KIX' Steve Whiteman, Mark Schenker Talk Live In Baltimore, New Album in 2013 - "This Is A Band That Never Quits!"
October 10, 2012, 2 years ago
By Matthew O'Shaughnessy
It's been a long and exciting ride for hard rockers KIX who formed in December of 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland under the monicker of THE SHOOZE before eventually changing their name to THE GENERATORS and, for a brief few weeks, THE BALTIMORE COCKS and ultimately Kix. Baltimore's favorite hard rock sons earned themselves quite a reputation as one of Maryland's most exciting live cover bands prioring to signing with Atlantic Records in 1981. Kix' fourth effort would become, by all accounts, their one and only breakthrough record, Blow My Fuse, produced this time by another legendary hard rock producer Tom Werman (MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON, TWISTED SISTER) and unleashed in 1988 featuring the hit power ballad, 'Don't Close Your Eyes', as well as several other Kix masterpieces such as 'Cold Blood', 'Blow My Fuse', and 'No Ring Around Rosie'. Kix would later graduate to arenas and were featured openers to heroes AC/DC and AEROSMITH.
BraveWords.com correspondent Matthew O'Shaughnessy (from WVOX.com) spoke with Kix's long time vocalist and frontman, Steve Whiteman and bassist Mark Schenker about the band's first ever live DVD and CD, Live In Baltimore, on Frontiers Records and forthcoming studio album in 2013 and more.
BraveWords.com: Live In Baltimore was officially unleashed on September 25th and was recorded at The Rams Head to a packed house. It's got to feel great to finally have this milestone in your career now out to all your lifelong Kix fans. Your first ever live DVD and CD.
Mark Schenker: "It came out great. We worked pretty hard on it. The recording came out good; we like the way it sounds as it captures that whole Kix live vibe - we are really happy with is and we like it alot!"
Steve Whiteman: "Mark kind of pioneered this whole idea; people came to him and said we want to shoot a show one night and Mark invited them to come out to the Rams Head because it's a great venue for us; the Baltimore crowd are the wildest, loudest crowds we get in front of with a great state of the art venue with a big stage and great productions. Nobody really planned it was going to turn out this good that we would want to release it. But, fortunately for every body it turned out really, really well! Mark took the bull by the horns and said, "Let's get this thing out there. Let's mix it, let's edit it - let's make this thing great and find somebody out there to release it."
BraveWords.com: We understand Kix even has plans for a new studio album in 2013 on Frontiers? So the band is not resting on its laurels.
Steve Whiteman: "That is correct. Right now this whole concept of a new Kix studio album is a little daunting because of the history of the band and the material that's been recorded already and what the fans are used to, so right now we are in the process of putting a bunch of music together; Mark's written some stuff, Brian's written some stuff, I've written some music. We're kind of throwing it all into a barrel right now and we're going to take em and pull them apart and see which one's really stand up to what we feel would be a Kix tune. So, hopefully if we can come up with ten to twelve tracks that we are all real proud of when it is all said and done; then there will be a new Kix album.
BraveWords.com: Since the bands return to the limelight and national stage in 2008 with appearances at two of the biggest rock festivals in the US - Rocklahoma and Rock On The Bayou in Texas; Do you feel those shows helped re-invent Kix to some degree?
Steve Whiteman: "Yeah, that's sort of what catapulted us back into the limelight. They had to kick me there on those shows because I was like,"Nobody cares about us anymore outside of our little safe zone. I didn't really think there was a market. Between the guys in the band and Sullivan Bigg (Kix manager) kicking me out there. These guys made me believers in what we did and how special it really was. I am one hundred percent in, we're all one hundred percent in now and the crowds seem to dig it and we're getting more gigs every year - it's all good!"
BraveWords.com: Kix amassed a large number of successful live shows all across the USA, including the M3 Festival in Maryland two years in a row. Your busy on the road still with The Rockin For A Cure show, a benefit for breast cancer on Saturday, October 18th in Ontario, California with SKID ROW, DOKKEN, WARRANT, and L.A. GUNS. Then Kix is in New Jersey at The Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey on November 18th. So, Kix will be tearing it up live in support of Live In Baltimore for a while now.
Kix: Steve Whiteman: "We love playing New Jersey; great crowds! I mean ever since Kix broke into the New York and New Jersey area the crowds have always been phenomenal so it's always a pleasure to see all the old fans and the new fans."
BraveWords.com: Kix fans are chomping at the bit for another studio album as you intimated previously. What more can you tell us about a new studio album in 2013?
Kix: Mark Schenker: "Well, I think we would not even think about doing it if we didn't have something that stood up to the old Kix material. I don't think anybody in the band would want to put out something that would disappoint the fans or sort of tarnish the Kix legacy. The stuff that we have cooking now we really feel strongly about that it fits into that Kix sound. Otherwise we wouldn't even bother. We feel like we have something that fits the Kix mold and sounds like Kix."
Steve Whiteman: "Plus, Live In Baltimore is kind of kick starting the bands legacy once again so people who may have forgotten about us or just come out to see a show or two can get the new cd and re-reved up about the band again and it's going to generate some interest. We are hoping we can come up with something with the new studio album that's going to thrill the fans and thrill us and it's going to prolong the legacy and play for years to come!"
BraveWords.com: Let's talk more about Live In Baltimore. 12 great Kix tracks on the audio CD plus a slamming 20 song DVD.
Mark Schenker: "We're pretty excited! We've been working on it for a while. We've been excited about it for a while."
Steve Whiteman: "Mark's not taking any credit here as he should. Mark pioneered this whole thing. He was in contact with the guys who came and filmed it. He was in contact with the people who were editing it. He did all of the mixing on it. Mark also did all the artwork on it. So a big hats off to Mark Schenker. Frankly, it didn't seem like a possiblity for anything like this to take off. This is such a big perk. Live In Baltimore is beyond our wildest dreams. We've been doing a lot of press this week on the new album and the one thing that kept coming up in almost every interview that I did was how raw that it sounded and how real that it sounded on Live In Baltimore. Again, that goes out to Mark. He left it true to what the bands sound really is. It sounds real. That's what a live album should sound like not some taken into the studio and fix all the mistakes type thing. For that matter we are very proud of that."
BraveWords.com: As you look back to Kix's first album in 1981 - over 30 years ago; what ideally would you like Kix' legacy to be?
Steve Whiteman: "I would say this band never stopped trying. This band had the focus and the go get it attitude and that never say quit attitude that kept them going. When record companies didn't know what the hell to do with us; we always had enough fan-base to at least sell enough records to make another one and we just kept building that fan base for years and years until finally Blow My Fuse broke. And even after that, we still hit the stage with the same kind of energy, the same kind of go get em attitude as the early days. And that's the way we still take to the stage. So, this is a band that never quits! We are the ever-ready battery band of rock and roll."