Rock band Kix rejoins the party

CorrespondentDecember 6, 2012 



  • More information Who: Kix with Lexx Luthor, Automag and Metal Shop When: 8 p.m. Saturday Where: Lincoln Theatre, 126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh Cost: $29.50 in advance and $35 day of show, $39.50 for VIP Balcony access Details: 919-821-4111

Kix is working on a new album but the hard-rock band won’t preview new tracks when it performs Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre.

“We haven’t played Raleigh in 20 years, and I don’t think the fans there want to hear new stuff right now,” says vocalist Steve Whiteman, calling from his Hagerstown, Md., home. “We’re going back for this show.”

Kix, which burst onto the rock scene during the early ’80s, was a club and theater staple throughout the country until the mid-’90s, when the band splintered.

“It wasn’t voluntary,” Whiteman says. “We were kicked out of the party due to (grunge). We weren’t invited, so we gracefully went our separate ways, but we had a good time back in the day.”

Kix had serious potential during its mid-’80s peak. After opening for such heroes as Aerosmith, AC/DC and The Kinks, the group appeared poised to reach another echelon.

“There was a lot of promise,” Whiteman says. “We had opportunities and it looked like something great was going to happen.”

The band scored a minor hit with “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” The pretty, catchy ballad from 1988’s underheralded “Blow My Fuse,” looked like it could be the ticket to the big time.

Yet things never panned out. Bands such as Cinderella and Poison grabbed the brass ring. The latter’s success wasn’t easy for Kix, since they allegedly pilfered Kix’s look and moves.

“I try never to have any resentment or jealousy, but there might be some with the Poison boys,” Whiteman says.

“Maybe they took some things from us like how we moved around the stage, but the truth is that they made it with their own songs. I don’t live in regret. Some things are meant to be. The thing is that I can make a living playing Kix songs.”

Since getting back together in 2005, the band – which also includes guitarists Brian Forsythe and Ronnie Younkins, bassist Mark Schenker and drummer Jimmy Chalfont – has been a decent draw. “It’s been enough to pay the bills,” Whiteman says. “It’s been a great time for us. The fans love it. If you would have told me that we would ever reunite, I wouldn’t have believed it. When we put out our fifth album (1991’s ‘Hot Wire’) and it died almost immediately, I kind of thought that was the beginning of the end of this band. You make what I thought was our best album and nobody listens to it because of the shift to (grunge). I thought it was over for us not long after that.”

But Kix is back delivering its familiar good-time rock with a wink.

“We take pride in how we present our feel-good music,” Whiteman says. “Other bands can be super cool and serious, but we’re about making music that makes you want to laugh and pump your fist at the same time.”

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