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The Upbeat: Artificial Agent

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011

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Formed: Summer 2010 in Sterling Heights

Sound: Hard rock

Members: Derek Jendza, vocals (Grosse Pointe Park); Bradley Jendza, vocals and bass (Ferndale); Mike Elgert, guitar and vocals (Sterling Heights); and Karl Crafton, drums (Mount Clemens).

Influences: Derek Jendza describes the group as “Queens of the Stone Age meets Mötley Crüe. It’s more of a modern sound but still what we grew up listening to, that kind of vibe.”

Day Jobs: Derek Jendza is box office manager and talent coordinator at the Emerald Theater in Mount Clemens and webmaster for Harper Sports in St. Clair Shores. Bradley Jendza is an art director at Donor Advertising in Southfield. Elgert is a librarian in Sterling Heights, and Crafton works for the Advertees custom T-shirt printing firm in Melvindale.

What’s In a Name: Jendza says the Artificial Agent moniker was the idea of his brother Bradley. “He’s always into robots and arts and stuff, so he thought of Artificial Agent. There’s no big story to it.”

Assembling The Players: Artificial Agent grew out of a 2009 reunion of the Jendza band. “It was really fun,” recalls Derek Jendza. “Bradley and I were all fired up, and he was like, ‘I want to do another record with my brother.’ ” But noting that “the other guys (in Jendza) hadn’t really grown with us,” the Jendzas recruited Elgert and Crafton, who Bradley Jendza also plays with in the band Class Three Overbite, to form a new group. “Brad and I wrote some songs, Mike and I wrote some songs, so we made this band. It’s a little more mature than what we’re used to, but a little more fun.”

Big Bang Beginning: Artificial Agent played its first concert last summer opening for Steel Panther at the Royal Oak Music Theatre — in front of 1,500 people. “We had just put this band together,” Derek Jendza says. “We had some songs but still needed two covers to do the set. We just thought it would be a fun, low-key kind of thing. We didn’t have a bar gig or anything to warm up with. There were 1,500 people there at 9 o’clock, and we were shocked. But it was good to see people hungry for rock ’n’ roll, and we gave it to them.”

Hear ’em: Artificial Agent has just released its first CD, “Love Won’t Strangle Me.”

See ’em: Artificial Agent celebrates the release of “Love Won’t Strangle Me” on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Small’s, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck. Diegrinder, Lurch, the Tommy Marz Band and Tecete will also perform. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover is $6. Call 313-873-1117 or visit www.smallsbardetroit.

Surf ’em: They have a homepage on Facebook — search Artificial Agent.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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