Motor City Cribs

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Though both Pop Project/Drinking Problem member Dave Lawson and Hard Lessons drummer Christophe "the Anvil" Zajac-Denek are easygoing, don't be fooled by their free-and-easy facade. Underneath, these roommates are hard-nosed perfectionists, more Felix than Oscar.

We're not just talking about Lawson brainstorming tricky-yet-perfect vocal harmonies and chord progressions for a Pop Project ditty or the Anvil figuring out which Tony Williams jazz beat to sneak into a Hard Lessons song. No, we're also talking about two musical domestics.

The Anvil moved into these cozy Ferndale digs in December, just as bandmate Korin Cox (and Drinking Problem member) moved back home with her folks to save money for her summer wedding to Hard Lesson guit-slinger Augie Visocchi. If you guessed the house went to hell with the increased testosterone, guess again.

The pair is as likely to be cooking up a killer recipe or cleaning house to the a cappella disc in the Pet Sounds box set as they are to be laying down sounds in Dave's basement studio. Say it loud, they're metrosexual and proud!

"It might seem like domestic chores consume our lives in this house," the Anvil says, "but somehow we find time to cut loose and be creative in a lot of different ways."

Says Lawson, "When I come home, I'm just as likely to find Christophe making homemade salsa as I am to find him recording an experimental instrumental featuring laughter and kazoos. Likewise, I'm just as likely to ask him to invent a percussion instrument that best represents impregnation as I am to offer him some leftover salmon fillet with a lemon wedge. And of course we take turns shoveling the sidewalk."


The Pop Project's new CD Stars of Stage and Screen will be out this Spring as well as Volume 3 of the Hard Lessons' B & G Sides series. The Drinking Problem's five-song EP (Not a Real Band) is out now on Lower Peninsula Records.

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