The Kingpins (Canadian band)

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The Kingpins (Featuring Lorraine Muller "The Queen of Ska")
Origin Montréal, Québec, Canada
Genres Ska
Years active 1994–2004
Labels Stomp
Associated acts Lo and the Magnetics
Past members Eric Boulanger (founding member)
Jordan Swift (founding member)
Ian Hodkinson (founding member)
Lorraine Muller (founding member)
Vượng Đào
Bobby Beaton
Nigel Goddard
Jesse Radz
Maithe Robert de Massis
Paddy Walsh
Nish Herat
David Jager
John Jordan
Dave "JFK" Adams
Chris Pung
Mitch "King Kong" Gírio
Josh Fuhrman
Johnny Trudel
Mike Gasselsdorfer
Daryl Meili
Chris Raz
Dan Meier
Sean Scanlan
Oliver Crow
Russ Cooper
Liam O'Neil (guest)
Josh Katz-Rosene (guest)
Andy King (guest)
Gord Hyland

The Kingpins featuring Lorraine Muller - The Queen of Ska was a ska band from Montréal, Canada that created Stomp Records label with fellow Montreal Ska band The Planet Smashers. The last Kingpins tour took place in 2004, after which the members of the band reformed under the name Lo and the Magnetics founded by Muller in order to reflect the drastic line-up changes (and musical changes) that had taken place since the band's inception in 1994. During their ten-year reign, the band toured extensively in Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, and Japan. They are known for their danceable ska rhythms, and their catchy song-writing abilities in both English and French.


Official The Kingpins logo

The group formed in 1994 by founding members of the Kingpins were Eric 'Boum Boum' Boulanger on drums, Jordan Swift on bass, Ian 'Hot Tub' Hodkinson on organ, and Lorraine Muller (later given the nickname "The Queen of Ska" by Bobby Beaton), on alto saxophone (she later went on to play tenor and baritone saxes, and eventually became the lead singer and band leader.)

The band's first big break came with the release of their first single, "On the Run", written by Hodkinson and Muller which garnered them the 1995 Montreal Independent Music Industry award in the category of Best Single. The single was released with two B-sides, "Spy vs. Spy" (a cover) and "Leave My Girlfriend Alone" (by Nigel Goddard, alto sax). The Montréal ska scene took notice and Kingpins shows attracted increasingly larger crowds. The wave of support was continued with the release of the band's first full-length album Watch Your Back in 1997, but it wasn't until 1999 that they broke out into the mainstream media with the release of their second album Let's Go To Work, a more traditional-based ska album. The success of the second album led to major exposure, such as performances on the Warped Tour, at the Montreal Jazz Festival and extensive touring in Europe.

The third and final album under the Kingpins' name was Plan of Action, released in September 2000. This album represented a major shift in the Kingpins' musical direction. Vocal duties were taken over almost exclusively by Lorraine Muller, one of the band's original members. Before the release of Plan of Action Muller was primarily responsible for playing baritone saxophone and singing vocals on a few songs. The band also experimented with different stylistic fusions, mixing ska with various other musical genres, including new wave and breakbeat. The album also featured guest appearances by many big names in the Canadian ska scene, including Dave "JFK" Adams of JFK & the Conspirators, and Mitch "King Kong" Girio of King Apparatus fame. Though these were drastic changes, the album was well received.

The group toured on and off over the next four years, but by 2004, the band's line-up included only one original member (Muller), and the group announced on October 28, 2004 that their next album would be released under the name Lo and the Magnetics. At the time of their "breakup", the Kingpins consisted of Lorraine Muller on lead vocals and saxophone, Chris Raz on guitar, Dan Meier on saxophone, Russ Cooper on bass, and Mike Gasselsdorfer on drums. In concert, Lo and the Magnetics occasionally played songs that were released under the Kingpins' name, though they referred to them as "covers". They have, however, retired some of the Kingpins' most notable songs, such as "The 10 Commandments of Ska". The Magnetics are on hiatus and expect to record some demos at some point.


Compilation appearances[edit]


  • Supernova
  • Consequence
  • Bordel
  • Manon Viens Danser le Ska (1999)


External links[edit]

  • The Official Kingpins Web Site (English)
  • The Kingpins on MySpace
  • The Kingpins on CBC Radio 3
  • "Interview with the Kingpins on". July 8, 2004. Archived from the original on July 6, 2007.
  • Ska and Order: Skankin' the old way with The Kingpins (from Eye Weekly Magazine)
  • The Kingpins at Stomp Records
  • THE KINGPINS Interview on SkaNews Webzine