Michael Kane & the Morning Afters wanna ‘Tear This World Apart’
Worcester’s favorite sons give it all for a life of rock and roll on their new single out Friday, November 12 via State Line Records
Michael Kane & the Morning Afters’ debut album ‘Broke But Not Broken’ set for release in early 2022
BOSTON, MASS. [NOVEMBER 12, 2021] -- Sometimes you gotta give it all for rock and roll. Sometimes you gotta give it all for yourself. And sometimes, you have no choice but to give it all for both.
Michael Kane & the Morning Afters know this all too well, and the favorite sons of Worcester deliver on a promise to themselves and the world around them in new single “Tear This World Apart,” streaming everywhere on Friday, November 12 via State Line Records. This new single follows March’s “Carol Kaye,” and both tracks will be included on the band’s forthcoming debut album, Broke But Not Broken, set for release in early 2022.
In fact, “Tear This World Apart” won’t just be featured on the record -- it kicks off the damn thing, with Kane and his band drenching their worn-in, heart-on-sleeve rock and roll into the weathered waters of Americana. In addition to the Morning Afters laying down the grit, the track features backing harmonies by Helen Shelden, and Worcester’s own James Lynch on guitar -- as Kane is a longtime confidant of Lynch’s pre-Dropkick Murphys band, The Westies.
“Well I’ve always operated on a pretty limited emotional bandwidth as far as sharing emotions,” says Kane. “With this song, and album, I decided to sort of let my guard down and wrote a pretty autobiographical record. This is the first song I wrote for it, and I wrote it as the intro to the record.”
The song was first written by Kane, sitting on his bed with an acoustic guitar on his lap and his dog by his side, and it quickly evolved into an impactful piece of music after bringing it to the Morning Afters. But in truth, the song has been in Kane’s head for decades, tracing back to his youth -- hearing his parents fighting when he was a kid, late nights spent listening to the radio, and studying rock and roll like it was a homework assignment -- and connecting to some of the modern day problems he’s been grappling with, like recurring health issues, multiple surgeries, and a recent divorce.
“The last verse in the song is like, ya know, everyone’s life is like a biopic except some people chase dreams and some don’t,” Kane admits. “If I’m gonna give it a swing, I’m gonna GIVE IT A BIG SWING. I don’t care that I’m in my mid-40s and rock and roll is supposed to be a young person’s game. I wanted to cast that all aside in my head and just take a swing. We are a band that is ready to just give it all we got -- in the studio, on stage, anywhere.”
A sharp trajectory in sound for Michael Kane & the Morning Afters has brought them to this new record, following up 2016’s Adding Insult To Industry and 2017’s Laughing At The Shape I’m In with a fine-tuned lineup and a dedicated focus to reach beyond the usual confinements of punk and whatever passes for rock and roll on the radio these days. The end result is a record that reflects Kane’s life, but also his upbringing in listening to the music that helped shape a generational identity.
“Well, since I started the band as a four-piece in 2016, it’s really just been in the ‘blueprint’ to emulate my heroes,” Kane says. “I knew one day I needed keys in the band. If you want a rock and roll band you need keys. I mean even ‘Personality Crisis’ from the New York Dolls -- that piano right there, they were a rock and roll band not a punk band! To me anyway. Joe Ferraro joining the band was the shift. He manages to fill some space that we were always trying to fill with guitar.”
Kane adds: “Also this is the first time we’ve really had people outside the band play. James [Lynch] added a swagger to the song with his playing that just wasn’t there on the original demo. Helen [Sheldon] on harmonies was a no brainer, she’s such a great and accomplished singer. All I had to do was put the pieces together.”
Those pieces go on to shape Broke But Not Broken, already set up to be one of the best albums of the new year, an arena rock-ready, gritty Americana masterpiece that’ll be a staple of all the bars and dirty rock clubs from here to your hometown. “Tear This World Apart” and “Carol Kaye” are just the start. But the message is impactful.
“‘Tear This World Apart’ is like, ‘You know what, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna give this my all’. These are both very positive songs,” Kane says. “And ‘Carol Kaye’ was the last song written for the record, I just snuck it on it. It’s me saying no matter who you agree with, or what your stance is, everyone is just doing their version of what THEIR BEST is. Everyone is just trying to get by and do their best.”
And with a little bit of dedication, the best is yet to come.
‘Tear This World Apart’ single artwork:
Photo: Douglas Sullivan
Concept and arrangement: Michael Kane
Michael Kane & the Morning Afters are:
Michael Kane - Electric and acoustic guitars
Franklin Siplas - Electric guitar
Timmy Weagle - Bass
Jeff Hoey - Drums
Joe Ferraro - Piano and keyboards
Additional Musicians on ‘Tear This World Apart’:
James Lynch - Lead electric guitar
Roger Lavallee - Electric guitar
Helen Sheldon - Harmonies and background vocals
Michael Kane & the Morning Afters bio:
Michael Kane & The Morning Afters might be the favorite sons of Worcester, but what does it mean to be kings of a town that lost its crown? It means the path forward can be done on the band’s own terms. And so no one told Michael Kane & The Morning Afters that they couldn’t make an album that doubled as an arena rock-ready, gritty Americana masterpiece.
And so they did, in their forthcoming 2022 album, Broke But Not Broken, issued by State Line Records.
Previews into this new world have come in two parts this year. First, through the weathered soul of March’s “Carol Kaye,” glistening through the false hope that springs eternal across New England as the snow begins to melt. And now, just as the colder weather starts to set in once again, through November’s “Tear This World Apart.”
The second single from Broke But Not Broken is the autobiographical mission statement of Michael Kane & The Morning Afters. Kane missed the rock and roll experience in his younger years, and so “Tear This World Apart” asks if it’s still possible to have those times later in life after a life spent thinking about it. Can a band of elder rock and roll misfits tear this world apart? With a little guest help from Worcester’s James Lynch on guitar -- Kane a longtime confidant of Lynch’s pre-Dropkick Murphys band The Westies -- and Helen Shelden on harmonies, Michael Kane & The Morning Afters deliver the single that could make it happen.
But like any notable news of the now, to understand it one must go back to the start. Kane assembled The Morning Afters in 2016 after years of sitting on the sidelines and watching his friends succeed with music. Kane put his beautiful loser persona to song and began to showcase the serious potential that spent a lifetime trapped in his own body. Michael Kane and The Morning Afters released Laughing at the Shape I’m In on a 7-inch EP through State Line Records in 2017, and in the process became the house band at The Hotel Vernon in Kelley Square.
Wearing the crown of the Heart of The Commonwealth, The Morning Afters began to play live all over New England and the Northeast. They’ve supported Street Dogs and Off With Their Heads, repped Worcester with pride at the Bosstones’ 2018 Cranking & Skanking Festival, and brought their heart-on-sleeve grit n’ wisdom down to The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.
Somewhere along the way, this band of punk scene lifers evolved into a full-blown Americana band, the end result in bloom on Broke But Not Broken. The Morning Afters retain a lot of their early Replacements influence, but enhance it with musical DNA from all over the rock n’ roll map. The result is something that’s all their own, but cast in the stories we’ve all heard growing up. In 2022, these stories will become part of folklore, in Worcester, and beyond.
‘Tear This World Apart’ credits:
Written by Michael Kane
Recorded by Roger Lavallee at Wachusett Recording in Princeton, MA
Mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak in Allston, MA
Mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering in Portland, ME
‘Tear This World Apart’ photo by Douglas Sullivan
‘Tear This World Apart’ cover concept and arrangement by Michael Kane