Fans in 60 countries have seen the viral video for rocker Lordd Virgil’s hit song “Flint, Michigan” thanks to You Tube and the rocker is preparing to hit the road.
This week, Flint’s own Lordd Virgil signed an exclusive booking agreement with DMI Entertainment Group, a national booking agency, for a 35-city US tour this summer.
“We had to start working with DMI Entertainment Group,” Lordd Virgil said with a smile. “Our virtual video for ‘Flint, Michigan’ has already toured the world without us, so we needed to catch up.”
Lordd Virgil (Vocals, rhythm guitar) recently recorded “Flint, Michigan” with Mark Stevens (Lead guitar), Rob Johannis (Bass) and Tony Smith (Drums) at The Loft in Saline, MI, with help from studio owner / producer Andy Patalan (Sponge, Taproot, Throttlebody) who engineered the project.
Thanks to social media outlets like You Tube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, fans in 60 countries have discovered the video for “Flint, Michigan” and the tune has now become the song heard around the world.
“The support has been overwhelming,” Lordd Virgil said. “In the beginning, it was mainly people from Michigan, but now I’m hearing from fans everywhere about how the song feels familiar to their town too. People are adopting the song and it’s becoming a soundtrack for many cities that have fallen into economic ruin.”
The video is quickly resonating as an anthem that speaks not only to the dire economic situation in Flint, Michigan, but cities nationwide.
The song combines a nostalgic sadness for what Flint has been, a quiet resignation to the state of Flint today and a fatalistic acceptance that, no matter what, Virgil will someday die there too.
The inspiration for the song came to Lordd Virgil when he attended the funeral for his musical mentor and local legend Gary Buckner in 2008.
As Virgil followed in the funeral procession, he watched as the hearse drove down a street littered with dozens of huge potholes and heaving pieces of broken pavement.
“Cracked up pavement, cracked up sidewalk,” the song would later begin.
Then, as Lordd Virgil continued to drive to the cemetery, he realized how sad it was that the dignity of a funeral procession, with a car that could have been built in Flint no less, should be overshadowed by the decaying neighborhood in a haunted city that that felt like it too was dying.
“As I was walking back from the mausoleum after the ceremony, I realized that I knew more people under the ground than above the ground,” Lordd Virgil explained.
The thought remained with Lordd Virgil as he recalled his deep-seeded roots in Flint. Seven generations of his family and some of his friends are buried there.
His grandfather and two of his uncles were among the original sit-downers at Fisher Body #1 during the famous strike in 1936-1937.
His parents, both of whom worked at the plant, would later meet there and were married in 1968.
Lordd Virgil was born in Flint and despite all of the tragedy and hardships he has faced there, he still loves Flint. Home is home.
The result of all of his soul searching was “Flint, Michigan”, a sort of artistic testament to the city that he loves.
Lordd Virgil created a video for the song based on a collage of stark images from the city’s history.
The video initially debuted with a whimper but then people started to share the link and repost the video.
The plays multiplied and, before he knew it, the video was generating up to several hundred plays per day.
In the blink of an eye, the video was being watched in over 46 countries with over 25,000 plays and things have just kept growing from there as the song has gotten more and more press.
But Lordd Virgil is more than an internet sensation and the band is no stranger to the music industry.
Multi-platinum, award-winning producer John Hughes II (George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, David Sanborn) produced the band’s second album “Anno Domini”.
The videos for “Tip of My Tongue” and “Inside”, both from “Anno Domini”, garnered NME Shockwave Video Awards.
“Tip of My Tongue” also generated airplay throughout Europe and became a top-ten hit in Milan, Italy.
Lordd Virgil and his band are currently working on getting their latest album out, which will include the “Flint, Michigan” song as well as more songs that deal with tales of overcoming adversity that are drawn from Lordd Virgil’s own life stories.
Lordd Virgil will be playing a tour kickoff show in Chesterfield Township at New York New York on Friday, July 8 before the band heads out on their Summer tour.
The show is 21+ and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.
They can be purchased at http://www.dmientertainmentgroup.cjb.net/