Already something of a supergroup, the former Champagne Cowboys boasted Weaklings vet Casey Maxwell, Northwest punk warhorse Brian Zipper, Karaoke From Hell mainstay Kirk DeLong and Natron (the Natrons). And that was well before legendary frontman Michael Maker left Spokane’s the Makers to lend his inimitable presence to the rechristened Family Gun. With their first single soon to be released, the members sat down with WW to discuss the peculiar band dynamics fueling their live performance: A profoundly eclectic garage cabaret sprung upon hardcore energy, impeccable craft, and the swaggering pas de deux ’tween Natron, Mr. Maker and backup trio the Sweet Suggestions.
Natron (guitar): “We’re a dysfunctional family. All misfits with our own personalities. It’s a stew. Different ingredients, put them all in, and, for some reason, it works.”
Brian Zipper (drums): “More than the sum of its parts.”
Casey Maxwell (bass): “Zipper’s old punk rock Portland—New Wave Hookers, Skate Drunks, and he brings that punk rock culture. Natron loves the blues. And hot dogs. He’s a fucking freak.”
N: “When I joined this band, I sawed off the barrel of a shotgun to play slide guitar with it.”
CM: “Kirk (DeLong, guitar) lives and dies with classic rock—Ace Frehley, Mick Ronson. Myself, I think Sam and Dave are the second coming of Christ. Michael’s the frontman that everybody dreams of playing in a rock band with.”
N: “During shows, he becomes like…a snake. I never know when he’s going to pounce on the audience. He’s always jumping back, jumping forward, about to strike. I always have to look out for Michael when we play live. I don’t know if he’s going to knock the drum set over or knock me over. Sometimes he’ll be singing up front, the next he’ll be doing Jazzercise or something.”
N: “And, with the Sweet Suggestions—AdaZoe, Chelsea, Emily—we have them up front, on the stage and up in the mix.”
Chelsea (vocals): “You have a lot of backup singers that stay in the background. Nobody ever notices them, but this band totally respects the female energy and gives it back and it becomes like this huge amazing explosion.”
Michael Maker (vocals): “We always consider them part of the band. Oftentimes, people see us and think the girls are a novelty, just eye candy, but we’re all equal.”
Kirk DeLong (guitar): “I’ve played with a lot of people, and this is like family, man. We don’t fight. Mostly, anyway. I love them. It’s the Family Gun, and aptly named.”
SEE IT: Family Gun plays with Pierced Arrows Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Roseland Grill. 8 pm. $8. 21+. Read the full interview at LocalCut.com.