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Shows, Not Studio, Keep Verve Pipe Smokin'

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008

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After 17 years together, the members of the Verve Pipe still like to play together — but only in certain situations.

“We love to play live together,” says frontman Brian Vander Ark, who co-founded the group in East Lansing for a career that’s included four studio albums and one chart-topping hit, “The Freshmen,” in 1997. “But we’re so dysfunctional in the studio together. We take six ... months to write and record a record with that band. I can’t sit on songs that long.

“So it’s really difficult to get in there and be creative. But live we just plug in and play, and it’s just a blast.”

For that reason, then, don’t expect to see the Verve Pipe make a follow-up to 2001’s “Underneath” — whose song “Colorful” was used in the soundtrack for the film “Rock Star.”

But with guitarist A.J. Dunning back in the band, Vander Ark, 42, sees no reason why the Verve Pipe can’t continue to operate for live shows only.

“We play about a dozen times a year,” he says. “We do an annual Christmas tour, so there’s maybe eight shows in that. I do so much solo stuff that it’s great to get up there with the bombast of the bass and the drums once in awhile and just rock out.”

The Verve Pipe performs at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 28) at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $15. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenaton.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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