Sin Embargo Interviews & Live Show Reviews
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L.A. View, page 3 (May 12, 2016 issue) - article about Lapeer Teen Center Reunion Show at Cascaddan's Lounge - by Krystal Johns

The County Press, page 9A (May 11, 2016 issue) - article about Lapeer Teen Center Reunion Show at Cascaddan's Lounge - by Krystal Johns

(includes a few quotes by none other than Kyle & Eric !)

The County Press - 5/11/16

L.A. View, pages 3 & 8 (January 3, 2013 issue) - article about Lapeer Teen Center Reunion Show at Flint Local 432 - by Krystal Johns

L.A. VIEW (Jan 3, 2013) ON-LINE ARTICLE

The County Press, Lapeer Days insert, pages 16-17. (August 13, 2000 issue) - preview article about Sin Embargo's August 18, 2000 Lapeer Days gig:
"Local band to perform"
"Sin Embargo has been rocking for 8 years now and they will be gracing the Lapeer Days west stage around 11 p.m. Friday.  They will be bringing a harder sound to the streets with their vintage, yet, modern classic rock style.  The classic Sin Embargo set includes a mixture of original tunes and some cover songs, many with a Sin Embargo-style introduction.  Sin Embargo consists of only 3 members.  Kyle Kipp, 23, belts out the vocals and guitar riffs while Eric Kipp, 25, keeps the rhythm on bass guitar and Ed Stark, 28, brings it all together with the drums.  They were influenced by The Who's raw style that the band portrayed in the 60s, but don't want to compare themselves to the legendary band.  They do, however, cover The Who, as well as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, The Violent Femmes, Johnny Cash, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Rage Against the Machine and many others.  Kyle is a 1995 Lapeer West graduate.  The band started when he was a sophomore.  He recently graduated from Central Michigan University, and now works as a high school physics teacher.  Besides vocals and guitar, Kyle's roles in Sin Embargo include songwriting, booking shows and public relations.  Eric, Kyle's older brother, lives in Auburn Hills.  He graduated from Central Michigan University [actually, he graduated from Lawrence Tech!], with a degree in civil engineering.  Eric came up with the band's name after four years of Spanish class in high school.  "Sin embargo means "nevertheless" in Spanish, and that's where the name for the band's first album came from.  He also created the band's diamond-shaped logo.  Stark has been the fifth and seventh drummer for Sin Embargo throughout the band's history.  He is currently pursuing a degree in secondary education at Central Michigan University.  The band was established in 1992, and started playing for local teenagers at the Center Building, which housed a local teen center known by various names such as Club 42-5 and The Portal.  "We've [always] considered ourselves as a Lapeer band, " said Kyle. "We finally got around to doing something that we should have done already," he added, referring to the band's scheduled appearance at Lapeer Days.  The current selection of Sin Embargo merchandise for purchase includes compact discs, cassettes, bumper stickers, promotional photos and T-shirts.  Merchandise will be available at the show on Friday and is also available at The Neverending Story bookstore in downtown Lapeer.  Sin Embargo has recorded and released four full-length albums: Nevertheless in 1993, Nevertheless (Fixed & Remixed) in 1994, Underneath in 1995 and Super Fugue in 1998. The band's current goals are promoting the newest album, getting more radio airplay and expanding their fan base.  Their motto is 'We do what we do the way we do it because we like what we do.'  Sin Embargo has played shows in many locations including Lapeer, Flint, Mt. Pleasant, Detroit and Ann Arbor.  After Lapeer Days, the band has several shows lined up including Friday, Sept. 29th at Beans and Leaves Cafe in Flint and Oct. 20 and 21 at the Moonlight Lounge in Lapeer." - by Danielle Himebauch & Krystal Kaltz (article also includes an outdated courtesy photo of the 1998 Sin Embargo lineup!)

Jam Rag, Volume 15, Number 5, page 37. (May 2000) - review article about Sin Embargo's March 24, 2000 gig:
"Sin Embargo - March 24, 2000; Jumpin' Java Cafe"
"Lake Orion's newest little secret hosted a great show on Saturday, March 18 [actually, it was March 24th].  The band Sin Embargo played two long sets of high energy rock and roll to a small crowd who eagerly ate it up.  Their style was a sort of Ted Nugent meets Black Sabbath with Third Eye Blind mix.  They played some covers and more than a few originals as well.  This is not a band to miss."  - by Ian Ingram.

CMLife, Volume 81, Number 42, page 14-15. (December 8, 1999) - preview article about Sin Embargo's December 8, 1999 gig:
"Sin Embargo, Nickelshot gnarly heavyweight rock dudes"
"The trademark hard rock sounds of the bands Sin Embargo and Nickelshot will be rip-roaring through the ears of the masses raging at Rubble's tonight.  Quenching the thirst for the heavier side of the musical spectrum will be the new five-piece incarnation of Nickelshot, with their own blend of groove-oriented hardcore punk.  Taking influences from such bands as Helmet, Incubus, and the Deftones, Nickelshot have been playing locally and as well as outside Mount Pleasant for almost six years and garnering much attention.  The band has been on hiatus for a few months now, but has recently come back together with a re-vamped band member lineup.  Recently stepping down from the bass and to the position of guitar is Paul Dyer, Mount Pleasant sophomore.  He says that the new musical approach and member lineup fulfills what the band feels the 'best representation of what they want to be.'  The band will also be premiering several new songs tonight from their forthcoming LP due out in February of 2000.  Sin Embargo came out of the depths of the downtown Flint underground music scene almost seven years ago, before expanding throughout the various music scenes of Michigan.  Making its return to Rubble's, the power trio arises for yet another display of its memorable organic "rawk & rowl".  Sin Embargo fuses aspects of punk, the Seattle sound and over-driven blues with Classic rock, a la Zeppelin and Hendrix.  The band's music converges into what drummer Ed Stark, Shepherd senior, describes as 'raw, powerful, pseudo-pop rock'.  Sin Embargo will be playing numerous original tunes from their three full-length studio albums.  Both groups will perform at 10:30 p.m. at Rubble's, 112 W. Michigan St.  There will be a small cover charge at the door and must be 18 or older to attend." - by Trevor Naud.

The State News, "MS&U", Page 6B. (October 7, 1999) - profile article about Sin Embargo:
"Love of music, brotherly bond drives Sin Embargo"
"When Kyle and Eric Kipp started the band Sin Embargo, there seemed to be a missing element.  'We've always joked that if only we had another brother, we could use him as our drummer,' said Kyle Kipp, the group's guitarist and vocalist.  Since the band began playing in Lapeer, Mich., in 1992, Kyle and Eric Kipp (bass guitarist) have had problems keeping a steady drummer.  The band's current drummer, Ed Stark, originally joined the band in January 1997, left the band in December 1997 and returned in June 1998 [sic].  {NOTE: Ed really rejoined S.E. in March 1999.}  'It's not bad luck, but it's not good luck either,' Kyle Kipp said of the band's changing drummers.  'Having a lot of drummers has held us back in some ways.  We probably could've written more original music if we had stuck with one drummer.'  However, he said his relationship with Eric Kipp has grown stronger, as the two have anchored Sin Embargo for so long.  'This is the only band my brother and I have ever played in,' he said. '(Playing together) is more of a pro compared to a con.  Even though we've moved apart because of school and work and stuff, it's kept us together.  It's given us a strong common bond.'  When the band plays tonight at Mac's Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing, the brothers (along with Stark) anticipate a successful show.  Kyle Kipp said the band is always happy to play in East Lansing.  'I think our music has gone over well in East Lansing compared to other places,' said the Central Michigan University senior.  'They've always respected indie, guitar-driven rock there.  You can expect quality (from our show) - we know what we're doing.  It's a tight show, not too loud.  It's just good old rock 'n' roll.'  One thing Kyle Kipp said is constant with Sin Embargo's audiences at all shows is their age.  He said no matter where the band plays, the band always counts on a young crowd.  'Because our music has a youthful quality to it, it's always appealed to younger kids,' he said.  'We like to play all-ages shows, the kids are very receptive.  All-ages shows are great because people aren't worried about spending their money on beer and impressing women.'  Kyle Kipp, an elementary [sic] education major, said working with younger people in high school and as a guitar teacher has helped him have fun with the band.  'I really enjoy it, it keeps me active musically and it keeps the gears turning,' he said.  'I went into teaching instead of music because I love everything about it.  It leaves a lot of opportunity open to still work in the band.  I've never been held back musically because of teaching.'  Sin Embargo's style of music can be described in many different ways, but Kyle Kipp said he doesn't like to associate it with just one style.  'I try not to fit us into categories, but there's a difference between rockin' rock and not-rockin' rock,' he said.  'Each record is very different, all the songs are quite different.  They're all very up-tempo, energetic.  I like to think we write quality, well-thought-out music.'  On Sin Embargo's third album, Super Fugue, he said he tried to keep the lyrics varied.  'I like to write lyrics that are kind of surreal and open for interpretation,' he said.  'It's based on events that happen in real life, but I like to restructure it to create a surreal universal image of what happened.  I take an event and send it off on a trip.' " - by Shannon Resch. (article also includes a courtesy photo of Kyle from September 1998.)

Flint Journal, "Entertainer", Page B19. (March 5, 1999) - profile article about Sin Embargo:
"Sin Embargo brings raw sound into third album, Super Fugue"
"Lapeer brothers Kyle and Eric Kipp discovered the latest addition to their rock trio thanks in part to luck and a T-shirt.  Kyle Kipp, a senior at Central Michigan University, had been scowering Mt. Pleasant for a suitable drummer.  'A friend of mine I'd jammed with up here worked at a store,' he recalls.  'He knew that we were looking for a drummer ... he saw this guy come in to get a pack of smokes and a Mountain Dew, then noticed he had on a Zildjian shirt.'  Through this casual encounter, Chad Calton was referred to the Kipp brothers to round out Sin Embargo.  The band, founded in August 1992, has released its third musical effort, Super Fugue, and is promoting the album in clubs across mid-Michigan.  Like many band names, Sin Embargo had more than one meaning, in more than one language.  'Eric and I both took several years of Spanish in high school and college.  ('Sin Embargo' is) actually Spanish for the word 'however' or 'nevertheless'.  It has an American translation too, but we translate it in English as kind of condoning the whole word of sin,' explains Kyle, the band's founder and guitarist.  'In this day and age the idea of sin, in the traditional sense, is kind of pointless,' bassist Eric Kipp continues.  'We don't want to be misconstrued as a Christian rock band.'  After starting the band with a second guitarist, Kyle taught Eric the basics of bass and brought his brother aboard in 1992.  'I've been on-the-job training with Sin Embargo since the beginning.  I was drafted into the band, but I'm not hurting for it,' Eric jokes.  In the time since, the brothers have recorded two albums previous to Super Fugue - Nevertheless and Nevertheless (Fixed & Remixed)[What about Underneath ?!?]  They had brought in a new drummer for the second album to 'spruce things up', according to Kyle.  That drummer, Jason Hofer, went on to assist in recording the latest release, then left the band shortly after its completion.  Kyle describes the energetic and aggressive recording best.  'We call it raw, underground rock, a supercharged blues-punk, but definitely rock,' he says.  'We're not totally rock, punk or blues.  Basically we're heavy in some parts, with a really upbeat tempo.  We're not a jam band, we don't do 10 minute Grateful Dead solos.  They're quick tunes that don't repeat like pop songs do.  I guess we have hooks, but we're anti-pop.  It's really quick, but you still get the song.'  The band's stage presence is considered to be a work in progress.  'I think you can gather a sense of humbleness on or off-stage,' Kyle says.  'It's tune after tune live, but with a little calm humor.  We know that our audience is kind of different from everyone else's, and we don't want to compare ourselves to anybody.'  'Some bands try to have an image, sound like Pantera, or Grateful Dead, there's nothing wrong with that.  We just do what we do,' Eric says.  The band is planning a Midwest tour this spring or summer.  The band's CD, Super Fugue, is being distributed at Wyatt Earp Records, the Neverending Story and at Broadway Records in Lake Orion.  Super Fugue is getting airplay at WRXF - FM (103.1) in Lapeer." - by Shawn Humphrey. (article also includes a courtesy group photo from August 1998.)

CMLife, Volume 79, Number 43, page 10-11. (December 5, 1997) - review article about Sin Embargo's December 3, 1997 gig:
"Monkey Chuck provides break before finals"
"Even with term papers due and finals just around the corner, it seems as though it's hard to keep people away from good music. This said, regardless of the show's somewhat ill timing, a decent number of people showed up at Rubbles Wednesday night to check out the sounds of Monkey Chuck and Sin Embargo. The crowd did not thicken totally until after 10:30 p.m. Whether this was due to a sudden revelation that there was actually live music at Rubbles on this Wednesday night, or merely the conclusion of the 32nd rerun of Southpark, no one will ever know. Regardless though, it was about this time that the Mount Pleasant based Sin Embargo took the stage. In a pre-show interview, Eric Kipp of Lapeer, the band's bassist, defined Sin Embargo as a 'raw underground tight rock trio'. And after hearing the band, he wasn't too far off the mark. Sin Embargo brings back the eerily familiar sound of the Seattle grunge scene. However, a bit of fast placed blues (reminiscent of John Spencer) and a definite late 70s rock/metal tinge (much like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath) gives Sin Embargo a spark of originality amongst the much stereotyped 'alternative grunge' sound. Christopher Taylor, Florida sophomore, said the band was dark and driving, but the addition of the bluesy riffs and familiar covers made them less gloomy. 'They sound like early Alice In Chains,' Taylor said. 'Heavy, but not too scary.' The covers Taylor spoke of included favorites such as Violent Femmes 'Blister In The Sun' and a rendition of Hendrix's 'Fire'. Although not totally original, the covers were definitely flavored Sin Embargo style. The evening's headliner Monkey Chuck can be defined simply as perhaps one of the best pure pop acts ever seen in Mount Pleasant. Seldom is a local act driven by the forces of the pop market. Its vocals were catchy. Its riffs were catchy. It had fun on stage. Monkey Chuck was the embodiment of the pop music scene. Its presence on stage was heavy but far from serious. About four or five songs into its first set, guitarist Larry Lowis stepped to the mic and gave a small dissertation on Monkey Chuck as songwriters. 'All four of us are songwriters,' he said. 'And we like to play our own stuff almost exclusively. But ahhh what the hell...' The band then ripped into a truly phenomenal cover of Matthew Sweet's 'Girlfriend.' For those who are not big Sweet fans, let it be made clear that Matt has never sounded this good. The band closed its first set with pure power pop. Its stunning 'Tonite with You' left nearly a dozen drunk fans dancing like fraggles. It was indeed a sight to see." - by Paul Bissa. (article also includes a live photo of Monkey Chuck at Rubble's, by Bryan Bosch of CMLife.)

CMLife, Volume 79, Number 42, page 14. (December 3, 1997) - preview article of Sin Embargo's December 3, 1997 gig:
"Monkey Chuck, Sin Embargo to play Rubbles"
"The power pop band, Monkey Chuck, along with the raw underground rock of Sin Embargo will perform tonight at Rubbles, 112 W. Michigan St. Monkey Chuck is a high-energy pop band out of Kalamazoo. Its powerful melodies and solid harmonies permeate purely through the wide range of the modern pop sound giving an original twist to the ever growing genre. The band has gained national attention due to its recent affiliation with AWARE RECORDS, which has served as the springboard for artists such as the Verve Pipe and Better than Ezra. It's latest CD, Going to Ben's, which was released in October 1996 on Yikes! Records, is described as having a 'Gin Blossoms-meets-the Beatles' sound. Its third album, which is awaiting release sometime next year, will be produced by Brian Vander Ark, singer/songwriter from the fellow Kalamazoo act, The Verve Pipe. Playing with Monkey Chuck will be the local group, Sin Embargo. Featuring two CMU students, Kyle Kipp, Lapeer junior, and Ed Stark, Shepherd sophomore. Sin Embargo's members describe themselves as a combination of the Seattle 'grunge' style and more melodic '70s rock and old school blues. 'I like to call us raw underground rock, a kind of stripped down, post-grunge sound,' said Eric Kipp, of Lapeer, the band's bassist. 'Our music is very raw, us being a three-piece unit, and is far from mainstream, and as Ed (the band's drummer) likes to say, 'It's Rock 'n Roll!'' Formed in 1992, one of the band's main influences is that year's popular sub pop sound, including bands such as Mudhoney and Nirvana. However, the band later diverged into other areas including the blues-based rock of the early '70s and other later punkish sounds. 'Lately we've been playing around with some old blues stuff too, ' Eric Kipp said. 'Like some old John Lee Hooker.' Eric Kipp said those seeing the show should expect a very tight group effort with a raw and gutteral feel. 'In most of our songs the drums and the bass lock together real tightly and then the guitar and the voice just overlays texture,' he said. 'Our songs are very structured.' Sin Embargo's third album, Super Fugue, is due out for an independent release sometime early next year. The show, shortly followed by Monkey Chuck, begins at 10 p.m. For more information about Sin Embargo or Monkey Chuck go to their respective websites: http://www.umcc.umcc.umich.edu/~kipperic/sinembargo/ [sic]  http://www.monkeychuck.com." - by Paul Bissa. (article also includes a courtesy photo of Sin Embargo from September 1997, by Bryan Bosch.)

CMLife, Volume 79, Number 79, page 8. (April 11, 1997) - article about a Sin Embargo (non-) show:
"Centralstock hits campus Saturday. Trio of bands to provide afternoon of entertainment."
"Forget Woodstock. CMU now boasts its own outdoor music festival. Centralstock is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Robinson/Larzelere courtyard. The event, which is free and open to anyone, will feature three live bands: Ecclusiastix, Lt. Dan, and Sin Embargo. Lt. Dan will perform songs from bands like The Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine. They will also play some tunes from the Eighties, along with some original work. Lt. Dan is composed of four members: drummer Doug Hover, Kalamazoo junior; bassist Mike McDonough, Manistique junior; vocalist Shawn Nicholson, Mancelona senior; and guitarist Eric Sander, Mancelona sophomore. McDonough said his band is performing at Centralstock because, 'We love to play and we love to play outside and we love to play with other bands.' Lt. Dan is looking to meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun at Centralstock, McDonough said. Sin Embargo plays mostly upbeat, energetic grunge-core music. They also will play some obscure classic rock and old punk tunes at Centralstock. The trio is composed of drummer Ed Stark, Mount Pleasant junior; guitarist and vocalist Kyle Kipp, Lapeer junior; and bassist Eric Kipp, Lawrence Tech University senior. The band has been together for about four and a half years, during which they have played clubs and bars from Mount Pleasant to Detroit. Sin Embargo also has two recordings, which will be sold at Centralstock along with T-shirts. The band expects to release a third [sic] CD this summer. The bands will perform throughout the day. There will be short breaks to allow the bands time to set up. In addition to the musical entertainment, hot dogs, hamburgers and pop will be available for a small cost. 'Centralstock should be a good time,' said Rob Spencer, Bridgeman sophomore and event coordinator." - by Matthew J. Roberge, Jr. (article also includes a live file photo of Sin Embargo from December 1996...) [Unfortunately, a snow storm canceled this event.]

Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 4L, page 6. (June 1995) - review of Sin Embargo's April 1, 1995 gig:

"I caught three bands at an all-ages show at the Owosso Armory. Dye #9 (featuring former members of Gone Dog) performed energetic, industrial-based, loud, fun, moshing music. Small Planet-caliber, Seattle-meets-Lapeer, rhythm section-driven, loud rockers Sin Embargo followed, powering the biggest, rowdiest mosh pit of the evening with their set-closer, the Violent Femmes' 'Blister In The Sun'. And Glen Related delivered its usual, strong, tight performance, including songs from its CD and newer original 'Head Cheese'." - by Geoff Wilbur.

Riff Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 6 & 18. (December 1994) - a slightly erroneous article from a band interview done on October 19, 1994:
"Lapeer Band Awaits Release of Second Album" (article also includes group photo of the band...)
Sin Embargo, an alternative trio from the Lapeer-Elba area, will be releasing their second cassette sometime in December or January [sic]. The trio, consisting of Kyle Kipp, 19 [sic], on guitar and vocals, Eric Kipp, 20, on bass, and Jason Hofer, 21, on drums and back-up vocals, can often be found performing at The Portal, a Lapeer teen center, and occasionally at Flint's Capital Theater. [not any more!] The group was formed two years ago by the Kipp brothers. Hofer was added to the group in November, 1993. Prior to that, the brothers mostly used drummers from other bands for their gigs, having searched in vain for a solid drummer to work with on a regular basis. "Peer musicians are hard to find in Lapeer. When Jason entered the band, that's when we really got it together," explained Kyle. "We were using session drummers, and not having a full time drummer really wore on us. We'd practice once with the drummer who was doing the show and hope he got the material down." The group had been using a variety of drummers for about a year when Hofer came to the rescue one night. "One night we were playing a show and we had gone on first because our session drummer had to leave early to do a show in Saginaw. We thought we'd played a horrible show, but the second band sucked so bad people wanted us to go back up," said Kyle. The brothers began working their way through the crowd, asking if they knew of any drummers that were in the building. Acting on a tip from an audience member, Kyle approached Jason and asked him to sit in for a set. "I hadn't drummed in a few years at that point," said Hofer, explaining that he'd gotten away from percussion after taking up guitar. A quick conference determined that all three knew quite a few Nirvana tunes, so they threw together a set list, plugged in and took off. "The catch phrase for that show was 'we pulled it off'," laughed Eric, the most low-key member of the group. While none were particularly happy with the overall sound that night, both Kyle and Eric were impressed enough with Jason's drumming to call him the next week, inviting him to jam some more. "I think what really got us was we'd pulled this gig off with a kid [sic] we'd just sort of 'found'. We'd never even practiced with him and he was drumming better than a lot of the session drummers we'd practiced with," said Kyle. Jason recalls he had been going to The Portal more frequently, hoping to get to know more of the area's musicians. "I remember at that point I was looking to be in a band, no matter what instrument I had to play," he said. Although the group looks upon their band as a hobby more or less, Eric and Jason did attend a music business seminar in Chicago in May. The seminar gave them some valuable insight into how to promote the band. In working at building a respectable following, they have found their most valuable marketing tool is logo stickers, which has definitely increased their public profile. The group's first self-produced cassette Nevertheless, was recorded using a Fostex X-28 four-track recorder before Hofer joined the group. A "Fixed & Remixed" version, re-engineered by Hofer, features 15 [sic] songs penned mostly by Kyle and Eric. The exception is the tune "Library", written and played entirely by Hofer. Their original music ranges from heavier sounding hard rock to upbeat alternative style tunes to instrumentals with a mellow or bluesy feel. With their second recording project, a nine song album recorded at Duck Ankles Studio in Almont, Michigan, the trio gets a helping hand from Rob Newman, entertainment coordinator for The Portal. Newman, who owns Tri-Ball Productions, is shouldering most of the album's production cost and is the album's executive producer. The album will be a nice souvenir to remember the band by, since 1995 will bring many changes to the lives of this trio of rockers, and Sin Embargo will in all likelihood disband [NOT!!], except for the occasional weekend jam session or reunion gig. Kyle will graduate next year from Lapeer West High School and will head for Central Michigan University in the fall. Eric plans to transfer from UM-Flint to Lawrence Tech in Southfield, Michigan to complete his civil engineering studies; and Jason hopes to study music [sic] engineering at Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts [sic] in Orlando, Florida. - by Laurie LaCross-Jones.

Last modified on June 26, 2016.

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