KIX – Rock Your Face Off to be released August 5th, 2014 – Available by Pre-Order Here
Rock Your Face Off on Loud & Proud Records http://www.loudandproudrecords.com
Album Review and Commentary Interview with KIX Guitarist Brian Forsythe KIX:
Review and Interview : Joseph Timmons – Xombiewoof Magazine
In December 1977 a group that would be in the eyes and ears of hard rock fans worldwide appeared on the stages of Hagerstown, Maryland and then everywhere possible. Hitting the club circuit six nights a week for three straight years resulted in the band cultivating a huge local fan base and led to their first record contract. Releasing their self-titled debut in 1981 titled “KIX” this band would become in a whirlwind favorite filling every club and stadium without hesitation.
Many years and albums later, like all the bands of their day, they continued to build and grow, change and evolve, members leaving and returning, taking breaks and reuniting, but I am glad to say, the boys are back in town and they’ve come to, as they say Rock Your Face Off!
Platinum-selling Maryland hard rock icons KIX heed the audience's call on their long-awaited seventh full-length album and first for Loud & Proud Records. It has been almost 20 years since their last studio effort, 1995's Show Business, and the boys—Steve Whiteman [vocals], Brian "Damage" Forsythe [guitar], Ronnie "10/10" Younkins [guitar], Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant [drums] and Mark Schenker [bass]—return with a raucous, roaring and real display of rock 'n' roll.
KIX is Jimmy Chalfant, Ronnie Younkins, Brian Forsythe, Mark Schenker and Steve Whiteman; together this Hard Rockin’ Metal powerhouse has come up with what is anticipated as the largest release of the year, at present, KIX is touring the globe to support the album’s release this August 5th, 2014 to a fan base that has never forgotten the band that spoke to their generation, and now to the next generation, and generations to come. With the support of Loud & Proud Records, KIX has gone into the studio and come out with blaring speed and driving power.
"In many ways, this is for the KIX diehards as much as it is for us," Brian explains. "When we started doing this again, tons of fans came out of the woodwork. They'd show up with their kids, and it was just incredible to see. We had to deliver for them."
Rock Your Face Off is an audio thrill ride, and from the album’s title track “Rock Your Face Off” to “Can’t Stop the Show”, “Rollin’ in Honey”,” All the Right Things”,” Inside Outside Inn”,” Rock & Roll Showdown” and the song that has become an internet and radio wide sensation “Love Me With Your Top Down”, KIX has come back to the global stage hard, fast and stronger than ever, it’s been 20 years since their last album and they have made up for lost time with a passion and a vengeance, time has had no effect on them, none what so ever!
As a drummer, any artist or group I listen to has to have a good backbeat; it makes all the difference between a good album and a great album. With Rock Your Face Off, the first thing I noticed is the timing is impeccable, the beat master Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant is unstoppable, his measure is matched equally by Mark Schenker on Bass, and it is with this steady and unwavering rhythm foundation that Ronnie "10/10" Younkins and Brian "Damage" Forsythe work their Guitar Voodoo, power chords blazing with leads and solos that excite the senses. Last but definitely not least it is the spine tingling vocals of Steve Whiteman that steals the show and hearts of the ladies, his talent is only matched by his wit and sense of humor, a trickster by trade. This album is not a return to the 80’s schmaltz or a comeback revival, theirs is an evolution, the next step in musical mastery and is one for the books, a band that beat all the odds then, and exceeds all expectations today.
In order to deliver, the band enlisted the talents of producer Taylor Rhodes [Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne] with whom they had last collaborated on 1991's Hot Wire. Also, for the first time in the group's history, each member contributed to the writing process, fostering an extremely creative and free environment in the studio. A new dawn commenced as they simultaneously harnessed their classic spirit. Meanwhile, Taylor helped preserve the band’s vision. Brian adds, "He knew the feel of the band and kept us on the path towards that direction. He understood our energy and what the listeners would expect. We also took everything to the next level together."
In addition to having the pleasure of listening to this album before the public is that I am going to interview one of the founding members of KIX, Brian Forsythe to get some inside information and the background on this masterpiece of metal.
Joe: Brian, It’s been a while since the last KIX album Show Business, not including the Live in Baltimore released in 2012. The songwriting on Rock Your Face Off is amazing, as a long time KIX fan, I know I was blown away when I heard you were going into the studio, and even more impressed now, after hearing Rock Your Face Off, I want to ask when did you as a group realize you had the right material for this album? Also, what was the writing chemistry, who did what and how did the team work the creative process?
Brian: “We had not planned to do an album until we released our live performance DVD, once we did that, we realized, WOW, we need to come up with a record. We threw all our ideas into one big pile and went from there, the material was all over the place, and was a long process to sort through and find the right material. This album was over a year in the making.”
Joe: KIX has the rep for being a hard working band, mastering all the elements of a song, their stage presence and creating an element of excitement in every crowd that sees a show, how has the fans response been when you performed the new material?
Brian: “Playing live has been an adventure, we play about one to two shows a week, we are all still in pretty good shape but we are definitely more devoted to the performance and brining quality to the stage. We play gigs with the feeling and energy our fans expects, and we look to making new fans just as devoted.”
Joe: I know you have been playing and touring for a while, but playing live and working the studio are two different worlds. How was it being back in the studio, was it a natural feeling, or did it take some time to get the magic flowing?
Brian: “Well, a lot has changed in the industry and with us as a group, I have been recording with Rhino Bucket and other bands, and we are familiar with the new technology. In the old days, we would go to a studio and then be in lock down until we were done, but now we did parts in our own studio prior the master mix. Once we went into the real studio it was easier, the chemistry was an interesting aspect, we all had a chance to contribute to the songwriting, and it was truly a group effort, making it a new experience for all of us.”
Joe: Well Brian, enough about the technical aspects of Rock Your Face Off, I am sure the readers want to know the behind the scene stuff, what’s some of the “Wild and Crazy” stories you can tell, at least one that’s legal in all 50 states? Feel free to change the names to protect the innocent...
Brian: “Wow, we’ve had some pretty crazy experiences on the Monsters of Rock Cruises, you have to remember, and it is like a giant floating hotel. You walk out into the area where the people are getting to the stage and there is no escape once the realized who you are, you can stop to say ”Hi” to one person because if you do, one moment everything is cool, the next moment; you swamped and can’t make it to the stage. Another time, we were at a concert for another band, were in the audience, and we just went to see a show and someone noticed us, within moments we were getting way too much attention; it got so bad security got involved”.
Joe: Brian, I want to thank you for the interview, what’s next for KIX, when can we expect to see some videos, any Television engagements, where can we see KIX Play?
Brian: “We will be making several show stops to promote the album, you can get all that information from our website http://www.kixband.com , as far as future plans, we are looking to do a major tour, still up in anything, …… within reason”.
Joe: Brian, do you have any Last Words for our readers?
Brian: “We appreciate all of our fans, they are super loyal and supportive, East Coast to West Coast, we had no idea that there would be so many people that still remembered us and would want to see us so badly, it is an inspiration and we love you. To our new fans, check out our web site http://www.kixband.com and get Rock Your Face Off, you will be just excited to hear it as we were to make it”.
I really enjoyed our brief, but exciting interview with Brian “Damage” Forsythe, Rock Your Face Off is truly a great album, if you have yet to hear “Love Me with Your Top Do”, here’s your chance to let KIX Rock Your Face Off!
Also, Check out the other great artists in the Loud & Proud Arsenal – Visit http://www.loudandproudrecords.com.