The Dead End Kidz interview
The Dead End Kidz hail from Mineola, New York and remind me of late 1970's hard rock with a sound that's a bit of a mixture of AC/DC, KISS, Ted Nugent, UFO and Thin Lizzy. I recently got to interview vocalist John Erigo to learn more about this band.
Hello, please introduce the members of your band.
Alrighty then! The Dead End Kidz have got Michael LoBianco on Guitars/Backing Vocals, Kevin Edell on Bass/Backing Vocals, Scott Carlson Guitars, Tom Mahalko Drums/Backing Vocals and some guy named John Erigo trying to sing! LOL!
Tell us a little about the history of your band.
Well, Tommy, Scott and myself started out in a cover band called BASKET CASE. Eventually 2 members of that band left, and we decided to not only stay together, but we agreed to start writing songs. We added the remaining players through the audition process. Michael was actually our first bass player because he was friends with our at-the-time guitarist Marc Weiss. Marc left the band, Mike jumped on guitar and my old friend Kevin Edell came down to check us out and liked it so much he wanted to join. We've been kickin' ass ever since then!
What are you currently up to?
Well, we had some plans for the Summer, but they kind of got side tracked(more on that later!). So, for now we're doing all we can to promote the cd and get it out there so everybody knows who we are. We are hoping that towards the end of 2008 we can get some quality gigs. So, we're concentrating on doing interviews like this one(thanks for having us!), airplay on radio/internet stations, and reviews on websites and in magazines.
Who are your musical influences?
Me, personally? For me first and foremost it is KISS. They were the first band that opened my eyes to LOUD rock n roll. I also enjoy mostly older stuff like Van Halen, AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Riot, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith. The Metal head inside me loves Metallica, Anvil, Raven, Saxon, Accept. The Japanese person inside me loves Loudness, Anthem, Seikima-II, Canta, X Japan, Siam Shade. I love lots of different kinds of music!I just recently got into Turbonegro, Danko Jones, The Hellacopters. For OUR influences as a band, lots of these bands would come up. Others would include Rush, The Cult, The Black Crowes, and so on and so on.
What is your favorite decade for music and why?
That's a tough one. I am sure after listening to our new cd UNFINISHED BUSINESS, it seems obvious that it's the 70's. But not the early 70's, more of the mid to late 70's. Before there were so many sub genres and before Hair Metal. Music was pure and full of rock n roll attitude and wasn't diluted into who's hair sticks up higher, and all the bulls**t that came later on in the 80's.
What do you think about the hard rock/metal scene in general today? Is it improving, on the decline or about the same?
I would say the music scene in general is cool today. A lot of people complain about file sharing/downloading, but the internet has made it so easy to find new bands, that in the old days, you would've had no clue that they existed. The truth is that most bands can not make money off of album sales anymore, so it's back to the old "make money on the road" attitude. There are so many bands to discover!
I didn’t see any upcoming shows listed on your Myspace page. Do you any in the works?
Ah, now we get to the "later" I referred to earlier. We were planning on some Summer gigs, but in June I was diagnosed with a huge kidney stone. I have been undergoing treatment for it ever since. I won't go into the details, but my present condition is very uncomfortable and annoyingly painful. So.....I am scheduled for surgery in early September, and hopefully I can resume with DEK by the end of that month and we'll gear up for some ass kicking for the end of 2008!
Do you play any cover songs live?
Well, that depends on how long of a set we get. We have in the past played a bunch. This past April, one of our staple cover songs was released on a tribute cd. We did our version of Ace Frehley's NEW YORK GROOVE on the cd "Lick It Up:A Millennium Tribute To KISS". The cd was put out by Versailles Records and can be found on Amazon.com, or you can cruise to our myspace page www.myspace.com/dekmusic to hear it. We've also been known to do songs like COLD GIN(KISS), TOO HOT TO HANDLE(UFO), CAT SCRATCH FEVER(TED NUGENT), JAILBREAK & DANCIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT(THIN LIZZY), LIT UP(BUCKCHERRY), TOYS IN THE ATTIC(AEROSMITH)just to name a few.
What do you think is your band’s greatest strength?
The way we approach songwriting. I really think it's important as a vocalist to really have the musicians happy with the music before the lyrics/vocals are added. We write as a group, and the process is right for us. They build the house, and then I paint it.
In what area(s) do you think that you still need some work?
Well, personally I wish I was a better vocalist--I think every singer thinks that way. I couldn't point ANY flaws in my bandmates because they just kick ass and amaze me all the time.
Are any of you in other bands or musical projects as well as being in the Dead End Kidz?
It's DEK or bust for me! Kevin has been in a cover band called JERRY AND THE NEWCOMERS and he also had gigged a short while ago with his old band NINJA.
You have a whole lot of friends on Myspace. What else are you doing to get the word out about your band? Is it helping to get you noticed?
I think I touched on it before. We are not JUST concentrating on myspace, although it is easy to because it's free! Like I said, old school marketing. I have been writing to radio stations and websites, magazines, anybody who'll listen. We're trying to blitz every media outlet we can.
What goals do you have for your band for the near future?
The main objective, as always, is to get our music out there so as many people as possible can hear it. From there on out, it's up to them to decide our fate. Hopefully the people that have encountered The Dead End Kidz have enjoyed what they have heard. We've gotten like 99% positive feedback so far, so we must be doing something right!
Pick the band from each of the following pairs that you prefer and tell why.
Are you kidding me?! DUDE! This is going to be impossible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scorpions or Van Halen
Ugh---I have to go with VH just for the legacy. Klaus, Rudolph, I LOVE you guys but VH wins this one.
Aerosmith or Ted Nugent
Oh man, you suck! LOL! For me personally, it's Uncle Ted, but for the rest of DEK we'll go with Aerosmith. How's that?
Thin Lizzy or UFO
Oh you didn't! These 2 bands BOTH produced what could be agrued as THE BEST live album of all time. Thin Lizzy's LIVE AND DANGEROUS and UFO's STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. For me, I have to pick Thin Lizzy because of Phil Lynotts amazing songwriting. Kevin Edell(DEK Bassist) and Scott Carlson(DEK Guitarist)will pull for Michael Schenker and the old UFO.
AC/DC or KISS
Now that's just not fair! I said it before, it has to be KISS for me, the rest of DEK would probably pick AC/DC, but it is a tough call.
Is there anything else that you would like to say about your band or your music?
I would like to thank you for showing an interest in THE DEAD END KIDZ. We really do appreciate the exposure. For anybody that hasn't heard of us, or has never heard our music--all we ask is you give us a chance. If you like hard driving, no filler, loud, guitar crankin' ROCK N ROLL, you'll enjoy DEK. Buckle up that seat belt and get ready for the ride! Thanks!