Detroit Power-Pop Trio The Kickstand Band Debuts “Puppy Love”

By: Toni Cunningham | January 31, 2013
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While (hopefully) most of you were lined up at the polls on November 6, Detroit power-pop trio The Kickstand Band was pulling double duty, releasing its first full-length album, “Puppy Love,” the same day.

When bandmates Gordon Smith (vocals, guitar), Allison Young (vocals, bass) and Anthony Kanakari (vocals, drums) met in the dorms at Wayne State University, they were all in different bands. Years of hanging out together led the three to form a solid friendship, and ultimately they decided to join forces and make a band of their own.

The Kickstand Band has a rock vibe, but with enough melodic guitar hooks that they made a one-time appearance as a wedding band. That, combined with a catchy moniker and a unique sound reminiscent of Green Day and Weezer, sets them apart from the rest.

Smith’s mantra is “write, record, practice and perform every single day,” an attitude that led himself and his bandmates to churn out its first song in a matter of hours.

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“Our song ‘I Don’t Care’ was written and recorded in an afternoon when a friend of mine asked me if I could provide him a song for a film he was making,” Smith said. “I’m not sure if the movie ever came out, but the song was what really got our band started.”

With that exception, there’s no standard time frame when it comes to the band writing a song, start to finish.

“Sometimes inspiration just hits like a ton of bricks, and sometimes it requires finding those bricks one by one over the course of a month… Every time I watch a documentary or read a biography about a songwriter, I find some new philosophy or aesthetic that sticks in my head for the next few months,” Smith said.

The best feeling, he says, is when he writes a song that people want to hear, learn the words to and sing along with. If you attend one of The Kickstand Band’s concerts to do just that, be prepared for only the best, as Smith vows to make each and every show as fun and animated as possible.

Even though The Kickstand Band just released its first album a month ago, Smith is already thinking long term.

“I want to record as much quality music as we can muster. I’d hate to wake up five years from now still thinking about recording a song that I wrote today,” Smith said.

For more on The Kickstand Band and its debut album, “Puppy Love,” visit