You’re probably used to read KEVIN K CD reviews on this website now. We’ve always wanted to interview him as well because Kevin always has interesting things to say, so the release of his brand new CD “Cool Ways” was the right occasion for us to do so. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about your new album “Cool Ways”, do you think that recording it in California had a big influence on it? What do you think about Los Angeles and its rock scene in 2007?
For sure..My songs always reflect how im feeling about my life .sometimes not too happy..but with the Cool Ways cd..I was REALLY feeling good about everything.. The band Roy,Dino and Tsubasa are really positive and professional musicians.. NO BULLSHIT !! Plus they totally get the pop songs with Ramones influence..that’s important..To have a band where everyone is on the same page..Something hard to find,,Espically in todays world…of crap !!…Well There really is no place in America like Hollywood at night..It’s exciting,who you might see, who you might meet..and the weather is perfect, makes people want to go out and have a good time..Sure maybe the people tend to spend alot of time in front of the mirror and musicians play their hairdryers more than their guitars..but that’s cool..i like it..its fun..The big difference between NYC and LA is..In NYC if someone doesnt like you..they will tell you…”Kevin you are a asshole “..no games…In LA they tend to be more tender,they always find away not to be confrontational..slower lifestyle..they dont speak their minds like in New York..but I have learned to accept it…Well of course the rock any where in America isnt as good as it once was..Sure all the great LA bands like.X ,Fear,Social Distortion and all the heavy metal bands in the 1980s dont play too much anymore.. BUT it’s WAY better than NYC…With Hilly Kristal dying and CBGB closed..that’s it for me NYC is closed.
You’ve been playing with different backing bands all over the world. Is that the best and cheapest way for you to be able to be on tour so much?
Yes..If i didnt do it that way..I could not afford to do any touring..I mean I would love to use the same band everynight but that’s never gonna happen..but with using new band members sometimes a old song sounds fresh again..the key to everything is the song..If you dont have a good song..noone can make it sound good..I think my songs are pretty good..I call them all purpose songs..by this i mean they sound good in the morning ..late at night..when you breakup with your girlfriend,when you makeup with your girlfriend…
You had the same French backing band (The REAL KOOL CATS) for a few years, tell us a bit about your experience with the guys…
Well Im the teacher and they are my students !!hahahaha..Ritchie Buzz is the last original member..Jack and Vincent dont tour anymore..I pushed them to hard.So they retired for the sun in the south of France…Ritchie still deals with me because he smokes alot of pot !!and he likes to chase the girls…I run from the girls !!
Last time you were here, you said that Germany was one of the best places for rock’n’roll bands nowadays. What other places do you enjoy the most?
Oh Poland is amazing..its just hard to make any money there.Spain is crazy..everyone is on coke..like in Las Vegas everyone is on crystal meth !!
You played a few times in Eastern Europe, how was it? Considering its past history and restrictions, did you feel that people were hungry for rock’n’roll there?
Yes yes Poland.. I like..It’s like the untouched land.The girls are REALLY sexy..I hope to go back in May..I also have a best of kevin K cd released on a Polish label.. ..called Kevin K “Polish Blood”…Oh im 100 percent Polish..My parents parents all came over on the boat to Ellis Island in New York in the 1900s.
Being from NYC, you’ve probably seen the rock scene change a lot through the years. How is it nowadays there? What were some of you best concert memories in New York?
Oh man thats the problem…I saw so much..that when i think about it..i get sad..I miss all the favorite bands,my brother,all my old friends,my old girlfriend,my New York Life..its all gone..at times i feel like i have lived 3 lifes..My NYC life..My Euro touring Life..and now my LA Life…strange..But thats what happens when you get old..1976 ,77,78..I saw ..The Deadboys,Dictators, Heartbreakers,Blue Oyster Cult,Kiss,Black Sabbath,Alice Cooper,Ramones..In fact the best part of my musical life is that all my favorite musicans i got to meet and know..from Cheetah Chrome,Johnny Thunders,Dee Dee Ramone,Stiv Bators,i mean thats all me and my brother wanted in life was to live in Manhattan,play CBGB and take drugs…I did it all …and survived it..One of my favorite moments was the Deadboys show in 1978 me and my brother were right in front of Stiv..He and Cheetah were both wearing black t shirts and leopard pants..so in the middle of the set Stiv takes a beer and spits it all on everyone in the front..all over me and Alan…fantastic..I was blessed by Stiv Bators that night..I think Johnny Thunders damaged my right ear..again 1980 i was right in front of Johnny ..he was playing thru a Fender Twin amp on full volume..plus a Marshall Stack..His guitar was SO LOUD..my ears hurt for a week…But thats a GOOD hurt.
Philippe Marcadé (singer for The SENDERS) just wrote a book about his life in NY between 1972 and 1982, have you already met him?
I know Philippe from 1984 when I worked at Sounds Record store on St Marks Place in NY..Really nice guy and GREAT singer…He also played on the Freddy Lynxx cd with me..”Bloodied Up”…Where is Freddy ???
Since you tour so much, you probably experienced a lot of good and bad things on the road. Any story/anecdote you’d like to tell us about?
There’s been so many ugly bad moments…i try to forget them…I had a club owner years ago pulled a gun out at me…that was in Pittsburgh..they didnt pay us what they were supposed to,So when me and my brother questioned it…the owner pulled out a gun and Said..”Look be happy what we gave you”…it was 150 dollars less..I said thank you ,bye bye..and walked out the door.. When we played 2 years ago in Croatia after our show this girl about 17 years old was crying…in tears..and she says..”Please Kevin dont forget about us.”.”Come back again.”..that was heavy..In Japan a guy was really excited after seeing my show in Tokyo..so he pulls up his shirt and tattooed on his arm was ..ALAN K rip…that was crazy to see..oh and just last month I played in Detroit ..and this girl had me sign on her arm with a pen ..Kevin K..the next day she had it done as a tattoo.
You told me that you were writing a book about your life, when will it be finished and released?
Yes my book..Kevin K “How To be A Successful loser”…well i have 150 pages done so far..it’s gonna be like Dee Dee Ramones book “Diary Of a Rock Star””…just alot of stories over the years..music and when i worked at the record store in NYC..many stories of the crazy people that always seem to enter my life..Its never been boring for me..The girl that is helping me write the book.. fell asleep with her laptop computer under a blanket and it burned,,so that might make a delay in the proof reading..I hope it will be out next year some time…I already have another 8 songs written for the next cd.
If I remember well, you said that your very first concert was a KISS one. When you think about it, a lot of musicians in the rock’n’roll world first got in touch with rock music because of KISS, what are your favourite albums and songs? An American tattoo artist that have met Paul and Gene a few times once told me that KISS will never die and that they planned to have other people playing with the make-up on instead of them once they will stop have you heard about that?
KISS Destroyer tour ,Buffalo NY 1976…FANTASTIC !!…But actually my very first concert was ..1974 Blue Oyster Cult and Five Dollar Shoes…that was the first time i smelled pot…i thought someone was burning a shoe …Its crazy because at 13 years old I had great taste in music..well the first 5 records by KISS are all great…lots of good songs…Getaway,Rock Bottom,Two Timer…but even on “Dynasty” there are cool songs like..Sure Know Something, I was Made For Loving You,Dirty Livin…Yea that Gene Simmons is a real asshole,he only cares about money,money and more money..I hope somone will play the part of Kevin K when i finally leave this planet.
Any news from Jennifer Love Hewitt?
JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT…oh…my all time favorite girl in the world..she is so perfect..great actress,good singer,,seems to be a nice person..I think i have about 10 songs that were written about her,,i cant stop it…I heard from 3 of her fan clubs that heard my “Jennifer Love Song’..they really like it..I think she probably knows about me..She might think im a crazy person…tattoos,takes drugs..etc…But i always invite her to my shows in Hollywood..I would think someday i will meet her..i had the chance to talk to her about 6 years ago in NYC..she was filming a street scene for some show..so i got on a pay phone and called my roomate..to tell him..after i got off the phone i started walking down the street..I hear two girls talking next to me..and its JENNIFER and a friend..right next to me.we walked down the street for two blocks…I was in SHOCK..i couldnt say anything to her…I blew it…that’s where it all started..and i always have something to say..She put a hex on me…Id like to be in a band with Jennifer..She would be perfect to sing..”Do You Wanna Kiss”..that was written for a girl named Bea…Rockin Roll K ..2007 Florida…