Jason Stollsteimer is famous as the guy that Jack White of the White Stripes once slugged in a barroom fight. He's also well known as frontman of the
Von Bondies, the Detroit garage-rock band that formed in 2000. I talked to Stollsteimer about the band's upcoming album.
Have you scheduled a release date?
It will probably be out this fall. The album's been done for two years, but we're shopping for a label before we release it. We're not on Sire/Warner Brothers anymore. That's a move we made. We're not going to sell half a million records anyway. We make enough from touring, and articles like the one you're writing help bring people to shows more than record companies do. So be sure to say something that will bring 300 to 400 people out to our show. We're depending on you.
How will this record be different from your last one?
From a crowd-reaction standpoint, the new songs are a lot more immediate. You don't have to listen to them 10 times to connect with them. People reacted that way to our first single, "C'mon, C'mon." This time out, more of the songs are like that.
Are you taking any new directions lyrically?
I keep writing lyrics that come true three years later. One of the songs on our recent EP is called "Pale Bride." It's a song about falling out of love. At the time I wrote it, the song was based on a make-believe story, but now I'm getting divorced. It's only the horrible things I write about that seem to come true. If I wrote about winning the lottery, it wouldn't happen, but I don't think I'll write a song about dying in a car accident anytime soon.
Have your recent lineup changes affected the band's sound?
Our sound is always changing because we have a revolving lineup. The core of the band has always been me and the drummer, Don Blum. I met Don back in the '90s when I used to throw house parties. I didn't play in a band back then and didn't even know how to play guitar. Don was in one of the bands that would play at my house regularly. The only reason I started playing in a band was because no one wanted to be first in a 10-band lineup. I basically became a musician so I could keep having house parties.