Mark Farner may be estranged from Grand Funk. But The Ides of March are delighted have him as the most notable guest star on their latest album, Play On. He joined forces with frontman Jim Peterik on the first single (and video) "Swagger."
The song is about people "with attitude," not just the two vocalists, but other icons ranging from Mick Jagger to John Wayne, John Travolta, Sean Connery and even Popeye!
Jim Peterik talked about the ties to Mark Farner reach back to when The Ides of March opened for Grand Funk:
"He was our hero ever since we toured with them in the early '70s. They were, of course, the biggest band in the world. We were were opening for them. And I would look at Mark and go, 'This guy is a rock god. No shirt, a fringed vest, just shredding it. And it is kind of a meeting of the minds. 'Swagger,' if you hear it, it's got a little bit of 'American Band' in there. It's got a lot of 'Vehicle,' the horn riff is very signature Ides of March. The video is really kind of cute."
Other guests on Play On include Ambrosia founder David Pack and Cathy Richardson, a protege of Peterik, who now sings with Jefferson Starship.
Jim Peterik says The Ides of March are true to their '70s roots, but don't want to just live in the past:
"You know, we're trying to make a mark and say, 'Look, we love the past, but we're still making great music. And the music kind of has the trademarks of the Ides: the big brass, the harmonies, the, hopefully, meaningful, motivational lyrics and that's really what the Ides are about."