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25th September 2012
METAL DISCOVERY: Firstly, many thanks for taking the time to talk with Metal Discovery. For people who might not be familiar with you and your music, would you like to tell us a bit more about Knock Out Kaine and give a brief history of the band?
DEAN: Essentially, the band was formed back in the heady mists of 2005 when myself and Jim (Bohemian) met at a music college that we both attended back then, we just “clicked” musically. The first time I heard him play guitar he just floored me, there have been a couple of line-up changes since then... But we take the “real” conception of the band from 2008/2009 when the four of us now (Jim, Lee, Danny and I) got together...that’s when the shit got serious and we became contenders.
(Dean Foxx on Knock Out Kaine's 2011 Download performance)
"Playing Download was a personal dream come true for all of us. Donington really is the spiritual home of Heavy Rock/Metal in the UK...probably in the world, so to play there and be mixing with your Idols was just amazing."
Interview by Rick Tilley
Official Knock Out Kaine Facebook:
Kandykaine (2011)
Albums & EPs
Thanks to Chris Hewlett for arranging the interview.
With a slew of gigs behind them and a fantastic performance at the Download Festival in 2011, Knock Out Kaine have just released their fabulous debut full-length, ‘House of Sins’, to rave reviews. And with a European tour due to start in October in support of the album things are really starting to kick into gear for the band. Metal Discovery recently quizzed Knock Out Kaine find out how they've arrived at this point in their career and what plans they have for the foreseeable future. Vocalist Dean Foxx has the answers...
Knock Out Kaine - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2010 Macus Maschwitz
Official Knock Out Kaine website:
House of Sins (2012)
MD: What is your reaction to how your debut album ‘House of Sins’ has been received so far?
DEAN: We are over the fucking moon with the media response to the album, the way that the record has been received has exceeded all our expectations. The fans have been awesome, we really get some great comments which has spurred us on, and keeps us looking forward. So watch this space folks, we are just getting started!
MD: I have been privileged enough, over the last three years, to hear some of your demos, EP and now the album and the improvement has been fantastic. You really seem to have found your sound which is no mean feat on a debut. Considering his vast back catalogue (The Darkness, Wildhearts etc), how pivotal has co-producer Ewan Davis been to the development of Knock Out Kaine?
DEAN: Ewan is a great friend, I have known him for quite some time, in fact his wife and mine have been close friends for years. When we began working on ‘House of Sins’ he just understood completely where we were coming from musically. He has been instrumental in shaping the Knock Out Kaine sound, to the point that when we come to recording the second album, we can’t actually imagine working with anybody else.
MD: ‘House of Sins’, considering how quickly some bands release material, has been a fairly long time coming. You seem to have worked hard to get to the point you are now at - was that a conscious decision and were you ever tempted to get an album out sooner?
DEAN: At the time that ‘House of Sins’ was recorded we had no money, but we had a vision of how we wanted the record to sound. It had to be industry standard and produced to a very high spec which is a tall order when you’re unsigned and going hungry.... that’s why we had to record over the course of a year... it took time because we were in no hurry to produce a bad album. It had to be killer...Mission accomplished!
MD: Even though there are obvious influences in your music (Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses) there are many others as well - Steelheart spring to mind as well as some Country. What artists influenced you growing up and how easy do you find it combining those influences into your song writing?
DEAN: Crue and GNR are a given, yes... and Steelheart are one of my fave bands of all time. When I was growing up I was just crazy about bands like Kiss, Van Halen, Cheap Trick and Enuff Z’Nuff. The country twist comes from Steve Earle, early Dr Hook and Johnny Cash among others. The songs just take shape themselves without any conscious effort to inject certain influences. We simply play what we love, and that seems to be what works for us.
MD: Some bands do not feel comfortable writing new material when they are gigging. As you always seem to be on the go, are you constantly coming up with new ideas and material together or do you set aside time to write new songs?
DEAN: We are constantly writing and coming up with new song ideas... the well runs deep at this time and it is showing no signs of slowing down...Jim is always presenting new riff ideas, and I am never without a guitar just in case I get inspiration. I have drawers at home crammed full of beer mats, fag packets, bus tickets and receipts with scribbled lyric ideas. I have a really short term memory, so I have to get my ideas down when inspiration strikes, which could be anywhere. My house is rapidly becoming a shit tip full of crinkled bits of paper and ink smudges!
MD: One of my absolute favourite songs on the album is the ballad ’Coming Home’ which I reckon would have been all over MTV in the 80s. Are you able to give an insight into the lyrics as it seems to be quite a personal song?
DEAN: I was on tour when I wrote that song; I had been on the road for quite some time without being able to get home to my wife who was heavily pregnant with my son at the time. It was one of those moments in a hotel room just after I had been on the phone to her and she was feeling pretty low... That’s where the song came from; it’s a song of hope - “Hold on, be strong, I’m coming home!”... Since that time we have had messages from servicemen and women in the forces who relate strongly to the song’s sentiment also, which I think is pretty cool.
MD: Are there any particular personal favourites on the album?
DEAN: This is a cliché, but a true one, I love ‘em all!
MD: What songs do you enjoy playing live the most, and which ones get the best crowd reactions?
DEAN: ‘Backstreet Romeo’ is a great one to play live and also ‘Set the Night on Fire’. We get great reactions to the real anthemic tracks but, really, ‘Coming Home’ is the clincher.
MD: Amongst several very good support slots (Adler’s Appetite, Where Angels Suffer) that you have got over the last couple of years, things really seemed to kick into gear for you after your excellent performance at the Download Festival in 2011. How important was securing that slot to move things forward for the band and do you consider that a high-point so far?
DEAN: High point?... Oh Fucking Yes! Playing Download was a personal dream come true for all of us. Donington really is the spiritual home of Heavy Rock/Metal in the UK...probably in the world, so to play there and be mixing with your Idols was just amazing. It really expanded our horizons and brought us to the attention of a much wider audience. Here’s to the next time!
MD: Your European tour is due to start on October 1st. Are you all looking forward to getting out there now that you have the album to promote?
DEAN: We are champing at the bit, and totally made up to be getting back on the road. Live is where we are most at home, and we all get a little cranky if we are away from playing live for too long and, of course, we will be playing one or two of the songs from the album live for the first time. It’s gonna rock hard my friend.
MD: You have also recently announced a gig supporting Tigertailz at Yardbirds in Grimsby on November 28th. How did that come about and are you looking forward to supporting a veteran glam metal band?
DEAN: Yardbirds rock club is one of our very favourite venues to play in the UK. We have been playing there since the very early days of the band and are good friends with the guys who run the place. They called us up and asked us if we would like the Tigertailz support... we gratefully accepted. I love The Tailz, I have an old copy of ‘Beserk’ on vinyl. That band were so OTT they were insane. Can’t wait for the show!
MD: Having seen you live, witnessed how much of a good time you seem to have when playing and knowing how constant touring can take its toll, what kind of things do you do to relax when you get the chance and how do the four of you get on with each other?
DEAN: I, myself, love to spend time with my son Templar who is the most precious thing in my life. I also like to socialise and hang out with the band (it’s quite possible that we drink a little too much you know!) I read voraciously and enjoy working out. The other guys have their own shit going on....as a band we are like a family, we are the best of friends.... and each other’s worst critics!
MD: I see that on your Facebook page you have also recently announced ‘The Mess’ which is an uncensored, behind the scenes look at life on the road with Knock Out Kaine that you will soon be updating on a daily basis. Whose idea was that and how important has the internet and social media been for you, considering how the music industry has changed in recent years?
DEAN: On our last full European tour we wrote a day by day tour diary that we lovingly called ‘The Mess’. It was written daily with contributions from each member of the band and our crew in an old school style exercise book which ended up torn, battered and stained with god only knows what. Some of the things written in that book we swore should NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY... we still have it.... however, it gave us the idea to do an internet tour blog for this tour and probably every subsequent one but, this time, with video footage, photos and audio… totally uncensored, no matter what. The net is such an important tool for new bands right now. It enables young unsigned acts to get their music out to a wider audience and also more established acts to touch base with their fans on a regular basis. It has been invaluable for us....and we shall continue to exploit its merits as much as is humanly possible in the coming years.
MD: Now that the album’s been released, a tour’s about to start and people are starting to sit up and take notice of the band, what are your plans for 2013? Are you going to tour the album relentlessly and visit new countries or do you have plans to go back into the studio to record a follow up?
DEAN: We have so much work to do to keep the KAINE TRAIN rolling.... we will be touring a lot in the coming months and doing as much PR as we can. We already have quite a few songs written and ready for our next album.... but this one has only just got going, so we’ll see how much steam it has left before we begin sessions for our second album. We are also considering releasing either a live EP or even a full live album next year. There are also plans in place for a video or two.
MD: Finally, apart from congratulating you on a fantastic album, wishing you good luck for the tour and once again thanking you for your time, do you have a final message for the readers of Metal Discovery before we wrap things up?
DEAN: Thanks loads for your time and effort, it is much appreciated...and folks...stay on the KAINE TRAIN... the bar car is fully stocked and we are only just getting underway. This may well be a long journey.... but by fuck it’s gonna be a fun one....ALL ABOARD!!!!!