Brenda Loomis - Interview for BackStage Pass

Brenda Loomis Band on BackStage Pass debuts Sunday, January 27, at 7 p.m. on WKAR-TV. Here's an extended excerpt from the BackStage Pass interview.

Brenda Loomis being interviewed by BackStage Pass producer Mike Mihalus with the BackStage Pass crew.
Credit w.r. richards / WKAR

Brenda Loomis Band
BackStage Pass interview with
Brenda Loomis
Interviewed by WKAR producer Mike Mihalus
August 2012

How did the band start?

Well, we've been together for about two years, all of us have been seasoned musicians for about twenty years. I went to school with the drummer and just by word of mouth three other guys in the band are long time friends, about thirty years. So, just talking, "Hey, we have a singer, we have a drummer, let's get together and practice." So we got a good thing going and we thought let's go out and play.

About Ronny Star (guitars)

Ronny Star is the serious guy that sits there and doesn't smile a whole lot, but he plays the steel guitar, the rhythm guitar, the lead guitar, he is a phenomenal musician and when you least expect it, he'll jump up on his steel and start dancing. But he's very, very good. He's from Lansing, Michigan.

About Bob Kotter (bass)

Bob Kotter, he's from Lansing. He's been playing bass for 20 years. Started in gospel music. And he's the big guy, you wouldn't think he would really move around a lot, but he jumps out when you least expect it and starts dancing with people and gets the crowd going and that usually breaks the ice.

About Stacy Hill (drums)

Stacy Hill is our drummer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. And he's definitely the foundation of our band. I went to school with Stacy, so we've got a lot in common there. He's a good singer. If the party looks like it's kind of at a lull, Stacy will pick it up and he's the life of the party.

About Claiborne Stewart (multi-instrumentalist)

Claiborne Stewart is from Lansing [and] Harrison, and he's the Grizzly Adams, the [quiet one]. He just comes out of nowhere, but he's very very talented. He lives a simple life, but he brings the blues side, the jazz side to our band: sax, guitar, mandolin, whatever instrument is missing, he will pick it up. He's very talented.

About Paul Loomis (keyboards)

Paul Loomis is my husband, and that's another way we got started. Paul and I have done music for about 17 years together. He's from the little town of Ithaca, Michigan. And he's a songwriter, usually the manager of the band and he's a lot of the front spokesperson. Get's the crowd going, feels what's going on that night, or wherever we're playing, and he's a big asset to the band.

What's the band's personality?

This band is high energy. We usually read what's going on -- if it looks like there's a lot of kids, we'll cater to the kids, we'll have them on stage with us, we'll play some of their music. We have originals, but we also have covers, which we're very seasoned, experienced, I guess. [We've] been around a long, long time and, just, we read the crowd. It's more about what's out there instead of what's all about us. I like to interact with everybody.

About the music

Our music is country. We do a little bit of blues, a little bit of classic rock. Mostly country. I grew up on a farm, actually we sang with no music. Three of us did just a pitch pipe harmony, power harmony is probably our biggest asset in our band. If there's no electricity, we could still do a show, because we have the harmony going on.

What's the best part about being on stage?

The reaction of people. The best part about being on the stage is the reaction of the crowd. This is kind of on a serious note, but if I can watch, you like to bring out an emotion in someone, because everyone speaks through music. That's a language we all have in common and to me, if someone is crying, it just means that it touched something really really deep inside of somebody. And not in a bad way, but just, you know you delivered it and a lot of songs do that to me.

What makes a good performance?

What makes a good performance is, I guess, the reaction of the crowd. Everybody feeling good. You know, we work during the day, a lot of us do, and you have to separate yourself from that to this and when you come out and you see the looks on people's faces, your job is to interact with them. You know, we're all people and we all have bad days, good days whatever. My thing is separate all that, this is the time to all be one in music.