Original BANG TANGO Guitarist MARK KNIGHT & THE UNSUNG HEROES Announce New Album, Don’t Kill The Cat
February 19, 2018, a year ago
On March 13th, former Bang Tango guitarist Mark Knight & The Unsung Heroes will be releasing their second studio album, Don’t Kill The Cat.
Mark Knight initially began working on the album at his home in Los Angeles where he wrote all twelve tracks on his 1969 Jumbo Guild acoustic guitar and then demoed each track himself using a DA-38 Tascam 8 track recorder.
“1955” was the first song Knight wrote. “My wife and I had been sort of reinventing our life and our family, and we were struggling a little bit to figure out who we were,” Knight says of the track that details the tedium and pleasures of day to day life and the struggles that we all go through when we begin new chapters. “I’m constantly writing songs and the riff in ‘1955’ was something I had been playing around with during the recording of my last solo record. When I picked it back up, it had this '70s sort of pop feel to it that I wanted to flesh out.”
Knight went on to record the album locally at Shut Up And Play Studios with an old friend, engineer George Alexander Kerhulas, who had previously recorded Knight’s former band, Worry Beads. For this record, Knight wanted to create a new sound using previous collaborators. The notable exception to that rule is bassist Wayne Lothian of The English Beat and General Public.
Drummer Matt Abts and bassist Jorgen Carlsson, both of Gov’t Mule, contributed drums and bass, respectively, on “Free”. Vocalist Oni Logan (Lynch Mob) duets with Knight on “Hey Mama.” Mark Tremalgia (Disreputable Few) and Paul Ill (Disreputable Few, Alicia Keys) also appear on the album and have been longtime collaborators with Knight. Edward Shemansky (Worry Beads) contributed backing vocals as well as drums to the record. Alexander, in addition to recording, contributed backing vocals and keys to the record.
Danny Saber, well known for his prolific work with The Rolling Stones, Inxs and U2, provided the “hot rod” mix for “Hey Mama.”
In approaching the sound for this record, Knight wanted to leave behind the retro recording style that has previously defined much of his work and incorporate more modern production. Don’t Kill The Cat is “an electrified version of my singer-songwriter demos supported by world class musicians who really elevate the music,” muses Knight. As always, the guitars hold pride of place up front in the mix, while many of the songs are certainly diversions from Knight’s typical roots rock stylings. Fans of Knight will recognize the signature rock guitar riff and growling vocals on “Hey Mama”.
The album’s title track, “Don’t Kill The Cat,” showcases Knight’s propensity to bleed his heart out lyrically and features his no-holds barred storytelling inspired by the events in his life. “It is a true story,” laughs Knight when asked about the curious title of the song.
In keeping with his desire to bring new blood to the record, Knight has reformed The Unsung Heroes with all new members, including guitarist Kyle Stevens (Bang Tango, Worry Beads), bassist Wayne Lothian and drummer Edward Shemansky. Knight and Stevens, who first played together as the original guitarists for Bang Tango, are reunited again as dueling guitars over 25 years later.
Produced by Mark Knight and Edward Shemansky and releasing on Knight’s own Knifewound Records, Don’t Kill The Cat will be available for digital pre-order on March 13th and in digital and compact disc wide release on March 16th.