Lime Regal is a four-piece rock band that initially started as an instrumental jazz-rock band in Lansing, comprised of Ross Trinkaus on guitar, Brian Carney on bass, and Steve Stetson on drums. The group moved to Detroit and enlisted Nathan Abramson to fill the role of vocal duties. After garnering some buzz for their new EP, Making Me Wonder, as well as their live shows, the band is embarking on short jaunt to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, including a free show at the People’s Art Festival at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit on Saturday at 10:30pm. Brian Carney took some time to talk to thedetroiter.com contributing writer Leyland DeVito before the show on September 15th.
I’ve got to ask, where does your name come from?
We really like how the word “LIME” is a multi-sensory word… when you say it, you hear it, but you can also TASTE it… The word “REGAL” gives off an air of distinctive quality and discipline, in the same way that we approach our instruments and songwriting.
We wanted to come up with a name that reflected the style of music we’re pursuing, while giving people a distinct image of what they’re about to hear without ever having heard us play a note. We think ‘Lime Regal’ does a good job of that.
What artists influence you, both individually and collectively?
Collectively, we listen to a wide range of music from classic rock to progressive stuff to jazz… some major influences are Yes, Led Zeppelin, Herbie Hancock, Billie Holiday, and Marvin Gaye.
Individually, our personal tastes range from 70’s Brazilian Pop to 80’s Hall & Oates to 90’s shoegaze rock. We all like a huge assortment of music, new and old, and we’re all very open minded and can dig what the others are listening to.
You started off playing together in college in Lansing. What did you study there? And why did you decide to move to Detroit?
I studied marketing, Ross studied fine art, Steve studied general management, and Nathan never left Detroit.
We had an instrumental group going in East Lansing during our final year of college… The three of us lived together in a house and had our gear set up in the basement all year round.
We moved to Detroit because that’s where we all grew up, and having finished college we needed to get back out into the “real world” and start something fresh and new. It was time for us to find some vocals for the music we were writing, and when we met Nathan things just fell into place.
When did you decide to pursue the music thing?
Right after the doctor spanked each of us on the ass, hanging upside down by our ankles!
We’ve all been highly moved by music for most of our lives… We each grew up with it, playing in middle- and high-school bands, jamming with friends, listening on headphones whenever we could. It’s always been a natural pursuit for us.
What can you say about your new EP, Making Me Wonder? What was it like recording it?
We’re really proud of how the EP turned out and are excited to share it with everyone. It was recorded at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak. Steve’s been working there for over a year now, and we were able to pop in whenever it was empty. Sometimes it meant getting together at noon for a few hours, sometimes we jumped in to track in the middle of the night… The sense of urgency and time limits helped fuel our creativity and resulted in some interesting decisions. If someone had an idea, we’d roll with it, record it, and use it…
It was also pretty exciting to be the ones in control of the recording process. While we didn’t have a producer there throwing ideas out every few minutes, we did have each other. Steve would sit at the controls and we’d all move mics around and make sure things were patched right on the board. It was a great experience, and Rustbelt was a terrific place to work.
What is it like to get iTunes distribution of your record? Are there pros and cons with having a physical copy of your record in stores versus selling it digitally?
Having the record show up on iTunes is definitely a really big step for us. While actually having the music on there isn’t the key to success for us, it is a great tool. We plan on backing up the advantage of having our music on there with a ton of promotion and shows all around the U.S. We will only really see any benefit to having our music on iTunes if people hear us, see us, and think “hmmm, Lime Regal… I’m gonna check them out” and then jump on iTunes to see if they can find us. Now, they can!
The pros of having the songs for sale digitally is that people can pick and choose individual songs to buy, depending on what they like. We of course suggest buying the entire thing, as the album was recorded as a whole statement and not a collection of individual songs.
Also, the argument for a physical copy from a store or from having it shipped to you from online is that the sound quality is way better, and there’s something to be said for the effort and time that went into the design for packaging this disc. Making Me Wonder is an experience, from unwrapping the cellophane and opening it up for the first time, checking out the artwork, pulling the CD out and popping it in to listen to on headphones… But if you dig the $.99 download, so do we!
You have been touring the Detroit club circuit extensively, playing bars to St. Andrew’s Hall to 89X’s Garden Party at the Whitney mansion. What can you say about the venues available for up-and-coming artists in Michigan?
Detroit is a great place to play music… there are a ton of opportunities for bands to play anything from coffee houses to large theatres and everything in between. There probably aren’t a lot of cities around the country that offer such a wide array of venues to musicians who are just getting started with their careers.
It gives bands a great opportunity to experience all sorts of situations playing in front of different kinds of crowds. We love Detroit!
What has been your best show or best moment at a show as a band?
The best show we’ve played was May 26th, our first gig at The Magic Bag… it was my first show back in the lineup on bass, and we knew we’d reached a new level for ourselves playing up there. The crowd was energized and excited, we’d just received a terrific review in Real Detroit Weekly, and the show turned out great.
Every show since then has been exciting and great, but that one really felt like a “kick-off” in a way.
What’s next for the band? More touring, promoting the EP?
We have gigs planned this fall in Columbus, Chicago, Indianapolis, and a few more places are in the works… This winter we’ll focus on getting our music to college radio in Michigan and the mid-West, and then next summer we’ll be back on the road again!
Your next show is at The People’s Arts Festival, at the Russell Industrial Center on September 15th. What do you expect that to be like?
We’re excited about that show… it’s a big collection of local artists, showcasing everything from pottery to painting to sculptures and sound… We’re happy to be a part of it, and hopefully we’ll see you all out there for our set at noon!
For more information about Lime Regal, check out http://www.limeregal.com.
Leyland DeVito is studying illustration at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. He can be reached at email@example.com.