Wayne Kramer announces new MC5 album, upcoming tour dates

New album will be first under the MC5 banner since 1971's "High Time."

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Wayne Kramer isn't waiting around for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to get back into action. 

The MC5 guitarist announced on Wednesday the formation of We Are All MC5, touring a "reanimation" of his pioneering rock group, as well as a new album set for release later this year, which will mark the first new music recorded under the MC5 banner in 50 years.

Wayne Kramer.

The 8-date U.S. tour will kick off at Detroit's El Club on May 5; tickets for the show go on sale Friday.

The band's touring lineup will include singer Brad Brooks, Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, bassist Vicki Randle (who has played with Mavis Staples), and guitarist Stevie Salas (who played with David Bowie).

The tour follows 2018's successful MC50 tour, which saw Kramer playing with a band that included Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould and Zen Guerilla singer Marcus Durant. 

The new album, titled "Heavy Lifting," is due out in October. A preview of the title track, which features Tom Morello on guitar as well as Don Was and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., was released on Wednesday.

Kesha, Jill Sobule, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath and Alejandro Escovedo are among the musicians who lend an assist on the new album, which is produced by Bob Ezrin. Original MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson, the only other surviving member of the band, also plays on a pair of tracks.  

MC5 performas at the Grande Ballroom in 1968.

"Nonstop touring, especially the last decade, I’ve come to understand that the music of the MC5 is as necessary as ever," Kramer said in a statement. "It’s definitely high time to write and record new songs and to carry a message of uncompromising hard rock to fans around the world."

MC5 is on the ballot for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class, the sixth time the band has received a Rock Hall nomination. Inductees will be announced in May.