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Artist Staff Picks

ChadSmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Smith spent most of his childhood in Bloomfield Hills, and he looks back on the time affectionately, telling us, “My fond memories are playing with Toby Redd in 1984-88 at all the bars and clubs. Three sets a night, six nights a week. I loved it so much. That’s how I learned how to be a professional working musician. … Detroit is such a historical and important city. Musically, alone, it has produced some of the greatest. Whenever I mention I grew up in Detroit to any musician friends, they always say how appreciative and how hard the crowds rock ... makes me proud.”

Smith will likely go back to his family home while he’s here too. “My mother still lives in the house I grew up in. The blue shag carpet is still in my bedroom. I will be there, grab some Hunter House, and then go see the Tigers beat the Yankees on Thursday. Yep, sounds like a plan.” The Chilis headline the main stage on Saturday.

 

Matt Clarke

The man behind DetroitDubstep.com will be pumping out the beats from the Sanitarium Stage at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Not the typical opening act for a Metallica show, Clarke is one of the great recent offerings from the Detroit electronic scene. When we wrote about Clarke in 2011, he told us that, “I’ve been through the ups and downs of the scene, through feast and famine. Right now, things are picking back up. People are into electronic music again.” Performing at a huge festival can’t be too bad.

 

Death

The first African-American punk band, Death disappeared for three decades while the members focused on reggae — and now they’re back. There’s a movie coming out too, called A Band Called Death. Their proto-punk will surely appeal to a big rock crowd, particularly anyone there to see Flag. The band told us that, “We were just playing Detroit rock ’n’ roll. We weren’t trying to create a new music form. We were just playing from the influences that were surrounding us — Alice Cooper, Iggy & the Stooges, Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad — all these great bands that were coming out of Detroit. We kept it hard driving and fast. Growing up in the black community at the time, most of the people tuning into music were into the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire and the black funk sound. A lot of people in our community were asking us why we didn’t play that kind of music, that we shouldn’t play what we were playing.” Death takes the Vans Damage Stage at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.

 

The Dirtbombs

Mick Collins and his Dirtbombs have seen punk, garage — and just about every other rock-based scene come and go in Detroit — and they’re still hanging on, creating beautiful music in the process. It’s awesome that the boys in Metallica (or at least one of them) wanted the Dirtbombs on the bill, and it’ll be great to see them on a big stage again. Rock, soul, whatever — these guys have tunes coming out of their collective asses. The Dirtbombs take the Frantic Stage at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.

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