No. 12

May 01, 2014

The infamous Maryland band Kix announced on April 16th that they will be heading to the studio again to create their first album in 19 years. Kix have signed a deal with Loud and Proud Records and will be releasing their new album in the summer of 2014. No word yet on the title. The album will be produced by Taylor Rhodes, who worked on the 1991 Kix album Hot Wire and has written hit songs for bands such as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Journey, and others. Tom Lipsky, owner of Loud and Proud Records said "What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n roll fun. What I love about their new music is that it’s pure, genuine KIX music, straight up guitar rock with no compromise. They’re not chasing trends or trying to re-invent themselves. They’re simply doing what they do best...and now they can do it Loud and Proud !"

When it comes to the greatest classic bands of the 1980's, no list would be complete without Kix. They are one of the few notable bands from Maryland to make it in the industry. Kix was formed by Ronnie Younkins, Brian Forsythe and Donnie Purnell in December 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland originally calling themselves Shooze, eventually changing their name to the Generators, and ultimately becoming Kix. The band cultivating a huge local fan base which led to a contract with Atlantic Records in 1981 for their their self-titled debut album, Kix, featuring "Atomic Bombs", "Heartache", "Contrary Mary", "The Itch", and "The Kid". "Love at First Sight" instantly became a concert favorite. "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" became the band's most popular concert song, always with a unique performance by vocalist Whiteman. To support the release, the quintet set out to hit every club up and down the East Coast. Their 1983 follow-up, Cool Kids, showcased a more commercial side of the band led by the single "Body Talk" and rumors ran rampant that the song was written to appease the band's label, eager to capture a radio audience. Eager to get back in the studio, Kix partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill releasing their album Midnite Dynamite and spawning two singles: "Midnite Dynamite" and "Cold Shower," which broke # 25 on the charts. Their third album Blow My Fuse went platinum with the ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes".

In 1991, Kix released their album Hot Wire and the subsequent single "Girl Money". Follow this in 1992, guitarist Jimi K. Bones replaced Brian "Damage" Forsythe, and while on tour the same year they recorded the live album Live at the University of Maryland, College Park, released in 1993. In the face of declining sales Atlantic Records dropped the band from the label in 1994 and the band released their final album, Show Business, on CMC International in 1995. After five albums KIX disbanded shortly afterwards, returning in 2003 to test the waters again with all of the original members except for the bass player Donnie Purnell. The lineup became: Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Jimmy Chalfant (drums & vocals), Ronnie Younkins (guitars), Brian Forsythe (guitars) and new bass player Mark Schenker. They played several dates a year with reunion shows in the Maryland and Pennsylvania area, selling out shows and eagerly being awaited each year for their annual KIXmas shows. In 2008 they hit two of the big rock festivals, Rocklahoma and Rock the Bayou.

The band has been involved in several side projects. In 1996, Steve Whiteman formed a band called Funny Money. In 1998, Brian Forsythe teamed up with ex-White Sister and Tattoo Rodeo drummer Rich Wright, Rhino Bucket members George Dolivo and Reeve Downes to forge Deep Six Holiday. Ronnie Younkins could be found in the Baltimore rock 'n' roll act Jeremy and the Suicides. In 2001, guitarist Brian Forsythe joined Rhino Bucket and Jimmy Chalfant joined Funny Money as their drummer in 2003. Ronnie Younkins moved to L.A. and released the album The Slimmer Twins: Lack of Luxury, as a collaboration with vocalist Jeremy L. White in 2000. Back on the East Coast, he founded the Blues Vultures in 2002, maturing into the lead vocalist and primary songwriter, and in 2005, released the album The Blues Vultures: Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars.

Kix band members have continued to tour throughout the years, including performances at the Rocklahoma festival in 2008 in Oklahoma and the M3 Rock Festival in May 2011 in Maryland. Kix vocalist Steve Whiteman stated, “The boys and I are so happy that our old friend, Tom Lipsky, has invited us to join the Loud & Proud family. We worked with Tom and Madelyn Scarpulla on our last album Show Business. We'll be coming to a dump near you very soon !” For many years, Whiteman was the vocal coach of Lzzy Hales, of the band Halestorm. She credits Steve with her strong and massive range. Maybe we'll see Kix and Halestorm share the stage together.

Click Here To Watch Kix "Don't Close Your Eyes"

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