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Working together to make music

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 6, 2016

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Growing up in St. Clair Shores with a musical father, it’s no surprise that local twins are devoting their lives to making music and sharing it with others.

Mark and Jon Lebiecki are 24-year-old twin brothers who graduated from Lake Shore High School in 2009. The next year, they got together with their friend Brian Fraser to form an alternative/punk band called Undesirable People.

“Our father’s a musician, so we grew up with vinyl in the house, with tons of CDs in the house,” Mark said.

“We like to call ourselves an alternative rock group,” Jon added, explaining that the group is influenced by many different musical styles. He and Mark were raised on The Beatles, he said, and “from there, we discovered punk rock and hip-hop, which really opened our eyes up to the subcultures.”

The band’s guitar player, Fraser, is influenced by classic rock, but Jon said their style always comes back full circle to The Beatles.

“They were essentially the first band that laid out the groundwork of what it’s like to be a band,” he said. “Every band bases their structure off that.”

But their path has not been typical, with the twins working hard to produce and merchandise their music themselves.

The Lebiecki brothers said they enjoy the hands-on experience and control that releasing their own records and being responsible for their own merchandise provides them. Their full-length album, “Eternal Vision of a Blind Future,” was released in September.

“We’ve been kind of pushing forward ... just kind of making opportunities for ourselves,” Jon said. “We do everything in-house.”

The group has toured extensively since 2011, playing the Warped Tour, the Jamboree Music Festival in Toledo and the Metro Times Blowout. With Jon on drums and Mark singing lead and playing bass guitar, Undesirable People has also supported larger bands, playing at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit and The Crofoot in Pontiac.

And doing it all themselves has given them a creative license they wouldn’t be able to enjoy with a record label.

“It’s more rewarding in a sense, especially when it comes to anything from booking the tours to releasing it on our own — we have a say in all of that. We get to determine where we’re going, what we’re doing,” said Mark.

The Lebieckis credited the do-it-yourself music community with inspiring them and supporting them through this process.

“At this point, it’s an around-the-clock operation,” Jon said. “We also have our day jobs too.”

Mark has a job in the pest control business, while Jon works at Guitar Center in Roseville. But they hope that in the next few years, the band will be able to support them full time.

“The day jobs are just a 9-to-5 thing, and the band operation is going on the rest of the day,” Jon said. “There’s really no break from it.”

Sales are looking promising, he said, with only a few dozen 12-inch vinyl records left from a 300-run release after two months.

While selling music digitally is easier, the Lebieckis said it’s important to them and their fans to have something to hold, be it a vinyl record, a CD or a cassette.

“Vinyl sales have exploded again, almost surpassing CD sales in the last five years, so it’s actually an excellent time to be in a band releasing vinyl,” Jon said. “There’s a huge market for it ... that hits all age ranges.”

The band has played across the Midwest, Southeast, East Coast and Canada, and although Undesirable People put out a few smaller releases in that time, Mark said they like to consider this album their first major release.

“We went through some lineup changes,” he said. “We kind of recollected and got back together with a new band with the same name.”

“Eternal Vision of a Blind Future,” produced with Marc Jacob Hudson at Rancho Recordo, is self-released and available now on vinyl record and CD. In January, the album will be released on cassette through Head2Wall Records.

The band will be touring in Nashville and Atlanta, as well as in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina in the early part of the year, and will return Feb. 27 to play the Marble Bar in Detroit.

For more information about Undesirable People or to purchase music or merchandise, visit stayundesirable.bandcamp.com/releases, www.stayundesirable.org or www.facebook.com/undesirable people.

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