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Detroit Red Wings' Darren McCarty Grinds Out Punk Tunes
Wednesday March 23, 2005 @ 12:00 PM
By: Staff


With the National Hockey League lockout still in full effect still, Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty isn't in Europe making bucket loads of cash and stealing roster spots from chumps already on a team.

And no, he isnít toiling in some Southeastern-Coastal-Atlantic-North American-or whatever-Hockey League for scraps of money and stealing roster spots from chumps already on a team.

Heís not golfing, either. Heck, the man isnít even working out, really.

No, the beauty of Darren McCartyís cancelled 2004-05 season lies in the fact that instead of digging deep into hockey's second tier pro leagues, heís traded in his hockey gloves for sex, booze and rock Ďní roll!

Itís true. His aptly-named band Grinder are the latest garage rock punk outfit to be birthed from the grungy, hallowed rock Ďní roll womb of Detroit. You donít want to go into a corner with these guys.

"We started the band in 1997 after an automobile accident involving two Red Wings teammates of mine, Vladimir Konstantinov and Viacheslav Fetisov, and one of our trainers, Sergei Mnatsakanov," says McCarty. "A lot of local bands in the area form a very tight-knit community, and they wanted to put a compilation CD together to raise money for Vladimir and Sergei. And everyone thought it would be a great idea to start a band together and have me front it and write a song and put it on the album to help raise money. So we did that and it worked out. We sold some records and made some money for the guys. Since then we played a couple of times, just getting together and messing around.

"Then, after we won [the Stanley Cup] in 2002, we were messing around at the Cup party Kid Rock had thrown for us and we thought this might be fun to do again. So we got the boys together and played for a bit and decided we wanted to continue doing this hopefully to write our own stuff and see what we can do. We recorded our first album in the fall of 2002 and started playing a bit more each summer. Now, this year without hockey Iíve been able to focus a lot more on the music."

McCarty is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, but it's the scoring he's doing with Grinder that's making the headlines these days. In the next few days, Grinder will be featured prominently as part of Exclaim! Hockey Summit, a hockey tournament made up of musicians and arts-oriented teams from across Canada.

McCarty will actually hit the ice for the Rubber Road Records team for a game on Friday (itís the least he can do since they are putting Grinderís record out) and Grinder will perform at Toronto's Lee's Palace to kick off the tourney on Thursday.

It seems this music thing is working out for McCarty. He's still not ready to hang up the skates though.

"Yeah, hockeyís my day job," McCarty says, rather sheepishly. "But Iím hoping to get everything into place so that when my hockey career is over I can jump right into the music."

Also of major interest to you, the reader, should be Chart Magazineís own entry in this yearís Summit ó the ChartAttack Hack Hockey Team. Show the Hack your love by showing up to the games for support. You can find out more about when the Hack play and who they are by surfing to

Grinder's tour dates:

  • March 24 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace w/The Chickens
  • March 25 Toronto, ON @ De La Salle Arena, 1 p.m. Rubber Roads Records (featuring members of Grinder) vs. Cloak & Dagger Choir Boys
  • March 25 Toronto, ON @ The Drake
  • March 26 Amherstburg, ON @ Uncle Vito's Rhythm Kitchen

    óBrian Pascual

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