Artist Spotlight: ILL Itches

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A weekly feature showcasing local artists

Name: The ILL Itches

Lineup: Stephen Schmidt, guitar and lead vocals; Matt Mruzek, bass and lead vocals; Joshua Woodcock, guitar and backing vocals; Matt Livengood, drums and backing vocals.

“ILL” inspiration: Mruzek says he and Schmidt, who are both big Red Wings fans, were brainstorming for a name and they liked the word “ill.” Then when he saw a headline about Mike Ilitch building a new Red Wings stadium, he thought “ILL Itches.” “We really just wanted to say ‘this is what Detroit sounds like and means to us,’ ” says Mruzek.

Sound: High-energy, long hair rock ‘n’ roll.

New tunes: The group will celebrate the release of its first full-length album Saturday with a show at the Marble Bar. The album, recorded in Ferndale at Tempermill Studio and RV Audio Lab, is released as a collaboration between the band’s own GranDetroit Records and Jet Plastic Recordings, a vinyl label helmed by local teenager Jarrett Koral.

Live: ILL Itches performs at the release party with veteran garage rockers the Hentchmen, new garage rockers Moonwalks and punk rock group, the Idiot Kids. Marble Bar, 8 p.m. Sat. $5. 1501 Holden, Detroit. (313) 551-3158.

Melody Baetens