Band with local roots looks to make their mark

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 23, 2016


FRASER — Five 21-year-old musicians from metro Detroit are doing their best to imitate their favorite musicians, and yet create a product all their own.

If Walls Could Talk is the name of the group that aims to make a splash in the music scene.

The band members are frontman Tony Burke; Steven Fronrath, who plays keyboard, synthesizer and saxophone; bassist Anthony “Whitey” White; drummer Zack Spoutz; and guitarist Nick DiStefano.

Burke and DiStefano both hail from Fraser and attended Fraser High School. Fronrath is from Clinton Township and also attended Fraser High. Spoutz and White grew up in Chesterfield Township and Warren, respectively.

“Home is wherever I feel I belong the most,” Burke said.

The band’s beginnings came about when the three former Fraser High School students were involved in a project called Breaking Obsidian. The collaboration didn’t last long, however, as Burke went off to college at Valparaiso University.

Fronrath and DiStefano then took matters into their own hands, attempting to start a new project. White responded to a Craigslist ad and auditioned to be a singer, but it didn’t work out.

Fast forward to the next summer; White reached out to DiStefano to let him know a new musical trio was seeking a guitar player. Simultaneously, DiStefano offered him a position with a new project that ended up becoming If Walls Could Talk. Spoutz was the final piece of the band, joining around three years later.

When asked what type of music the band makes, they replied by saying it’s like Coldplay met The Fray. Their musical influences range from “classic” groups like Queen, Black Sabbath and the Beatles and veer into popular musical acts they grew up with, like the Killers, Vampire Weekend and Green Day.

Each member’s musical tastes differ, though, which creates their unique sound. It also helps the band achieve goals through musical composition — something of which they are each aware.

“I think it’s really rewarding,” Fronrath said. “Each band member has their own unique influences and perspectives, so you may be coming from one perspective and someone else may bring a completely new idea to the table.”

White added, “The best feeling in the world is learning and sharing ideas with like-minded, yet different, individuals. Everything you can learn from them, and vice versa, gets a new perspective to contemplate.”

Besides the obvious goal of success, the members addressed what they are really seeking through their own creative process. In what is a pop-heavy atmosphere in American music, some bands tend to aim to break boundaries through their art, while others may look to create new sounds or attract a certain demographic.

“I don’t shy away from the fact that we are trying to make our music appeal to a wide variety of people, similar to how pop music does,” Fronrath said. “But I want to show the world that popular music can be thoughtful, musical, and can take you on a journey.”

DiStefano said he wants to show that popular music can have very musical undertones, and that many people can be affected by that. White called music “the best therapy” that improves not only his own life, but those who hear the sounds and lyrics.

“I want my music to live longer than me,” Burke said.

The band will release a new EP in June titled “What Would You Say?” that will be accompanied by a special EP release show around the same time.

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