Kix – Loud, Proud and Glad to Be Back!

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 were a busy during the that brought us the Rubik’s Cube, shoulder pads and various displays of big hair!  They released their debut in 1981 and their fourth album in 1988.  Each consecutive studio outshined the predecessor as the became very adept at penning a catchy and fun songs.  The quality exhibited on Midnite from the title track at the beginning of the album, to the closing track, Sex demonstrated the band’s songwriting prowess.  This is the story of a who are back for a second slice of the n’ roll pie, and if their past is anything to go by, we’re all in for a treat.

Steve Whiteman, lead vocalist of  since they started, clearly defines the of the in those critical early days.  “ started out with the concept of doing originals, I mean we were a club but we always wrote original music knowing that’s what it took to get a record deal.”  Whiteman continues enthusiastically reflecting on the days they played intimate club shows.  “We played the covers that brought the crowds in, and then we played our originals  covers, and so the originals became so good that people didn’t know they were covers anymore.  That’s when  companies came sniffing around.”  He then elaborates  “1979 is when I joined the band, and we got signed in 1980, so it was,  I was with them for just over a year and we had been writing together during that whole year and playing nonstop club circuit.  Y’know we were of the fortunate ones that got some record company attention and got a deal.”

Although Whiteman couldn’t recall song that he ever wrote, he was able to confirm that Love At First Sight was the first that made it onto a   album.  With this thought of songwriting in mind,  are no exception to the rule that every has their inspirations and influences.  “Being a you anything popular.  So we played Foreigner, we played Deep Purple, we played Alice Cooper, we played Grand Funk, we played everything.  As the music started to get more hard we found our niche was the harder stuff, so then AC/DC, Zeppelin, Stones, Aerosmith, that kinda stuff was what we were really good at and that seemed to be leading us in that direction.”

When you listen to each  album, despite the fun lyrical content and the hook-laden music there remains a prominent growth taking place.  “The first really just came straight out of the bars, I mean it was written while we were doing sound checks and it was really an easy record to put together.  The second album (Cool Kids) was pretty much really controlled by label.  They made us use some outside material which we hated, they made us use a producer that was a wimpy producer, we a hard producer.  We were just being pushed by label, by the producer, by our management that time to make a record we didn’t really even wanna make or like.”  In complete contrast to these insightful memories that were shared by Whiteman whilst discussing their second album, he followed his thoughts regarding the next one.  “So I would say that the third album, the Midnite recorded with Beau Hill was a real delight for us and was of the most fun records we ever made.”

Everything that we achieved to that point was to our own blood, sweat and tears and refusal to say that we’re done.

song on the Midnite that was an obvious choice for a single came in of a power ballad called Walkin’ Away, but it never saw the light of day in that format.  “Atlantic never really gave us any kind of push until the  album.  Everything that we achieved to that point was to our own blood, sweat and tears and refusal to say that we’re done.  If it wasn’t for us constantly touring and playing the clubs we wouldn’t have sold enough records that would have kept the label interested in us.  So y’know, we pat ourselves on the back for never giving up.”

With , Atlantic certainly seemed to realize what a hot property were as singles came out in the form of the anthemic Get It While It’s Hot, the solid Cold , the title track and the popular ballad Don’t Close Your .  After the success that came their way from the release of , the went onto better things with the album Hot Wire which revealed a rockier sound with the guitars more prominent than ever.  The momentum brought on by their hard-working endeavors throughout the previous years had really paid dividends.  The infectious chorus of their single Girl Money, the rampant title track offering some shameless n’ roll energy, Cold Chills which made an appearance during the movie Wayne’s World and a potent ballad called Tear The Walls all compounded what already knew– are a consistent, good quality with personality!

Whiteman confesses, “We smelt coming on the Hot Wire album ‘cos after had hit we’d finally gotten out of the clubs and made it to the arenas, open for major bands, you know, did a real tour, took it to the next level finally.”  He continues, “Once that money button is pushed by a label good things happen.  You make real videos, you have people working on your behalf, and when we made Hot Wire, y’know, we felt we’d made a really record, a good follow- record to My Fuse.  But the whole industry changed during the release of that record.  The sound, the West Coast sound really came in, took over the airwaves and we smelt it at that point that this was done.”

“Atlantic once again did with that record, so we to get off of Atlantic and get onto a smaller label.  So we got CMC interested and we put $how Bu$ine$$ out for last try and we ran into the same brick walls that we did with Hot Wire.  So we sort of knew it was over and rather than keep pounding it and try to make something that wasn’t there, we to go out with our heads held high ‘cos we were proud of everything we’d done and we called it quits in 1996.”  There is no room for doubting Whiteman’s credentials or commitment to this second go on the musical journey.  He had fronted the solidly for seventeen years during that opening salvo of albums and gigs, and as he says “I’ve never done anything but music, that’s the only thing I’m good at.  I can’t fix cars, I suck at math, I can’t do anything else so music’s been my life and that’s the only thing I ever to do.”

With the release of In Baltimore on both DVD and CD announcing their return to active duty, and their intention to release their next studio in 2013,  are wanting both their and newcomers to join the party.  “I’m not out there trying to be cool, I don’t expect everybody to adore me just because I’m in a band.  I like to make people involved in the shows, I like to make them laugh, I like to get their attention and once I get their attention I have them in the palm of my hand.  All that humor that I use has always been part of my show and it’s worked well over the years and I think it’s what set apart from other bands.”

Regarding the new album, Whiteman reveals “I was writing a bunch of stuff ‘cos I tried to put out a new Funny Money CD like every couple of years.  Mark [Schenker] our bass player was writing and Brian [Forsythe] had some stuff that he had just lying around and when this whole idea, this concept of a new Kix  was first popped around we all kind of stepped back, and like, can we really do this, I mean, without Donnie [Purnell] being involved ‘cos he was the main songwriter of the band?  And we thought what have we got to lose by trying, so we’ve got about 25-30 songs at this point.  We’re gonna throw them all into a pot and get them out by and work on them and see if we can’t come with 10 or 12 really tracks that we’re proud of and we can call a  album.”  When asked to give a possible name as producer for the new forthcoming album, Whiteman expressed interest in Taylor Rhodes who helmed production duties on their Hot Wire album.  Prepare for a n’ roll overdose!

Click here to read our Live In Baltimore Album Review.

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