Wag The Dog
Wag The Dog is a Metro Detroit based band focused on entertaining its audiences through an eclectic musical set list. As music fans themselves, they know people listen to a wide variety of music and that is why Wag The Dog plays crowd pleasing cover songs from such genres as Rock, Pop, Motown, and today’s hits.
Their musical goal is to be there for any audience and they want everyone to have fun, dance and sing along to hits from the past and present. Wag The Dog’s band members are passionate when they perform and know that great performances start with great crowds. Anyone can play music, but great music transports the audience and leaves everyone energized after the show. Through a mix of high energy rock and dance songs, this band has something for everyone.
When forming the band, Brad’s dream was to create a high energy band that plays songs from many genres and decades that will get all ages up dancing and enjoying themselves. This current band line up is the culmination of that dream and it seems to get better every time they play. Brad loves all types of music but his favorite music comes from the 70s especially with the horn driven bands such as Chicago, EW&F, Tower of Power, and AWB.
Brad plays a Yamaha Tour Custom series 5 piece drum kit with all Yamaha hardware. He uses Aquarian Performance II heads on the toms, an Aquarian Super Kick II head on the kick, and an Evans Genera Dry head on the snare. All of his crash and ride cymbals are Zildjian A Series Avedis and his hi hats are Zildjian A Series New Beats.
Guitarist and Keyboardist Jeff “What are these black keys for?” Bonin started playing the piano and organ at a young age but later picked up the guitar after hearing his first Aerosmith album from his older sister’s collection of rock and metal LPs. Soon he was influenced by hard rock and metal music of that time and spent his teen years playing Metallica, Gun’s ‘n Roses, Aerosmith, and other rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s. He’s experimented in playing many different kinds of music over the years from blues and jazz on the guitar to electronic music on the computer. In addition to playing music, he also enjoys woodworking and loves to cross the two by making custom amp cabinets and heads.
On the keys, Jeff plays a Roland FA-06 workstation. As far as the six strings go, he plays several guitars with his favorites being a rewired Fender Modern Player’s Plus Telecaster and an Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus. The current rig consists of a Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 36 head with a custom cabinet. The pedal board is kept simple with a Boss DD-500 delay and a Fulltone OCD. The rest is up to the Meister!
Lead singer Justin “What Year Did This Come Out?” Brandt joined Wag the Dog in 2016 when he responded to what he though was a dating ad on Craigslist. Though he was classically trained in high school, Justin quickly fell in love with the pop, rock, and metal genres and began to sing and play in groups of many different sounds and styles. After playing small acoustic sets in local restaurants and bars, he decided to turn his attention towards vocals and songwriting and one of his bands, post-hardcore group Aeris, was nominated for Best Rock Group in the 2013 Detroit Music Awards.
He is very influenced by the rock/pop/punk vocalists of the early-mid 2000’s, but thankfully, his wardrobe is not. Aside from music, Justin is an avid Detroit Tigers fan (sad face) and can often be found nerdily typing away at his keyboard while elbow-deep in a five pound bag of raw almonds. During the day he works in a leasing office for an apartment community in Ypsilanti, where he spends most of his time sending emails, touring the property, and helping people remember what their rent is.
Bassist Bill “She didn’t look like no cop” Jones joined Wag the Dog in summer of 2017 after impressing the band with the ability to stand on one foot.
Bill has been playing bass guitar since his early teens, alongside a few other instruments. His influences include metal, alt-rock, punk, funk, blues, and Motown/R&B. Beyond typical genres, he enjoys bands who are brave enough to adventure into unknown territory, such as Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine, Primus, and the mash-ups with Aerosmith/Run-DMC and Anthrax/Public Enemy. His favorite band is the Toadies, a kick-ass band from Texas. For fun, he likes to relax with his family, learn something new, sit on a beach, monkey-around with technology, SCUBA dive, and play video games.
Professionally, Bill has an extensive list of name-tags and hairnets, having worked as a research assistant in a Biology lab, a high school science and math teacher, a software support technician, and a software developer. Somewhere in this time he probably studied some things, somewhere, at some time. His next career is a toss-up between refrigerator magnet and fire truck.
Current gear includes a custom-built Precision and Jazz four-string bass guitar, a Behringer 180-watt solid state tube head for amplification partnered with an acoustic cabinet with a 15” speaker; the speaker moves enough air to unclog the most stubborn of drains. Effects pedals include MXR bass compressor, Boss bass graphic EQ, Nano bass balls envelope filter, ISP Technologies noise gate, SansAmp bass driver pre-amp, and Electro-Harmonix bass clone chorus. Picks are Dunlop Tortex; The yellow ones. Drinks are water and Jose Cuervo (gold) tequila on the rocks.
Ask him about the time he went SCUBA diving with sharks in Epcot Center, Disney world. Don’t ask him if he was scared. He was terrified.
Lead Guitar, Vocals
Lead guitarist Tom “Tell It Like It Is” Charles, joined Wag the Dog in summer of 2015 at the invite of drummer, Brad Cromwell and guitarist / keyboardist, Jeff Bonin. The band has since morphed into its current outstanding line up with the addition of bass player, Bill Jones and lead vocalist, Justin Brandt in 2016.
Tom has been playing guitar since his early teens and has largely been influenced by classic rock, blues and heavy metal players over time. Although, these genres have had a major influence on his playing he possesses the versatility to play just about any style of music the crowd demands. He has played in a number of successful cover bands throughout the mid-west over his career and is ready to take this current gig as far as it can go!
Current gear includes an ENGL Retro 50 50 watt tube head for amplification partnered with a Marshall 1960a speaker cabinet containing 4 x Celestion G12T-75 speakers. His rig also includes various pedal board effects from Strymon, OCD, TC Electronics, Xotic and Electro-Harmonix. Guitars include a Les Paul Signature T model and a modified Fender Stratocaster. All this electronic wonderfulness combines to provide a wide range of sonic capability that does not disappoint!
P.S. He also has a weird fetish for canine-related memes so keep an eye out!!