Co-founder Wayne Kramer is finally ready to release MC5 new album, their first since 1971’s High Times.

Heavy Lifting will arrive in early 2024, at least two years after its original planned launch date. The LP features Slash, Tom Morello, Vernon Reid, William DuVall and others in guest slots. Drummer Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson – the only other original member still alive – is heard on two tracks.

Kramer wrote 15 songs with current MC5 frontman Brad Brooks, recorded demos in 2022, and played them to producer Bob Ezrin. “Bob said ‘These are terrific – you’re making a new MC5 record!’” Kramer tells Mojo. “I hadn’t thought of that, but I said, ‘You could be right.’ [Then] we said, ‘Hell, let’s make this record.’”

As for the extended delay, Kramer joked: “Some bands need a little time between records. I needed a lot of time between records!” He said Donald Trump’s presidency and the effects of the pandemic were creative influences. “I know myself well enough to know that the treatment for my meaninglessness was to take creative action.”

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The goal was “to kind of pick up where we left off with High Time – pushing music forward, carrying a message of self-efficacy and empowerment – and just to have fun,” the guitarist said. “It’s all in the MC5. Creativity is the solution for the challenges we face.”

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Kramer described Heavy Lifting as “a guitar extravaganza,” adding that he “put everybody to work” on the music: “Everyone and yours truly, all bashin’ away on electric guitars. That’s my goal – to overload the guitar.”

As for those who may argue that the new material can’t compare to MC5’s early era, Kramer responded: “They’re right. It’s not the same. We are not living in 1968. We’re in the era that we’re in, and one has to address that. In all art, you have to answer the question: ‘So what? Why should I care?’”

He said in the end, he “made the best music I possibly could. The MC5 has been the main concourse, the main roadway, for my creativity for just about my entire life. I hope I’m true to the spirit of the band. It’s important from the fans’ perspective, and from my personal perspective, to honor the legacy and my partners when I was a young man. … It’s worth celebrating.”

A world tour is being planned, while Kramer predicted another album will follow Heavy Lifting.

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff