When Anthony Lai first heard the Beatles in sixth grade, he decided two things: He loved the band, and he wanted to perform music.
Years later, the lifelong Dearborn resident now holds several music-related degrees, teaches music courses at Henry Ford Community College—and just released his first EP with the Anthony Lai Band.
HFCC was also the setting for the band's coming together; Lai met keyboardist Bonnie Schippling while in music classes there, and added bassist Nick Kischuk, guitarist Joe Giese and drummer Anthony Fiolek while teaching at the school.
“I teach recording techniques and …. (they) were my students and just blew me away,” Lai said.
True to his roots, Lai describes the band’s sound as “Beatles-esque.”
“There are more contemporary elements,” he explained, “but the general vibe is very ‘60s—a lot of vocal harmony.”
Dearborn fans of Lai’s music are lucky: The lead singer and guitarist of the band plays solo shows often at the Dearborn Farmers Market, adding musical flare to the weekly outdoor event in the Muirhead Plaza.
This Friday, Lai said he hopes to bring the whole band out to the market to perform, and celebrate the release of Behind the Sun, Pt. 1.
Can’t make it to the market? Catch the band Nov. 16 at Simon’s in Allen Park for their first real show in quite some time, according to Lai.
“We have not gigged in about a year because this project was very intense in the studio,” he added.
Now that the first part of the release is out—with the second expected in about a year—Lai said they hope to play more shows, and to host a record release party.
“We’re definitely looking to start gigging again.”
Pick up Behind the Sun, Pt. 1 now on iTunes, and on anthonylaimusic.com. Hard copies of the CD are expected to be out soon, and will be available at all Anthony Lai Band shows, as well as at Dearborn Music.