1. It'll be the first album of new studio recordings to carry the MC5 name since 1971's classic High Time.  

The album was produced by Bob Ezrin, famous for his work with Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Kiss, Deep Purple and many more, while musicians featured on the album include singer Brad Brooks, Tom Morello, Don Was, Kesha, Jill Sobule, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, Alejandro Escovedo, and original MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson. A teaser video for the title track was released last week (below),   

"We’ve just barely survived four catastrophic years of a failed presidency and a devastating pandemic." says Kramer. "Brad and I started writing new music with the express purpose of pushing back against the cruelty of it all. It had become so polarised and depressing that bringing in other writers was like a hope injection. 

“Of course, Dennis ‘Machine Gun’ Thompson is playing strong now and driving the beat on two songs, so I'm thrilled about that, too. Bob Ezrin produces because he is not only the titan of rock but also the most natural choice to deliver this music to fans in search of songs that capture an ultra- amplified soul. The results are earth-shaking rock'n'roll."

"Wayne Kramer is a rock'n'roll treasure because he is keeping the spirit of the MC5 and Detroit’s unique and hugely important blend of punk and funk alive and well in all that he does," says Ezrin. “I’m excited and honoured to be working on this project with him and the supremely talented group of lunatics we have assembled for it. We are all MC5!”

Heavy Lifting's release will be preceded by an eight-date US tour, which kicks off at Detroit’s El Club on May 5. Kramer's band for the tour will include Brooks, drummer Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), bassist Vicki Randle (Mavis Staples), and guitarist Stevie Salas (David Bowie.)

"Nonstop touring, especially the last decade, I’ve come to understand that the music of the MC5 is as necessary as ever," says Kramer. "It’s definitely high time to write and record new songs and to carry a message of uncompromising hard rock to fans around the world."

We Are All MC5 Heavy Lifting 2022 tour

May 05: Detroit El Club, MI
May 06: Pittsburgh Thunderbird, PA
May 07: Philadelphia Underground Arts, PA
May 08: Brooklyn Warsaw, NY
May 12: Sacramento Harlow’s, CA
May 13: San Francisco Bimbo’s 365 Club, CA
May 14: Los Angeles The Roxy Theatre, CA
May 15: San Diego Soda Bar, CA

Tickets are on sale now.

We Are All MC5 tour poster

(Image credit: MC5)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.