INTERVIEWS WITH SOME OF HEAVY METAL'S FINEST ARTISTS
THE MAGIC OF MARC SASSO..From creating brilliant artwork for metal gods (Dio, Adrenaline Mob, Rob Halford) to doing stunning illustrations for Star Wars roleplaying games, Marc Sasso is an artist who is indeed MAGICAL.
DARK MINISTRY IS BACK
Former Exciter drummer Rik Charron talks about his plans for Dark Ministry, what happened with his former band Spiral Wheel and all the latest happenings. Coming soon to Universal Metal Interface
I spoke with James Kottak, Keith St. John, and Rick Steier about the upcoming Kingdom Come, 30th Anniversary Tour kicking off Sept 27, in Seattle, Washington, USA
** I must say, this is AMAZING. You guys helped form and played in one of the biggest hard rock/heavy metal bands of the late 80s, Kingdom Come and your legacy still lives on 30 years later. The two of you (James, Rick) were on Kingdom Comes' first two albums, Kingdom Come and In Your Face, one of which, Kingdom Come, is considered the bands most popular and biggest selling recording.You also had the pleasure of opening the North American Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988 supporting Dokken, Scorpions, Van Halen, and Metallica AND supported the Scorpions on their 1989 Savage Amusement tour. How does it feel to be playing together again? Do you think it will be like touring in the old days?
JAMES: The four of us, me, Johnny B Frank/bass, Danny Stag/guitar, Rick Steier/guitar met back up mid August and picked up right where we left off...the bestest of friends...we just click! We all have those friends we haven't talked to in a while...then you meet up and pick up right where we left off...This is US! I am often asked, 'What makes a great band'...simple...friends, family and lot of FUN
We work and play even harder. We have 120 years experience between the four of us...Add Keith St John and our friends & fans around the globe and THAT is a simple formula for success...meow
RICK: It feels really great to be playing with these guys after 30 years. That's an awful long time to go between gigs. Lol.
As you may know, I've been playing with James Kottak over the years in bands such as Warrant, Wild Horses, and James's solo projects. Plus our relationship goes back to Louisville, Kentucky before we even moved out here so for him and I, we really never quit playing together. But as a group, JB and Danny pretty much play the same way they did back in the day. They haven't lost their edge or skills and the sound we get together is basically the same. I'm very pleasantly surprised.
I've seen guys I went to high school with and 30 years later they look completely different. The four of us basically look the same albeit older but we are not going bald and getting fat. LOL. I guess what I'm saying is besides the sound still being there, the image looks basically the same as well, which contributes to the overall vibe of the band continuing where we left off.
In short, it's really been fun playing the songs again after all this time and being able to recreate the same sound as well. It's going to be a blast to go on tour with these guys again.
Touring this time around will be a little different I must say. When we first started our American tour back in 1988 we shared the stage with van Halen and Scorpions as you mentioned. Which was insane because we had never played or toured anywhere in the states before then. So we went from 0 to 100 mph in a couple months.
Now because we haven't been around for a while, we're just trying to establish the fact that we're back and that we can still put on a great live show and play the songs from our albums the way we did back then.
But instead of Four Season's hotels we might be in Comfort Inn's. Instead of playing the Colosseum we might be playing some dive bar in middle America. LOL. But that doesn't matter. It's not about the money or anything like that. Now, It's all about playing some great music, reliving the moment and having some fun. I don't have to prove anything at my age other than that I can still rock!!
** Keith, what was your initial reaction when the guys asked you come on as singer for this tour?
KEITH: I've always loved Kingdom Come's music and I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the reunion with all the four original members on guitars bass and drums! I've known James for literally decades now so we've jammed a few times before over the years so I've witnessed many times first hand how genius his playing is. That being said, it's wicked cool that we'll be touring together in the same band now, throwin' down these iconic songs.
** How did they approach you about coming on board?
James first mentioned it to me in passing almost a year ago, but I think we really solidified the idea of me doing it at last January's "Ronnie Montrose Remembered" concert at the NAMM convention. I have been producing a celebration concert for the late Ronnie Montrose at the convention each year for the last few years and we've had members perform in it from tons of great bands including GNR, Aerosmith, Scorps, Whitesnake, Cheap Trick, Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, etc etc and this past year James performed and he and I got to connect on the topic that we were both members of Montrose at one time! (I spent 12 years) In the midst of all that, we began communicating more seriously about the possibilty of the resurrection of the Kingdom Come band...and now...Here we are!
** Have you toured like this before?
Ci señorita. Montrose, Lynch Mob, Burning Rain, Tracii's L.A. Guns, Nazareth(feat,Manny Charleton), Quiet Riot, just to name a few. Although I gotta say our dates are packed super tight on this first run so I'm eating my Wheaties every day!Repeat after me..."The Kingdom has Returneth!!" See ya at the show Heather.
My original interview with Thomas Jensen, founder of Wacken, ended up in a wild goose chase but with everyone's coordination we finally got him to speak! Ville Kranilla was able to meet up at Wacken with Thomas and get him to say a few words. You can read it all now on KK Downing's Steel Mill. Thank you to Jari Asell and Ville for helping to get this done.