After they all broke off to “see what more there was to life” in 2012 following seven years of steady touring and recording, the members of the high-wiry Twin Cities rock band Tapes 'n Tapes now have one of their day jobs to thank for bringing them back together.
“It seemed like as good an excuse as any,” frontman Josh Grier said of the fact that bassist Erik Appelwick now works at Dual Citizen Brewery, which will host their group’s first advertised don’t-call-it-a-reunion reunion gig at its Blocktoberfest party Saturday.
The St. Paul brewery – right on the edge of Minneapolis off University and Raymond Avenues (hence its “dual” name) -- has even brewed up an IPA named after Tapes 'n Tapes ahead of Saturday’s bash. The party will also feature Heiruspecs, Alex Rossi and more (11 a.m.-7 p.m., free).
Grier’s hooky, spazzy quartet became one of the Twin Cities’ buzziest bands of the late-2000s when its Appelwick-produced, self-released debut album “The Loon” earned viral attention and was quickly re-released via XL Recordings. He and the gang proceeded to crank out two more strong albums and tours across both oceans.
“One year we played like 200 shows,” Grier marveled. “We were all really exhausted and just wanted to stop touring for a while. In the moment, it was exciting and crazy. Now, it feels like it hasn't been that long, but also feels like it was a lifetime ago.”
In the interim, Grier dropped an album with a new project called Ginkgo and went back to work full-time as a data analyst, a job he kept up throughout much of TNT’s run. Keyboardist Matt Kretzman started his own construction company. Appelwick (also known from the Hopefuls) made another Vicious Vicious album. And drummer Jeremy Hanson kept steadily gigging with the likes of the Cactus Blossoms, Haley and Frankie Lee, often alongside his guitarist brother Jacob.
Tapes ’n Tapes’ hiatus wasn’t meant to last seven years, but personal matters took charge in Grier’s life in that time. His wife Keri Wiese – also Tapes ’n Tapes’ manager -- has battled leukemia in recent years, which “took away the focus and energy I’d need to get the band up and running again,” he said.
Wiese is doing great now, and apparently so is the band. They earned raves again off a secret show at the 331 Club a few weeks ago.
“The songs were a little hard to remember again, but once we got past that it’s been all smiles and fun,” raved Grier, who plans to also play a few new tunes at Saturday’s show.
So it’s definitely more than just a reunion gig then.