Friday: Get The Led Out @ The Electric Factory.
The band is made up of a bunch of Zepplin fans with long resumes: bassist Billy Childs and drummer Adam Ferraioli were members of the ’80s American glam band Britny Fox; guitarist Jimmy Marchiano played lineups with Guns n’ Roses and was managed by Gene Simmons; lead singer Paul Sinclair and guitarist Paul Hammond run Fat City Studios; and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Lipke performs in a number of area projects and he’s released several solo albums.
Our Kevin Stairiker spoke with lead singer Paul Sinclair this week.
Why Led Zeppelin? What makes them more applicable than the Stones or Pink Floyd or any number of coverable bands?
Well, for some people, I think it’s more of a thing where they sit around and think, “Ok, which band should we pay tribute to?” That really wasn’t how it works for us. I came into this gig because of my love of Led Zeppelin. When I was learning to sing, the rock music that I found myself attracted to was Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. They became the two biggest bands in my life when I was a teenager and influenced my voice the most. Eventually I gained a bit of a reputation locally for being able to do that type of thing, so when a couple of guys were looking to put a band together to do a Led Zeppelin show, they found me through a monthly bar gig I was doing.
Originally they were going to do the whole tribute band thing where everyone dresses up in costumes but I wasn’t really into that. So we sort of morphed the group into what it is now. That’s how the whole thing began.
Well, I’ve never liked the terminology to begin with because you hear “cover band” and you think of a band playing at the local bar, playing the top 40 hits or whatever. When you think “tribute band,” you think of a band that plays the particular music of a band and dresses up and impersonates that band. There isn’t really a term for what we do. It sucks because the whole “tribute band” thing leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. That’s why in interviews, my biggest point is to differentiate what we do versus what other groups do because it can actually prevent people from seeing the show sometimes.
Is there any songs you haven’t hit yet? Do you plan to play every song?
The chances are pretty good at this point that we’ll play them all. The only ones left are a few strays, like we haven’t played “The Crunge” and “Hat’s Off To (Roy) Harper,” but we’ve played pretty much every song off of the first five albums.
And then albums like “Presence” and “In Through The Out Door,” we haven’t hit them as in depth as those first ones. But we’ve hit all of the big ones. The only big single we haven’t hit yet is “Fool In The Rain,” which isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but it’s not about me, so we’ll put that one in eventually, I’m sure.
Well, you can’t do a Led Zeppelin show and not do “Stairway To Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love,” and I still love both of those songs to this day. I’m not just saying that. My personal favorite that’s in the set virtually every night is “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.”
How often does Get the Led Out tour?
Well, it’s sort of a never ending tour because the band has been in a growth status since the word go. There are a lot of Led Zeppelin acts out there, and it’s no easy feat to build something like this and make it a career. So we’re very fortunate to get to the point now where it pays the bills.
When you’re setting out to recapture the music of a band that has ceased to exist for a long time and will never make any more music and you literally run out of songs to add to the set list, is there an end point when you just decide you’ve had enough of Led Zeppelin?
Well, here’s the thing: every day, a new kid is turning 15 and picking up a copy of a Led Zeppelin album because his dad loved it.
What we find with Led Zeppelin in comparison to other rock bands is that, for some reason, Led Zeppelin isn’t an oldies group in the way that, when I was 15, the equivalent would’ve been Elvis or something. With Led Zeppelin, you’ll find that a good part of the population are just as fascinated by an age of rock music that they couldn’t live through themselves. The point is, the Led Zeppelin fan base is constantly growing and not diminishing, which works in our favor. And when you factor in the people who actually lived during that time period that want to hear the music recreated accurately, I find that this is a career that there is absolutely no time limit or expiration date.
In fact, we’re entering this strange time where the forefathers of rock – Zeppelin, the Stones, Beatles – they’ll be like the Bachs and Beethovens of our time and people will be playing that music for eons to come. Eventually, Get The Led Out could turn into a sort of thing like Trans-Siberian Orchestra where it doesn’t even matter who’s playing in the band. You’re just going to see a faithful reproduction of Led Zeppelin’s music and eventually, people will take over for us.
We see this as going on beyond our lifetimes, quite honestly.