Home may be where the heart is, but according to Dan Zott of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., it’s also where the party is.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., which is made up of Zott and fellow Metro Detroiter, Josh Epstein, is currently on the final leg of a 22-show tour, which will end this weekend with back-to-back shows at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac.
“We can taste home,” Zott said. “But we aren’t quite there yet. It’s always exciting at the end of a tour, because it’s like a big party. The fact that (the last shows) are in Detroit is even better. Not all of our last gigs are home.”
Zott said that the Detroit shows will not only be special because they are a homecoming of sorts, but because fans will get a chance to see some new local bands.
“They are going to be some crazy special nights,” Zott said.
On Saturday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be supported by Detroit bands Flint Eastwood and Friendship Park, then on Sunday they will get support from Detroit band, Javelins and Flint’s Tunde Olaniran.
“We’ve got some great bands opening up for us,” Zott said. “Friendship Park is great and Flint Eastwood is one of the best acts to come out of Detroit in a long time. We’re also really pumped to play with Tunde Olaniran and Javelins. They are all solid musicians.”
In addition, longtime fans of Zott and Epstein will get a special treat- both will play with their old bands.
“It’s going to be a really great time,” Zott said. “On Saturday, my old band, The Great Fiction, will get back together to play a song. Then, on Sunday, Josh will play a tune with his band, The Silent Years. It’s going to be like a huge homecoming party.”
Zott said that so far, the tour has been great and it’s only gotten better.
“The first leg of the tour was decent,” he said. “But the second leg has been really fantastic. We’ve been selling out a lot of shows and really playing to some great crowds.”
The band has been playing tunes from its most recent album, The Speed of Things, which was released last year. But it has also been trying out some new things on the road.
“We’re getting a chance to play some songs that we haven’t ever played live before,” Zott said. “And that’s always fun.”
The band, which can’t really be filed in the up-and-comer category, but still hasn’t quite reached mainstream pop stardom, is getting more and more exposure lately. In September of this year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. released the song James Dean to Spotify. In less than three months, the song has been streamed almost a million times.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Zott said. “It’s been getting played a lot on Spotify, and people seem to like it. That is our fastest growing song so far, so that’s really encouraging.”
The band is also getting ready to release a new album. In fact, Zott said he and Epstein took a little time away from their current tour to record some tracks.
“We actually took like a week off in the middle of the tour to go to LA and record,” he said. “It was really nice to get back into the studio and take a little break from the road.”
Zott said he and Epstein will finish up recording the new album in December, and hope to be done with it completely in January.
“If everything runs smoothly, we should be done with it mid-January and be on track for an early-summer release,” he said.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at The Crofoot on Saturday, Nov. 22nd and Sunday, Nov. 23. Doors at 7 p.m.