NOTHING IS SAFE WITH THE RUINERS:METROMIX DETROIT
Nothing is safe in the path of the Ruiners, Detroit’s most notoriously rocking party band. Led by the dynamic male-female combo of Rick Lappin and his sexy cohort, Nina Friday, the Ruiners have blazed a reputation for party rock since the group arrived on the Detroit scene in 1997.
In the band’s early years, music wasn’t always the main focus. The Ruiners were known for destroying everything from washing machines to televisions to vacuums, as well as frolicking through a sea of shredded paper. The shows were messy but loads of fun. “The biggest problem I always had was I put the revolution before the cause,” says Lappin. “That was always my approach to art or life.”
These days, the focus is more on the music and its garage-glam sound. But as Lappin points out: “Every once in a while I might bring a motorcycle to the show and ride it through the bar.” So there’s still that anything-can-happen element at a Ruiners show.
While the Ruiners got lots of attention for the onstage antics, Lappin always had more in mind.
“It got kind of expensive and it didn’t give people a good feeling about the band,” he says. “I started wanting to be able to perform real songs instead of throwing the mic in the crowd or screaming or sticking it in a wash machine and making loud noises with it.”
On Saturday, the band will release, “Shake, Rattle & Moan,” a collection of songs penned primarily by Lappin. A party to celebrate is planned at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit.
The album was recorded at Funky D Studios in Royal Oak with producer Tino Gross, the front man of the Howling Diablos.
“He was much needed,” Lappin says. “We came in there and started jamming, and we didn’t have any idea what we were going to do. I wrote a number of songs on the spot in the studio. We’ve never had the opportunity to burn through tape like that and try stuff. A lot of it fell to the cutting-room floor, but there was a lot of stuff that wouldn’t have sounded so good without Tino’s approach to it.”
The album will be released on Gross’ Funky D Records label. “I always loved the band live and I wanted the record to sound more like the Ruiners onstage,” says Gross. “Rick and Nina are excellent live front people. The shows they put on are so wild and cool that it’s like, ‘How do we get that vibe on a record?’ I was looking for that Stooges thing, the way they cut that first album. We basically just set them up as a live act in the studio and pressed ‘record’ to get the feel, that kind of crazy energy that they have. I think that happened on this album. I was really happy with how it ended up.”
Guest performers on the album include Jimmie Bones of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker band, DJ Linda Lexy, who provides some vocals, and Jerri Allen, who is an occasional bass player in the Ruiners.
Along with Lappin and Nina Friday, the band features drummer Rob Moon, guitarist Justin Hall and bassist Liz Scaris.
Gorevette and Awesome Jarvis & the Whales open the show. Lexy will host. Doors at 8 p.m. Saturday, PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan, Detroit. 313-961-4668. $5.
Rachel May, Metromix editor, is also a member of local bands Broadzilla and the Difficulties. Send local music news to her at firstname.lastname@example.org