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Kix performing in 2009
|Also known as||The Shooze (1977-1979)|
The Generators (1980)
The Baltimore Cocks
|Origin||Hagerstown, Maryland, USA|
|Genres||Glam metal, hard rock|
|Years active||1977–1996, 2003–present|
|Labels||Atlantic, East West, CMC International, Loud and Proud Records|
|Associated acts||Funny Money, The Blues Vultures, The Snakehandlers, Rhino Bucket, Jeremy and the Suicides, Jeremy L. White, Souls at Zero, Wrathchild America, Silent Old Mtns|
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant
Brian "Damage" Forsythe
Ronnie "10/10" Younkins
|Past members||Donnie Purnell|
Jimi K. Bones
Kix (sometimes stylized as KIX) is an American hard rock band that achieved popularity during the 1980s. Led by frontman Steve Whiteman and creative mastermind/bassist Donnie Purnell, the band's classic lineup was rounded out by drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant and guitarists Ronnie "10/10" Younkins and Brian "Damage" Forsythe. , Kix garnered an early reputation for themselves as one of Maryland's most exciting live bands, covering influences AC/DC, Aerosmith, April Wine, Led Zeppelin and others, prior to signing with Atlantic Records in 1981. Since peaking in the late-1980s, band members have continued to intermittently record and tour, including the Rocklahoma festival in 2008 in Oklahoma and are a consistent presence at the annual M3 Rock Festival in the band's home state of Maryland.
- 1 History
- 2 Band members
- 3 Discography
- 4 Videography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early years (1977–1987)
Originally calling themselves Shooze, followed by a stint as The Generators, the band that ultimately became known as Kix was formed by Ronnie Younkins, Brian Forsythe and Donnie Purnell in December 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Frontman Steve Whiteman and drummer Jimmy Chalfant soon came on board, completing what would become the band's classic line-up. The band got contract with Time Warner affiliate Atlantic Records. In 1981, they released their self-titled debut album, Kix, which featured favorites from their live shows like "Atomic Bombs," "The Itch," and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" in particular became one of the band's most popular concert songs, always with a unique ad-lib performance by lead vocalist Whiteman. Another track, "Love at First Sight" also became a concert favorite. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock and roll style of Kix was established. Other standout tracks included "Heartache", "Contrary Mary", and "The Kid".
Their 1983 follow-up, Cool Kids, showcased a more commercial side of the band[according to whom?] and included three cover songs. Spearheaded by the single "Body Talk", a cover of a 1981 Nick Gilder song, rumors circulated that the song was covered to appease the band's label, who, eager to capture radio airplay, also forced the band into shooting a blatantly commercial video for the song which featured the band in full-on workout mode. Other songs like "Restless Blood" and "Mighty Mouth" fared a little better. This album was also the only Kix record to feature guitarist Brad Divens, who replaced Younkins for what would ultimately be a brief departure.
Eager to recapture the harder rock vibe of their earlier work, and with Younkins having returned to the lineup, Kix partnered with then-current Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and hit songwriter Bob Halligan Jr. (KISS, Judas Priest, Icon), releasing Midnite Dynamite — their self-proclaimed "favorite record ever" — in 1985. The album spawned two singles: "Midnite Dynamite" reached #18, followed by "Cold Shower," which reached #23, both on the Hot Mainstream Rock chart. Other notable tracks receiving airplay included "Sex" and "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)."
Commercial success (1988–1995)
After Midnite Dynamite, Kix went back into the studio to record their follow-up. In 1988, they released Blow My Fuse, which went platinum. The Bob Halligan Jr. co-written power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes" peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also featured the singles "Cold Blood" (the first of Purnell's many co-writes with Taylor Rhodes) and the title track, "Blow My Fuse", along with videos showing the band in concert at Hammerjack's. In 1989, the band released Blow My Fuse: The Videos, featuring their official video releases and behind-the-scenes footage. The success of Blow My Fuse enabled the band to begin performing in arenas.
The album Hot Wire arrived in 1991, with the single "Girl Money". In 1992, guitarist Jimi K. Bones replaced Brian "Damage" Forsythe. While on tour in 1992, they made a live album, titled Live, showcasing a recent performance at the University of Maryland, College Park. This album, internally referred to as Contractual Obligation Live, was released in 1993. In 1994, Atlantic dropped the band from the label. In 1995, the band released their next album, $how Bu$ine$$, on CMC International.
In 1996, Whiteman formed a band called Funny Money. In 1998, Brian "Damage" Forsythe teamed up with ex-White Sister and Tattoo Rodeo drummer Rich Wright, and erstwhile Rhino Bucket members rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist Georg Dolivo (George Dolivo) and bassist Reeve Downes to forge Deep Six Holiday. In 2001, Forsythe himself would join Rhino Bucket, later performing lead guitar on the group's 2005 release And Then It Got Ugly..
Meanwhile, Ronnie "10/10" Younkins relocated to Baltimore City, and would be part of the rock 'n' roll act Jeremy and the Suicides. Younkins later moved to L.A., then wrote, recorded, 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.
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant joined Whiteman in Funny Money as their drummer in 2003, ultimately sowing the seeds for a Kix reunion.
Kix reformed in late 2003 without songwriter and band leader Donnie Purnell. Kix then lined-up shows for September 2004, the lineup consisting of Whiteman (lead vocals), Younkins (guitars), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitars), Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant (drums, backing vocals), and Funny Money bassist/vocalist/songwriter Mark Schenker in place of Donnie Purnell.
On August 7, 2012, Frontiers Records announced that it had signed Kix; the band subsequently released a live CD/DVD, titled Live in Baltimore, in September, with a new studio album to follow in 2013.
On April 16, 2014, it was announced that the band had signed with Loud & Proud Records to release the band's first studio album in 19 years. On June 18, 2014, it was announced that the band would release this album - their seventh studio album - titled Rock Your Face Off, on August 5. Upon release, it debuted at #49 on the Billboard Top 200 (the band's second highest-charting record after 1988's Blow My Fuse), while debuting at #1 on Amazon Hard Rock, remaining there for more than three weeks. It was well-received by fans and critics alike. The hard rock webzine Sleaze Roxx published that Rock Your Face Off was awarded #1 in the Top Ten Albums of 2014 by editors and staff as well as #1 in Top Ten Albums of 2014 in the Sleaze Roxx Reader's Poll.[full citation needed] The first time in the web site's history that an album has taken the top spot in both categories. Stereogum.com chose Rock Your Face Off as Album of the Week with high praise saying "...all of it is delirious and catchy, and it proudly flaunts its out-of-fashion party-hard spirit. It’s glittering trash, made by guys in their fifties who probably hold down day jobs these days and who have no business making this vigorous and fun anymore. Its mere existence is an inspirational thing, and it’s a reminder that sometimes exploring new musical space isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, songs are the most important thing."
In February 2017 it was announced that Kix would headline the first night at Rockingham Festival 2017, which was held at Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom.
Original Shooze drummer Donnie Spence died at the age of 64 on January 19, 2018 in Hagerstown, Maryland.
On September 21, 2018, exactly 30 years after the original Blow My Fuse album was released, Kix re-issued a 2 CD anniversary edition set: Fuse 30 Reblown – 30th Anniversary Special Edition. Current bassist Mark Schenker tapped legendary producer Beau Hill (Alice Cooper, Ratt, Europe, Warrant) to remix Blow My Fuse from the original 24 track recordings. Hill had previously worked with Kix on their 1985 album, Midnite Dynamite. Fuse 30 Reblown is the brainchild and original concept of Schenker, who with help from veteran record executive Madelyn Scarpulla, was able to obtain digital transfers from the original analog master recording reels and put them in the expert hands and ears of Beau Hill. Schenker was also instrumental in rescuing the original 8-track demo reels from the trash heap when guitarist Ronnie Younkins found them in some old plastic storage bins in his barn. He offered them to Schenker for safe-keeping over ten years before the inception of Fuse 30 Reblown. While Hill worked his legendary magic on remixing the original recordings, Schenker was able to digitally enhance and rescue the original 2-track demos to show the true greatness of the original recordings and insisted on their inclusion in the Fuse 30 Reblown package. The website Metalnation.com reported "Hill does a masterful job on Fuse 30, bringing the album into the new millennium without taking away from eclectic elements and raucous energy that made the original so memorable. Jay Frigoletto (Alice in Chains, Tesla) came in to master the album, adding the perfect finishing touch. It is a difficult proposition messing with an album of near perfection, but three decades later Blow My Fuse is reignited and more powerful than ever. For die-hard fans, the band even added a second disc of the 10 demo recordings for each track on the album."
More recent side projects
In 2018, bassist Mark Schenker formed the Rush tribute band Sun Dogs, handling lead vocals, bass, keyboards and bass pedals, true to the Rush format as a trio, rounded out by drummer Vince Tricarico and guitarist Andy Rabin. The band has emerged from the jam-packed "RUSH tribute world" as a premiere show band featuring video walls, overhead drum camera, synchronized videos and red jump suited actors as "Picture Movers" as part of their live show.
- Brian "Damage" Forsythe – guitar, guitar synthesizer, occasional backing vocals (1977–1993, 1994-1995, 2003–present) lead vocals (1977-1978) keyboards (2003–present)
- Ronnie "10/10" Younkins – guitar, talkbox, occasional backing vocals (1977–1982, 1983–1996, 2003–present)
- Steve Whiteman – lead vocals, harmonica, percussion, saxophone, harp, drums, acoustic guitar (1978–1996, 2003–present)
- Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant – drums, percussion, effects, backing vocals (1979–1996, 2003–present)
- Mark Schenker – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
- Donnie Purnell – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals (1977–1996)
- Donnie Spence – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1977–1979; died 2018)
- Brad Divens – guitar, talk box, backing vocals (1982–1983)
- Jimi K. Bones – guitar (1989, 1993–1994)
- Pat DeMent – guitar (1995-1996)
- Anton Fig – drums, percussion on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — 2 tracks)
- Mike Slamer – guitar on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — track "Scarlet Fever")
- John Luce – backing vocals on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — track "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)")
- Paul Chalfant – viola on $how Bu$ine$$ (1995 — multiple tracks)
|Title||Release||Peak chart positions||Sales||Certifications|
|Blow My Fuse||1988||46||
|Rock Your Face Off||2014||49||
- Live (1993)
- Live in Baltimore (2012)
- The Essentials (2002)
- Thunderground (2004) (unofficial bootleg of demos)
- Rhino Hi-Five EP (2006)
- Monster Metal Power Ballads (2006 — track "Still Loving You" (Scorpions cover), credited as "Still Lovin' You" by Steve Whitman)
- Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition (2006, retail version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
- Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition (2005, exclusive version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
- Leppardmania: A Tribute to Def Leppard (2000 — track "Foolin'" (Def Leppard cover), credited as "Foolin'" by Steve Whiteman)
- Monster Ballads (1999 — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
|Title||Release||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Body Talk"||1983||104||—||Cool Kids|
|"Midnite Dynamite"||1985||—||—||Midnite Dynamite|
|"Cold Blood"||1988||—||—||Blow My Fuse|
|"Blow My Fuse"||—||—|
|"She Dropped Me The Bomb"||—||—|
|"Get It While It's Hot"||1989||—||—|
|"Don't Close Your Eyes"||11||16|
|"Girl Money"||1991||—||26||Hot Wire|
|"Tear Down The Walls"||—||—|
|"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is"||—||—|
|"Love Me With Your Top Down"||2014||—||—||Rock Your Face Off|
|"Wheels In Motion"||—||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.|
- Blow My Fuse: The Videos (1989)
- "Kix". Big Time Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Revived hard rock band Kix playing area show". The New Item. March 29, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Kix Signs With FRONTIERS RECORDS For Live DVD, Upcoming Studio Album". Blabbermouth.net. August 7, 2012. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Kix signs with Loud & Proud Records – first new albums in 19 years in the works for July 22nd release". Loud & Proud Records. April 16, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "Kix To Release 'Rock Your Face Off' In August". Blabbermouth.net. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Album Of The Week: Kix Rock Your Face Off". August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- "Rockingham 2017 lineup". Rockingham. Rockingham 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
- "Donald Lee Spence, 64". Herald-Mail Media. January 22, 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
- "Album Review: Kix Fuse 30 Reblown". Metalnation 2018.
- "Sun Dogs - RUSH Tribute feat. Mark Schenker of Kix". Sun Dogs 2018.
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