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Still Blown 30 Years Later: An Exclusive Interview With STEVE WHITEMAN Of KIX

By Ruben Mosqueda, Contibutor
Thursday, August 23, 2018 @ 1:14 PM


"I can't tell you how liberating it is for us to write songs together as band, rather than have one guy who oversees everything."

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Photo Credits To Mark Weiss And Mike Morgan, Respectively

“I give the local fans all the credit, the fact that they, along with all the rest of the fans, turn out year in year out to watch us headline a set,” reflects KIX frontman Steve Whiteman on the band’s standing slot on Maryland’s yearly M3 festival. He goes on to say, “The promoter has also been very supportive to allow us to get out in front of 15,000 people to do a headlining set too, we’re just so grateful.” Whiteman spoke to KNAC.COM about KIX’s remixed and remastered edition of Blow My Fuse, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018; the new expanded edition is titled Fuse 30 Reblown. The album has been remixed by Beau Hill who has worked with KIX before, having produced their 1985 album Midnight Dynamite. Fuse 30 Reblown is set for release on September 21st via Loud & Proud.

KNAC.COM: You're celebrating the 30th anniversary of Blow My Fuse with a remixed and remastered deluxe edition titled; Fuse 30 Reblown.

Steve Whiteman: That’s right! It’s set for release on September 21st. It was our current bass player Mark Schenker, who suggested we do something to commemorate the anniversary of ‘Blow My Fuse.’ The record label started asking us of we were interested getting started on a new record. It was Mark that brought up the idea that we remaster the record, put it out there and do a campaign for it. We thought that was an excellent idea, we put our heads together alone with our label Loud & Proud and we got to work. We’ve been playing the record in its entirety over the course of the past couple of months to honor the biggest record of our career. KNAC.COM: Blow My Fuse was the first KIX record I ever bought.

WHITEMAN: It's a good one! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: No question, the songs still stand up today, even without being remixed. Rock Candy Records, the British label that reissues out of print albums and remasters them, issued a copy of Blow My Fuse in 2014. Have you heard that?

WHITEMAN: No, I’ve never even heard about that! I didn't even know that existed! On this version of Fuse we were completely hands on, so it was sanctioned by the band. The version that you're talking about, we had nothing to do with and I don’t know how they were able to release that? I'll have to look into that one. We were involved with this and we even got Beau Hill involved to get this remixed and remastered. Beau did a lot of things better than you heard on the original---it just sounds so much better because of the technology that’s available in the present day. That’s the genius of Beau Hill. We knew Beau because he did the Midnight Dynamite record, then [bassist] Mark Schenker approached him about remixing the record and we loved the idea because Beau Hill was our choice to do that record which ultimately it was Tom Werman that was used.

KNAC.COM: What about the recording did you feel warranted it being remixed?

WHITEMAN: By remixing this record we got rid a lot of the reverb that you could heard throughout and it was the ‘thing' at the time. The record sounds much clearer and cleaner now.

KNAC.COM: With 30 years that have passed, was there any thought to bringing in Tom Werman in any capacity?

WHITEMAN: No, there was such a huge falling out between Tom and our former bassist Donnie Purnell that it wasn't a consideration. The rift between those two affected everyone. This has all come together in the last year, we loved how this came together quickly and easily, why ruin a good thing like that?

KNAC.COM: Mark is a fan of the band who happens to also be in the band.

WHITEMAN: Yeah, basically! [laughs] Mark played in my band FUNNY MONEY for about 8 years before KIX reformed and we needed a bass player. There was no question he was the guy we needed in the band. Mark’s always been a fan and a friend of the band. He used to come out and see KIX when his band used to open for KIX back in the day. It's come full-circle, hasn't it? [laughs] He started as a ‘fanboy' but he's an integral part of the band! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: Between the Rock Your Face Off album and the documentary and the live content, and now Fuse 30, there's enough KIX to tide us over until there’s a follow up studio album. I'd rather wait for a great record from bands, rather than a new record year in and year out that's just not very good.

WHITEMAN: Oh, that was a great record and we’re really proud of it. It was the first album we’d worked on without Donnie Purnell as the main songwriter. It was the right thing to do on that record to get Taylor Rhodes involved because we had such great chemistry and we collaborate well together and that's evidence of that. We were pleased that people loved that record and we do a couple tunes off that record in the set now.

KNAC.COM: I have to ask, do you have stuff ready to go for a new studio album?

WHITEMAN: I’ve been writing for the last three years and I’m sure Mark has some stuff, [guitarist] Brian [Forsythe] is also writing. We’ll get the rest of the guys together, when we come together to do pre-production and hammer things out. I can't tell you how liberating it is for us to write songs together as band, rather than have one guy who oversees everything.

KNAC.COM: Tell me about the demos, because that surprised me that you had those for the reason you stated previously; Donnie seemed to control all that stuff.

WHITEMAN: When KIX broke up in 1995, we had a studio in Pennsylvania that had all of our recording gear in it, which we used to record all of our demos. We split up the gear, someone took the mixing board and someone took the 4-track, the stuff got divided. Ronnie Younkins took the 16-track that we mastered down on all the tapes. When Mark had this idea to remix and remaster Fuse he asked Ronnie if he still had all those tapes. He did and he brought them to Mark who got some help cleaning those up and sounding a little bit better. We worked our ass off on these demos and they sound really good. I look forward to people hearing the genesis of the songs ideas and what they ultimately sounded like on the record.

KNAC.COM: As a fan I love listening to demos on these packages. While I won't crank these in the car, it's very cool to hear the early versions of the songs.

WHITEMAN: I think people will enjoy the remix of Fuse and like you said, it will be the die-hards that will really appreciate the demos, no question.

KNAC.COM: You did some background vocals on the TWISTED SISTER Love Is For Suckers record. When you got involved with that was it already a ‘TWISTED' album or was it still a Dee Snider solo album? Beau produced that one too...

WHITEMAN: That’s right! Beau was the reason we wound up on that album, he was looking for some background vocalists. Beau reached out to Jimmy Chalfant and I to do some vocals for the record. Beau had Dee send us all these demos and we learned all the background vocals to the songs. We went to New York City for about two days worth of work of background vocals. At that point that record was still very much a Dee Snider solo album, but as you know he was then pressured to bill it as TWISTED SISTER.

KNAC.COM: You're all over that album, we can really hear it on “Hot Love”.

WHITEMAN: Yeah, every time Dee needed a background vocal that needed to be sung incredibly high, he’d say “Hey, let's send in ‘Iron Lung’ to do that!” [laughs]


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