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Van Go Go gets back after decade-plus break

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, April 2, 2021

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Van Go Go is taking care of unfinished business these days.

The Michigan rock quartet whose self-titled debut album comes out Friday, April 2, with a virtual release party the next day formed back in 2008, after singer Nathan Mackinder and guitarist Jason Schaller, a Detroiter, finished their tenure in the group South Normal. Recruiting bassist Paxton Olney from Muskegon and Jonah Brockman from Tecumseh, the new band worked on four songs at Pearl Sound Studio in Canton, but after nine months things came to an abrupt end.

"Nate and I had been doing it for so long we were just kind of burnt out," says Schaller, 43, who along with Mackinder moved to Florida shortly thereafter.

But Van Go Go is going again.

On a whim last fall, Schaller reached out to Olney about the group's original recordings. They released one of the songs, "Big Mistake," via iTunes and Spotify and were encouraged when it was streamed more than 85,000 times during its first two weeks. Producer Chuck Alkazian still had the rest of the original recordings in Canton, which led to new sessions and four new songs, most created remotely with band members trading electronic files.

"We've kind of come full circle, with the album," Schaller says. "The music ... brought us back together with a new energy, a new outlook on life, a very positive place. Before we were going for the gold, trying to be big rock stars. Now we really just enjoy writing good songs."

Van Go Go is, like so many others, ready to hit the road when things open up more. In the meantime the group, whose members all maintain day jobs, were happy to prepare the release party, including performances and a Q&A session, at Brockman's studio. They'll also be premiering a brand new song, and the guitarist promises more is coming.

"The creative energy we have right now is pretty amazing," Schaller says. "We could go back in the studio now and do another four or five tracks. It's a beautiful thing, y'know? I feel totally lucky."

Van Go Go celebrates its self-titled new album with a livestreamed release party at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3, via Facebook and YouTube.

Web Site: www.vangogoband.com

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