BY JAMES COOK
TRAVERSE CITY — Danny Alexander recently had a run-in with a fan he'd like to forget.
And while he says the fans in Traverse City can get a little rowdy, he doesn't expect that to be an issue at Rehab's Oct. 26 show at Streeters.
The alternative hip-hop band — although classifying their genre is difficult — returns to Traverse City just a few weeks after Alexander was confronted by a drunk fan on stage at a show in Fargo, N.D.
"I don't know if he was a fan at all," said Alexander, the band's lead singer. "We do this thing where we're dedicating a certain song to the troops. And right after we got through with the song, the guy comes running up, going, 'Ya'll ----ing suck! Play better songs!' Me and him got in a verbal altercation in which he spit on me. ... I jumped off the stage and hit him a couple times. I didn't beat his a-- by any means. I just hit him in the eye a couple times.
"It's not what I'm there to do at all."
The band stopped playing for several minutes, but returned to the stage to do six more songs to finish their set.
"It was unfortunate," Alexander said. "And then he called the papers and a bunch of things like that. I don't know what he was thinking. Like he's going to get a bunch of money or something? We're not Kid Rock. We don't have that kind of money. I've had worse black eyes when I was 6 years old. I'm not a cage fighter, you know what I mean?"
Even Alexander doesn't quite know what genre to call Rehab, which is best known for hit songs "Bartender Song (Sittin' At A Bar)" and "It Don't Matter," both of which hit the top 20 on the U.S. alternative charts.
"I grew up listening to all kinds of music," Alexander said. "I came into this whole thing as just an MC. Then you drink enough and you think you can sing. And then you drink a little more and you really believe it.
"And just being on different labels — the labels will push you toward different things. A lot of things we didn't necessarily want to do completely got out and people really dug it. I may have been second-guessing it the whole time. You never know. At this point in the game, it's about making a good song.
"The genre thing for a band like us has gone out the window."
The band's name was inspired from where its original members — Alexander, Jason "Brooks" Buford and Denny Campbell — met.
"Denny was going to (Alcoholics) Anonymous meetings and asked me to go along and Brooks was there," said Alexander, who himself was just coming off some trouble with the law, and had been in boot camp. "After the meeting let out, I was out in the parking lot drinking some beer in the car and they came out. That's how we met and we kicked it off and started hanging out."
The Traverse City appearance will be one of their first without the luxury of the brand new tour bus they've been traveling in this year.
Partnering with SoYouWrite.com — which Alexander calls a sort of Facebook for song writers — they embarked on the "Red, White & Booze" tour in support of their 2012 album, "Gullible's Travels." However, that tour ends Saturday, so they'll be back to touring in a van when they stop in Traverse City.
He said the biggest advantage of a tour bus over vans is being able to drive all night without stopping to sleep in hotels.
"It's a much sweeter experience to be on the bus," Alexander said.
However, that doesn't mean he's not looking forward to the stop in northern Michigan, sandwiched around stops in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dayton, Ohio.
"A couple of times, it's been as cold as hell, but it's always a great venue, great club and the crowd's always rowdy up in Michigan, no matter where you go," Alexander said. "They seem to respond well to what we do. I look forward to it every time."