Motor City Cribs

If you throw a rock in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood, chances are you’ll hit a rock band. You can chalk this up to cheap rents for large brick homes within staggering distance of the Magic Stick and the Lager House. One house on Commonwealth Street is home to two great Detroit rock bands — the Expatriates and Battling Siki.


Expatriates singer-guitarist Dale Wilson, bassist Matt Hatch and drummer Dave Knepp have been renting the entire, huge two-story home for two years and using the basement as a practice space. Battling Siki frontman Scott Harrison moved in last April. Shortly after, the Expatriates became the new Battling Siki kind of by accident: The Expatriates spontaneously started playing a bunch of Battling Siki songs at practice while Harrison was away on vacation.


They share a deep camaraderie and friendship that’s rare among bandmates — and rarer among housemates. When they’re not practicing together, they hang out and enjoy each other’s company in the living room. That living room has been the center of quite a few late-night parties. And quite a few rockers have wound up there savoring a PBR early in the morning — and maybe couch surfed in the living room along with Expatriates and Sights guitarist Eddie Baranek. Cracks Harrison, “If you haven’t been at the house, it’s your own damn fault!”

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