Kix (band)

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KIX performing in 2009
Background information
Also known asThe Shooze (1977-1979)
The Generators (1980)
The Baltimore Cocks[1]
OriginHagerstown, Maryland, USA
GenresGlam metal, hard rock
Years active1977–1996, 2003–present
LabelsAtlantic, East West, CMC International, Loud and Proud Records
Associated actsFunny Money, The Blues Vultures, The Snakehandlers, Rhino Bucket, Jeremy and the Suicides, Jeremy L. White, Souls at Zero, Wrathchild America, Silent Old Mtns
MembersSteve Whiteman
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant
Brian "Damage" Forsythe
Ronnie "10/10" Younkins
Mark Schenker
Past membersDonnie Purnell
Donnie Spence
Brad Divens
Jimi K. Bones
Pat DeMent

KIX is an American hard rock band that achieved popularity during the 1980s. Band members have continued to 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.


Early years (1977–1987)[edit]

KIX was formed by Ronnie Younkins, Brian Forsythe and Donnie Purnell in December 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1981, they released 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.[2] "KIX Are for Kids" creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, Kix (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit ("Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"). "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" became the band's most popular concert song, always with a unique ad-lib performance by lead vocalist Steve Whiteman, of Piedmont, WV. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock and roll style of KIX was established.

Originally calling themselves Shooze and eventually changing their name to the Generators and ultimately, KIX, Baltimore's favorite hard rock band garnered quite a 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.

Led by frontman Steve Whiteman and creative mastermind/bassist Donnie Purnell, the band is rounded out by drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant and guitarists Ronnie "10/10" Younkins and Brian "Damage" Forsythe. 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 a contract with Time Warner affiliate Atlantic Records. Releasing their self-titled debut in 1981, KIX featured live favorites like "Atomic Bombs," "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" and "The Itch". 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 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. Eager to get back in the studio, KIX partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and hit songwriter Bob Halligan Jr (Kiss, Judas Priest, Icon), and released Midnite Dynamite — their self-proclaimed "favorite record ever." 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 cuts are "Sex" and "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)."

Commercial success (1988–1995)[edit]

Kix performing in 1983

Building off the success of "Midnite Dynamite", in 1988 KIX went back into the studio to record their follow-up. Later that year they released Blow My Fuse, and finally achieved fame as it went platinum. The Bob Halligan Jr. power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes" — containing anti-suicide lyrics — led the way (peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100). The album featured the singles "Cold Blood" (the first of Purnell's many co-writes with Taylor Rhodes) and "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. With the success of "Blow My Fuse", the bands popularity had grown to include 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 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 that label. In 1995, the band released their next album, $how Bu$ine$$, on CMC International.

Side projects (1996–2002)[edit]

In 1996, Steve 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. Ronnie "10/10" Younkins relocated to Baltimore City, and would be part of the rock 'n' roll act Jeremy and the Suicides.

In 2001, guitarist Brian "Damage" Forsythe joined Rhino Bucket.

Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant joined Funny Money as their drummer in 2003. Ronnie "10/10" Younkins 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. Brian "Damage" Forsythe is now with Rhino Bucket, joining the band in 2001. Brian performs lead guitar on Rhino Bucket's 2005 release And Then It Got Ugly.

Reunion (2003–present)[edit]

KIX reformed in late 2003 without songwriter and band leader Purnell. KIX then lined-up shows for September 2004, the lineup consisting of Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Ronnie "10/10" 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.[3]

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.[4]

On June 18, 2014, it was announced that the band would release their seventh studio album, titled Rock Your Face Off, on August 5.[5]

On August 5, 2014, KIX Rock Your Face Off was released on Loud & Proud Records. It debuted at #49 on the Billboard Top 200 (the band's second highest-charting record after 1988's Blow My Fuse), debuted at #1 on Amazon Hard Rock and remained there for more than three weeks. It was well received by fans and critics alike. The prominent 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. The first time in the web site's history that an album has taken the top spot in both categories. 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." [6]

In February 2017 it was announced that KIX would headline the first night at Rockingham Festival 2017, this to be held at Nottingham Trent University, UK.[7]

Original Shooze drummer Donnie Spence died at the age of 64 on January 19, 2018 in Hagerstown, Maryland.[8]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Whiteman in 2010
  • 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)

Former members[edit]

  • 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)

Session members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Release Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Kix 1981
Cool Kids 1983 177
Midnite Dynamite 1985 60
Blow My Fuse 1988 46
Hot Wire 1991 64
  • US: 200,000+
$how Bu$ine$$ 1995
Rock Your Face Off 2014 49
  • US: 20,000+

Live albums[edit]

  • Live (1993)
  • Live in Baltimore (2012)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Essentials (2002)
  • Thunderground (2004) (unofficial bootleg of demos)
  • Rhino Hi-Five EP (2006)

Guest appearances[edit]


Title Release Peak chart positions Album
"Heartache" 1981 Kix
"The Itch"
"Atomic Bombs"
"Body Talk" 1983 104 Cool Kids
"Cool Kids"
"Midnite Dynamite" 1985 Midnite Dynamite
"Cold Shower"
"Scarlet Fever"
"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
"Hot Wire"
"Same Jane"
"Tear Down The Walls"
"911" 1995 $how Bu$ine$$
"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)


  1. ^ "Kix". Big Time Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  2. ^ "Revived hard rock band KIX playing area show". The New Item. March 29, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "KIX Signs With FRONTIERS RECORDS For Live DVD, Upcoming Studio Album". August 7, 2012. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "KIX To Release 'Rock Your Face Off' In August". June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Album Of The Week: KIX Rock Your Face Off". August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "Rockingham 2017 lineup". Rockingham. Rockingham 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  8. ^ "Donald Lee Spence, 64". Herald-Mail Media. January 22, 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-22.

External links[edit]