Lucas Paul Band
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Lucas Paul Band

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Pop Rock


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"The Lucas Paul Band: Michigan Made"

The Lucas Paul Band: Michigan Made

By Kristi Kates

The Lucas Paul Band are Ann Arborites at heart, but often make Traverse City their temporary home away from home, at least on stage.
“We have and always will have plans to come up to Traverse City frequently because we get the best love up here of anywhere,” says the band’s namesake Lucas Paul, “hands down.”
The band is comprised of Pete Birchler on lead guitar, Bobby Streng on sax, Mark Damian on drums, Matt Henninger on bass, and Paul on rhythm guitar and lead vocals,
In early 2006, Paul explains, he was a “lost soul” - freshly out of college, but with no job prospects and no band.
“I would frequent Goodnite Gracie’s in downtown Ann Arbor every Wednesday and Thursday to watch local blues prodigy Laith Al Saadi,” he explains, “and every night found myself staying until last call because his band was that good.”
After months of persistent begging to Gracie’s manager, Terry Martin, Paul got a shot to perform before one of Al Saadi’s shows.
“Eventually, Laith handed me a few gigs of his own that he couldn’t take,” Paul says, “so I put a band together. After getting our foot in the door, other nightclubs became interested in what we had to offer.”
Paul’s band quickly became a popular draw - as a cover band, playing other musicians’ songs. But, as he says, it soon became apparent that “something was missing.”

“I had done some songwriting slowly but surely over the years,” Paul says, “so I approached my guitar player, Pete (Birchler), about the tunes. He committed to the production aspect of the album, and I was in charge of songwriting.”
Recorded and mixed at Birchler’s own home in Detroit, that delegation resulted in the band’s first album, Hello Again, which was released in December of last year. Paul describes it as a “mash up of Paul Simon, The Beatles, Maroon 5, and maybe a touch of Stevie Wonder.” A quick listen confirms most of Paul’s take on his band’s sound, although perhaps more leaning toward the Maroon 5/Paul Simon side of things, with Paul’s vocals being most reminiscent of Aussie musician Ben Lee. It’s quite a pop sound for a musician who says his own skills were honed via one of country music’s best-known artists.
“I have to admit that I learned to play the guitar by playing along with Garth Brooks’ music back in grade school,” Paul chuckles, “but I am also hugely influenced by the Nirvanas and Pearl Jams of the world. In college I was on the Dave Matthews Band wagon, and as of late have been listening to anything from Mumford and Sons to bluegrass and folk.”

Currently promoting Hello Again with a small lineup of original shows - including a stop at TC’s Union Street Station - The Lucas Paul Band may venture out of state to play a few shows one of these days, but don’t count on that being any time soon. They’re perfectly happy in Michigan.
“Home base is and always will be Ann Arbor for us,” he says, “three out of the five of us went to school here and live here, and all of us have roots here. It is such a diverse, vibrant town with great food, entertainment, and art. We have not made a big push to tour - yet - as we are all very busy. It’s a tough thing to do, and I praise all musicians that go on the road to get their music out there; I’m hoping someday we’ll be able to do this.”
Now that they have the record finished, Paul continues, they need to actually do something with it, hence the live shows. While he jokingly fears what he calls the “train wreck” on stage - that familiar band-mistake phenomenon that happens occasionally during a live performance - Paul still looks forward to showcasing the band’s new music in front of the band’s fans, old and new.
“I think we’re all still in shock that it actually got done,” he laughs, “but nothing makes me happier on stage than when the crowd reacts with the same or greater energy than we are giving them through music.”

The Lucas Paul Band will be performing at Union Street Station in TC this weekend, May 20 and 21 at 10 p.m.. For more info on the band, visit - Northern Express


EPs: 'Hello Again' (2010), 'Fences' (2005), 'In Between' (2002)



In Ann Arbor circa 2006, Lucas had the pleasure of meeting Dan Eichinger and Jacob Chmara (Smokestack) on the local scene. The trio was soon offered a weekly Thursday show at Melange, a bistro lounge in the heart of Ann Arbor on Main Street; This run lasted almost 3 years. The very well known young talents Bobby Streng (Saxomble) and Pete Birchler (Funkillennium) were brought on board shortly after the group started, and Matt Henninger (Ell Riot, Funktelligence) replaced Jacob Chmara on bass. Mike Shea (Ella Riot) is now in the drum seat and adds a whole new dimension to the musicianship. Since November of 2006, the Lucas Paul Band has played over 100 shows per year around the Midwest. Venues include Ann Arbor Streets Art Fair, LIVE @ PJs, Goodnite Gracie, Melange, Black Pearl, Conor O'neill's, Blind Pig, Jolly Pumpkin (Ann Arbor), The BOB (Grand Rapids), Fishbone's (Detroit) The Loading Dock, Kilkenny's, Union Street Station (Traverse City), Kirby Grille (Grand Haven) among many others.

The original music is very Beatles-esque (All the Little Things) with other influences from various genres, such as Bluegrass (Fetch You), Folk (Hardly a Whisper), and R&B (Don't Stop). ALL are encouraged to attend one of the local shows to see for yourself!

Influences include The Beatles, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Robert Plant, Muse, Deathcab for Cutie, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel to name a few.

Band members have played with or play in such groups as Ella Riot (Mike Shea), Ella Riot & Funktelligence (Matt Henninger), The Pretenders, Bobby Streng Saxomble & Liquid Street (Bobby Streng), Funkilinium & Fairchild (Pete Birchler)

Lucas has played in The Lucas Paul Band.