'Everyone I Owe' fest pays it all back

Jun 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm
Do you feel stretched a little too thin between which local bands to check out because there's three or four different ones playing on opposite sides of town? Or, does your friend bring up that one local band from four or five years ago that was so excellent live but you never saw them? Well, Jo Champagne of local band Siamese feels your pain. So much so she got together with her friend, Jesse Shepard-Bates and decided to do something about it.

What they are doing is an event called "Everyone I Owe," and it's happening this Friday and Saturday, June 10-11, at The Loving Touch, where over 20 bands will play on two stages in special sets that will be remembered for years to come. If you're asking yourself why it will be remembered, well Jo has the answers!

Metro Times: Before we start in with "Everyone I Owe", tell me what it’s like being in a local “Detroit” band and the community of bands in the area...
Champagne: I’ve been active in the music scene here for about 6 years, playing in various bands. Detroit just has such a great music scene. All of the artists are very supportive of each other and you really feel very little competition here.

MT: How did the idea for “Everyone I Owe” come about? Why call it “Everyone I Owe”?
Champagne: Initially, it started as a joke. My friend Jesse Shepherd-Bates and I were talking about many of the local bands we miss that have broken up. We started talking about this event that happened five years ago called “Everyone I Know” that included most of these bands. We decided to recreate the event with a play on the title.

It changed to "Everyone I Owe" because, originally, a documentary was to be made of that event five years ago. This, however, never came to fruition. Many of the bands were disappointed because it was such a great idea. Jesse and I decided to give these bands what they were “owed” so to say. This means we are filming the concert and also having the audio professionally mixed and mastered by Zach Shipps. This footage will be given to the bands.

MT: What are you hoping to capture in the filming of the bands, how soon do you think those videos will start coming out?
Champagne: In capturing the filming we are hoping to capture the feel of the scene. The great musicians that we have in this area. We are also mixing the show up with newer bands and older ones who had previously broken up, but are reuniting for this one show. We are hoping to have some of the videos out to the bands asap. Jesse is doing all of the editing himself.

MT: With only a few days to go do you feel everything’s coming together?
Champagne: It has! There seems to be a lot of excitement for the show too!

MT: Has it been more work than you might expected putting this together?
Champagne: Yes and no. We were able to find bands that wanted to be included right off the bat. That’s how it turned in to a two night festival, so many people said yes! It was awesome. What has been overwhelming has been the response! I don’t think Jesse or I dreamed it would get this big. It’s fantastic.

MT: I’m not going to ask you to pick favorites, but there are some special bands playing that don’t pay very often or reformed just for this show, tell me about a couple of those…
Champagne: I am so excited for the bands that are reuniting for this show. Satin Peaches, Lettercamp, Lightning Love, Illy Mack… It feels like I’m going back in time and seeing my favorites again. Plus, this is probably the last time you will get to see them!

MT: How long are the sets?
Champagne: Each set is 15 minutes. We have two stages so it will be constant music.

MT: A lot of times with events like these the second stage ends up like being at the kids table for Thanksgiving. Are you doing any special things to make sure they get a part of the spotlight?
Champagne: Haha, well the second stage is a little smaller, so many of the bands with fewer members are there. It’s not the kids table though. Far from it. You will just have to come and check it out.

click to enlarge 'Everyone I Owe' fest pays it all back
Jo Champagne. Courtesy photo.

MT: What other band festival or events like this are you looking forward to this summer?
Champagne: I absolutely love DIY. That is one of my favorites. I usually go every day.

MT: If you could have had one national “big” band to play for this event who would it be?
Champagne: We don’t need a national band. We’ve got more than enough talent right here.

MT: We can't discuss this show without getting in something about the band you are in, Siamese. What are you working on now and can we expect to see Siamese play more this summer?
Champagne: Siamese has been recording our first EP titled On the Beach. The EP release show is on July 30 at The Loving Touch. We are playing with Tart, Belterra and Wuxia (a brand new band formed from members of Haunted House). It's going to be a dark and dancey night!