Do you know what is coming up and you have to be ready for???? The premiere of Villains of Vaudeville‘s video for Demolition Baby! If you don’t know who I am talking about, let me share my love for Villains of Vaudeville with you.
I have been secretly in love with my new favorite CD that has been hidden away because I just don’t want to lose this one to ANYONE! It has remnants of everything from Marilyn Manson to Rob Zombie with a hint of STP and everything in between! Just as stated from Villains of Vaudeville, it is
“Beats that threaten to entrance your soul. Riffs that will rake you from the flames of hell to the rapture of heaven… Listening is a surrender to the right of passage… an Initiation to the dance… You have been warned.”
That is so true in so many ways. Youcan just get lost in the music in the very best way. Drowning in a romantic array of lyrical beauty that is Kenny Kweens. It is as if he has handcuffs around my soul and I am just embraced by nasty riffs, dirty guitar, intense drum beats and incredibly soul touching vocals that creates a pouring of my own soul. I love everything about this and want more! You will too when you get to treat yourself to some Villains of Vaudeville. Here is an interview with Kenny Kweens we want to share with you:
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Music Junkie Press: Hi! Thank you for taking the time out for us to talk a bit about the Villains Of Vaudeville new debut CD ‘Villains De Vaudeville’ which we have been enjoying.
Kenny: Hello and thank you.
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Music Junkie Press: Your music has a bit of everything in there and truly is a collection of creative accomplishment! How long have you worked on this CD?
Kenny: It’s been in my head for a while. I started doing some demos for Villains of Vaudeville I guess about 5 years ago or so. I had some song ideas laying around that I wanted to record, so I called a really good friend (and producer), Tracy Swider, to help me with them. They came out pretty damn good, so the thought of calling the project something and throwing it out there came to mind. I dreamed up the name Villains Of Vaudeville. We got some good feedback from the demos, but I would get derailed with other projects to where I felt like I could never give VOV the proper attention it needed, so then I finally dedicated myself to make the record by pushing everything else to the side. Tracy Swider really urged me to do this and I’m glad he did. I’m very proud of what we accomplished. In my mind it’s a kick ass record.
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Music Junkie Press: All of the songs on this CD are incredible and my personal favorites are “The Devil is Waiting” and “Black Heart Saints”, wait maybe “Motor Psycho” and “Dirty Star”. Well, they are all so great, hell I can’t decide!! Do you have a personal favorite or one that just really is special for you?
Kenny: I hate to come off sounding wrong, but I really like them all too. That was the goal. The goal was to make a record that we thought would be very bewitching from start to finish. I guess “The Devil is Waiting” will always have a special place in my blackened heart, it was one of the first ones that we put together, so it kinda set the bar. I really like “Motor Psycho” a lot too, I’ve always like the hard hitting high-octane type songs, and “Black Heart Saints” came out very well, the solo in “Black Heart Saints” is my favorite, so it is hard to pick one song and I think that’s a good thing.
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Music Junkie Press: You really have some great guitar work on a lot of the songs. Do you have a specific writing process, i.e. the music first or lyrics, etc?
Kenny: Yeah, the guitar work was done by Tracy Swider. He is one of the best, if not the best, guitarist I’ve ever worked with. Tracy and I orchestrated the music and then we brought Glen Sobel (Beautiful Creatures, Alice Cooper) to play the drums on the record and he is probably the best drummer I’ve ever worked with, so I felt like I had the best of the best in my corner, which made the fight easier to win. As far as the writing process, on some songs I came in with a lyric idea or even a title or chorus, but then some songs came from a cool riff, so there was no real formula and I think that is how most bands work.
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Music Junkie Press: How old were you when you first played guitar? Can you remember what was the first song you played in it’s entirety?
Kenny: I don’t know… What I can remember is, I was a young kid bored one summer and saw an old beat up guitar in my father’s closet, so I pulled it out and started strumming on it. I think the first song was something simple like a song by The Ramones, like “I wanna be sedated” or something like that…
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Music Junkie Press: I know you have been working on the video for “Demolition Baby” with Sean Reed. If it is anything like “The Devil is Waiting”, we will be glued to it! Do you have an expected release date?
Kenny: The “Demolition Baby” video was filmed by Colin Pregent, directed by Sean Reed and edited by Sean and myself. It will be released June 18th. It isn’t like “The Devil is Waiting” video. It is quite the opposite actually. It is more colorful and has a more retro-surfer zombie feel. It’s more campy and cheeky. I wanted it to be different and I’ve always loved that retro sexploitation look of the 60’s and 70’s, you know that Bettie Page era. So we went with the whole female sex-bot thing. It’s a bit more of an up-beat side of VOV and it fits the song. It’s very close to what was going on inside my head when I wrote it. The next video after “Demolition Baby” will be for “Black Heart Saints” and that video is being filmed, directed and edited by James Disspain. Disspain also was the master mind behind “The Devil is Waiting” so you can expect that one to have that dark edge again.
Music Junkie Press: Here is a teaser for the video:
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Music Junkie Press: This album brings to mind many artists like Rob Zombie or Alice Cooper, by far not in a comparison since you truly have your own individual style. What was some of the most influential albums/artists for you growing up?
Kenny: I take that as a compliment. I’m proud to be in this genre and in that company. I look at them as comrades not competition. We are and should be allies. I’m a huge fan of Zombie and Cooper. So much so, that we did a cover of the Alice Cooper song, “Is it My Body” on the record. I’ve met Rob briefly a few times and he always seems cool and I’ve also met Alice a bunch of times and he is one of the coolest, if not the coolest rock star ever, and that’s why I did his song on the record. The first big hit for Alice Cooper as you know was “I’m eighteen” well what you may not know is that the B-side to that 45 was “Is it My Body”, so that was the one I picked to do. For the second part of your question, I think the first record that really hit me hard in the right way was Nine Inch Nails “Pretty Hate Machine”. Trent Reznor is a genius and so underrated.
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Music Junkie Press: You really do an unbelievable job with Alice Cooper’s “Is it My Body” and just make it your own! If you could take a song from a completely different genre and turn in into your own, what might you choose?
Kenny: You know that’s what I also wanted to do. I think it’s better to take a song from a completely different genre to cover, but I also liked our idea of paying homage to Alice Cooper and covering the B-side to a big hit, so it was a tough choice. Obviously Alice won. He always wins. There are a lot of songs out there that I’d like to vilify and I may, so instead of revealing that information, maybe it’s best to keep it locked up in this dirty mind of mine.
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Music Junkie Press: If you could go back and talk to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give to yourself?
Kenny: Your best days are just ahead and you’re gonna have a blast!
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Now that is advice good for any age! We all have to look forward to the future! Thank you so much Kenny for your time. We are going to share all your social media links with everyone and keep everyone up to date as to the release date of the videos. So mark your calendars for June 18th for the Demolition Baby video. I can’t wait for it!!
UPDATE June 18th: Video for “The Devil is Waiting” is now out! Watch it here:
Inf0rmation & Links:
- Website: VillainsOfVaudeville.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/VillainsOfVaudeville
- Twitter: twitter.com/VOVaudeville
- Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/villainsofvaudeville
- Itunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/villains-de-vaudeville/id636207060