Kevin K “Cadallac Man”

KEVIN K is back with a double album (number 33!) that he describes as his own “Exile On Main Street”. “Cadallac Man” was written during the Covid lockdown while Kevin was grieving the loss of his beloved father (a World War 2 veteran.) The world has gone mad and the opening song “Dum Days” tells us about it rocking to a guitar riff sounding somewhere between early KISS and The STONES before offering us a chorus full of melody. Kevin has always been great at writing simple powerpop songs about girls and this album is no exception, just listen to “Girl Of My Dreams”, “Village Girl” or “High Over You”. “No Respect” is a typical KEVIN K song but this time with a serious topic since it is about the restrictions during the pandemic while “Every Night I’m Dreaming” sounds a bit like a mix of HANOÏ ROCKS and KISS “Unmasked” era. 1989 was a great year and Kevin celebrates it with a song offering us one of the catchiest choruses on the album and the song “Angelyne” was actually written in 1989 with Kevin’s Brother Alan while they were both playing in ROAD VULTURES. The acoustic THUNDERS/STONES influence can be heard on “I Miss You” and you’ll also find some glam rock boogie beats on “Pendleton”. While Kevin definitely knows how to write feel-good songs, he also knows how to bring melancholy in songs like “Tear Drops Don’t Stop”, “Start Me Down” or “Let Me Down” and you’ll be surprised by the JOHN LENNON influenced “Forgotten Boy”. Of course you’ll also hear traces of IGGY POP in “All Strung Out”, “Ride On”, “Zombie Heat” or in “Wrong Feels Right” and a tribute to the RAMONES (“No Ramones”) that Kevin used to play as a slow song. “A New Life” ends this new album mixing positivity with a need for a new start with melancholy. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of long albums but “Cadallac Man” is now in my exception list. Good job, Mr. K! /Laurent C.

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Kevin K “and The CBGB Years”

The CBGB was KEVIN K‘s own rock’n’roll highschool, a classroom in which students would carefully study the RAMONES, the DEAD BOYS and the NEW YORK DOLLS. This is an 18 song live retrospective CD of Kevin (and his brother Alan) K’s years in New York City’s rock’n’roll temple, from 1984 to 1997. It starts with NEW TOYS and their catchy new wave, then you can hear 7 LONE COWBOYS songs recorded in 1985, including beautifully chaotic covers of RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDODS (“Love Comes In Spurts”) and ALICE COOPER (“Raped and Freezin”‘.) Honestly, I’ve always wondered why LONE COWBOYS didn’t make it in those days… While their music was the logical road to take after NEW TOYS, they had this dark and urban feel that people refer to as post-punk nowadays, making them the right band at the right moment. Well, you’d think so… Maybe England and France would have welcomed them better in those days? The same way they did with The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH for instance, who knows?…
You’ll also find 3 ROAD VULTURES songs on this CD (recorded in 1993), and 4 KEVIN K BAND songs recorded in 1997. It’s interesting to hear Kevin’s musical evolution through these 18 songs, from American new wave to JOHNNY THUNDERS inspired rock’n’roll. It all seems natural and logical after you’ve listened to this live album.
Besides the document value of this record, it’s good to hear real live recordings, you can almost feel the beer, the smoke and the pee Kevin talks about in the introductoiry text. /Laurent C.

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New Toys “Made In Buffalo”

30 years later, Kevin K (who used to be the band’s drummer!) and friends reunite to record a new album of their first band! NEW TOYS stopped playing in 1982 after 4 years of activity and a relocation in New York City. This is where Kevin and his brother Alan decided to stay and formed The LONE COWBOYS and ROAD VULTURES after the NEW TOYS split.
The band decided to get together again and play a show in last May before thinking of recording songs for an album: 15 songs among which you’ll find 8 new versions of original NEW TOYS tracks, 2 1980 demo songs and 5 live songs.
The songs on which Kevin sings (“Do You Really Know”, “Delirious”,”Talking About You”, “Stay Away” …) are catchy power pop tunes that sometimes get very close to Kevin’s glammy bubblegum punk pop solo songs while the other ones sung by Doug Tyler and Meat Cleaver sound more melodic punk rock’n’roll (“On Our Way”, “Bosco Boy”…) or even pub rock ; “Let Go of My Heart” for instance can sure appeal to any DR. FEELGOOD fans for instance. To top it all, “Running Away” and “Instant Suicide”, the 1980 demo songs are killer early punk tracks that should have become classics in a perfect rock world!
Whether you’re familiar with Kevin’s carreer and works (if you’re not, then you should be!) or not, “Made In Buffalo” is a great way to start where it all came from… The album is available both from Tornado Ride Records (Europe) and RealKat Records (USA.) /Laurent C.

Kevin K “Tramp Stamp”

Sometimes it only takes one song to tell if an album is going to be good or not though at other times you can also get disappointed when the opening song is the only one worth listening to… It also gets harder and harder when you already released 20 albums before, but here the opening song “Tramp Stamp” is not a false promise. Then, “Doin’ Alright” is a dancey catchy song in the typical KEVIN K way and “Just The Girl” is reminiscent of The CLASH despite its obvious RAMONES references so by now, you know that the CD will get into your player again. Melody is always right in the centre of Kevin’s work and that’s why you get songs like “Dreaming Again” or “Wild For You” that get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Sweet masochism.
Kevin also wanted to make a darker record this time, a mood you’ll find in songs like “Damage Control”, “City Kill”, “Nowhere Safe” (a song with a LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH vibe that was written by Kevin’s brother Alan but that never got released by The ROAD VULTURES) or “Love Crimes”, a complete BLACK SABBATH rip-off in Kevin’s own words!
10 songs and no fillers, this is how I like my albums… Well, 11 songs actually since you’ll find a really cool tribute to The WANDERERS as a “hidden track”./Laurent.

Lester And The Landslide Ladies/Kevin K Frantic Tales For The Fast Living Split CD

Distance sometimes seems to be a bigger thing than it really is: Italian power pop trash darlings LESTER AND THE LANDSLIDE LADIES meet American LAMF rock’n’roll world traveller KEVIN K on a record and it’s quite obvious that these guys could easily spend a whole night talking about The RAMONES, The NEW YORK DOLLS, their Polish origins while eating delicious pizza and drinking good French wine!
LESTER AND THE LANDSLIDE LADIES start the party NY punk style with “Fuck Me Mommy”and show us that there’s nothing better than a catchy chorus with “Don’t Wanna Be With You” and “Cherry Stitches”. They say their life is a party and these songs make us realize that they’re ready to rock’n’roll all night with their early KISS ways… and what else could help to cure heartbreak (“All That We Got”, “My Ever Last Yearning”) better anyway?
KEVIN K would never refuse joining such a party and answers back as if the DEAD BOYS were jamming with the DOLLS (“Too Much Too Soon”)! Kevin’s New York days will always be a big part of him as you can hear in “La Vida Loca” or in “If I’m Alive” (a song that would have deserved a guest appearance by Stiv Bators in a perfect world!) but he’s never been against a bit of British punk rock flavour as well (“Crazy Squeeze” and its guitar riff à la The Clash!) Also, Kevin has never been against experimenting a bit with new sounds from time to time, here you’ll find a hard rock meets hip hop influenced song, “Picking Oxycotton” (think FASTER PUSSYCAT’s “Babylon” or AEROSMITH/RUN DMC’s “Walk This Way”) and a quite surprising KATY PERRY cover (“Teenage Dreams”) with Father K as a guest vocalist!
The best split record I’ve heard in a long while!/Laurent C.

Kevin K

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 “ 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 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 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 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 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 a Marshall Stack..His guitar was SO 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 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’s gonna be like Dee Dee Ramones book “Diary Of a Rock Star””…just alot of stories over the 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 i got on a pay phone and called my 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…

Split interview: Kevin K/Lester & The Landslide Ladies

They share common stages and influences and have just released the split CD “Frantic Tales For The Fast Living” on Tornado Ride Records, so it seemed quite logical to us to make them talk a bit…. And where else could you find a KEVIN K/LESTER & THE LANDSLIDE LADIES split interview anyway?

Kevin K: On your song “Fuck Me Mommy” Whose mommy are you talking about ? And can I meet her?

Lester: I’m sure you know her, she was hanging in NY back in the days, she used to sing in a band, she’s a chick with attitude. She was concerned about having a relationship cause she didn’t want to get her children involved so she just wanted to get screw now and then. It’s been fun! Next time we’ll tour together I’ll make sure we’ll stop by her place.

Kevin K: Favorite band and singer?

Lester: Tough question. Early Kiss was the first band who got me into RnR. They fly, vomit blood, spit fire, blow everything on stage, sing about screwing chicks, rock and roll all nite and partying everyday. Sound like everything a teenager could dream of. Johnny Thunders taught me the style but the band that really changed my life was Hanoi Rocks. After seeing them live in 2001 I understood that RnR was the only thing I would have done in my life. Talking about singers I’m a huge Zander fan. I think Robin is one of the most underrated singers in Rock and Roll. I think I would buy his records even if he would read the phone directory.

Kevin K: Why is the pizza in Italy the best?

Lester: Pizza used to be poor’s man lunch everything is in it the bread, the tomato, the cheese. So since nothing really works over here and the money goes only to the same old politician and those few families that owns the huge factories; I guess one of the few comfort we can afford is pizza 😉

Kevin K: Modena Italy. I have a uncle from Medina , Ohio.. almost the same..

Lester: You now I never been there but looking at the map seems we are both stranded in the middle of nowhere and since I guess we’re both part Polish I would say “Yeah It’s a small world”.

Kevin K: What’s your favorite American city and why?

Lester: Maybe San Francisco. Hate L.A. fool of phoneys and you can’t get anywhere unless you have a car, New York it’s awesome but is fucking freezing in wintertime plus I think I’m not that smart to survive the skid rows, Washington it’s so boring. San Francisco is very European, the weather is nice, they seem tolerant, there’s a lively music scene, drug is cheap… I think it suits me 🙂

Kevin K: Kevin K ..What do you think of?

Lester: Influential to me in many ways, as a musician cause you got the sound. When I ear you playing live everything is just perfect; love your melody maker plugged in the combo sound warm and sharp as the same time, smooth as a hot knife through butter. Even in the shittiest venue you and guys have always been able to deliver the good. As a song writer you inspired me to keep it simple; to apply, to do that extra-effort to say something witty in my lyrics. To write 3 good hooks and use the weak one as a the verse, the good one as the bridge and great one as the chorus. Last but not least as a human being. You have always struggled through good times and bad times with a smile on your face. You stand as the living proof that rock and roll is not about making money, selling records, fuck a million girls or inject tons of junk, that shiot is OK but is not the real deal. Rock and roll is about life and about how many times your able to put yourselves back on your feet after the bitch have turned you! Thanks Kevin for letting me be your friend.
Your part Polish brother Lester.


Lester: Is there a routine you follow when you write songs? How does the magic happens?

Kevin K: It depends on if I have a hangover. If I do I write fast. If I dont I take my time. Its like Keith Richards says “songs are in the air, you just have to know how to reel them in, like a antenna. I always get inspired to write whenever I listen to Paul Westerberg or Stones or Ramones. It usally starts with a melody for the chorus,because that to me is the most important ingrediant in a song. I try not to think about it,it just happens. Like pooping..

Lester: The thing about your career you regret the most and the one you’re most proud of?

Kevin K: No regrets ! Well maybe Id like to have a longer penis.. Most proud, Jerry Nolan using my drums and I was his roadie..fantastic !! Or maybe touring in Poland..

Lester: Which are the last 5 records you bought? Which “new” band are you into? Is there still someone out there who’s doing his thing with an attitude that can be compared to the old days?

Kevin K: Last cds I bought were Social Distortion ” Nursury Rhymes” .. KISS “Sonic Boom”..Bannanrama ‘Best Of”.. I HATE all bands,espically everyone after the year 1991..Except ‘Lester And The Landslide ladies’..Mike Ness is great. He is like a Ramone. Looks the same, writes just pure rockin roll songs and has excellant roots.I saw Social D in Hollywood in May. Just a super professional show with NO bullshit. Good times..

Lester: I know you’re very fond of baseball. A couple of years ago you wrote a song called “Go Rays” for Tampa Bay Rays, could tell us a bit more about it?

Kevin K: I just wrote a song for the Buffalo Bisons baseball team “Get Into It”. Thats the name of their new season. The Rays are just a good example of a team of young, hustle play hard everyday guys.. With one of the smallest payrolls in all of American baseball. Cheap like me..

Lester: Often your songs are really “visual” I mean with few words you’re able to describe places, people and situations giving your very own point of view on what you’re telling. That’s remind me a lot cinema and book writing. What kind of movies do you like? What do you like to read?

Kevin K: Scarface and anything with Clint Eastwood in it I love.The South Park movie was great.Cartman is a funny man.. Iggy Pops “I Need More” still is one of my all time favorite books.I just read a book named ‘Only Lovers left Alive” by Dave Wallis. It is the book pictured on The Wanderers LP cover.Its about teenagers taking over the world. My songs, If its low let it go, If its high let it fly….

Lester: I’ve read your book “How to become a Successful”, I’ve seen the dvd and I loved it so much. I’m wondering how does it feel to see almost 35 years of career, what’s in Kevin K future? Do you still like touring? Is there something you still want to do musically speaking?

Kevin K: Oh I have no future, this is it. The end is in sight.. The end of the highway is up out for speedbumps..Yes I like touring,as long as I have a clean toilet to use every night. Thats important to me.35 years is a long time to be doing anything. I played with my first band in Buffalo” New Toys”,its been 32 years. So many of my old friends now have daughters that are 25 years old and I want sex with all of them !!.I wanted to do a record with Jerry Nolan,but I dont think thats gonna happen..Id like to have Jennifer Love Hewitt sing “Do You Wanna Kiss’…Or Iggy Pop sing “Down In The Sewer”..Im working on writing a movie..Film it in Hollywood. Kind of a “Mona et Moi”…….kevK