Interview with the Dynamic KIX Frontman Steve Whiteman

Photo by Mark Weiss

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Steve! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Is a solo record something you've been thinking about for quite a while or did the pandemic prompt you to go down that road and explore options?
Steve Whiteman: The pandemic definitely gave me the opportunity to make a solo album. Teaming up with Brad Divens and Jimmy Chalfant was a gift I never expected and given the opportunity to make this record got us all excited!

CV: "You're Welcome" is being released independently and will be available on all digital platforms. Is making the choice to self-release the album a way of cutting out the middleman and avoiding more "chefs in the kitchen" in your opinion? Would you recommend releasing independently as an avenue artists should first consider before searching out a label of some kind?
SW: I don’t see any reason to involve a label at this point in my career…I'm fortunate enough to have a fanbase through KIX so I’m able to take advantage of all the outlets and fan pages to get the word out. 

CV: With your personal musical tastes and influences differing somewhat of that from the KIX collective, is there any concern that this record could possibly alienate some longtime KIX fans in any way, especially for those who might be expecting to hear more "KIX sounding" songs?
SW: I write songs, not for any one project or genre, so I never expected to be releasing a solo album but COVID gave me that opportunity so I hope that KIX fans will give it a listen. I don’t think they will be disappointed!

CV: Is there one track on "You're Welcome" that you would consider the quintessential "Steve Whiteman" song? Is there one that you feel defines you the most?  And if so, do you feel that track would be more surprising to fans than expected?
SW: I don’t know if there is any one song that defines me, I just like to write songs that are full of melody and harmonies and fun suggestive lyrics…that’s what this record is all about!

Created by Steve Whiteman

CV: Did the album bring up a lot of soul searching? Do you feel you left a piece of yourself on the table with writing this record?
SW: Writing is therapeutic for me so I just get a catchy riff and a good song title and I run with it without getting too deep.
The one track that does have true meaning is “Kid Dynamite,” …I write about the struggles of our guitar player Ronnie Younkins battling addiction!

CV: Since KIX is headlining the M3 Rock Festival on July 2nd and “You’re Welcome” releases the same day, will any of your solo material be included as part of the set list for the event?
SW: No I wouldn’t expect the guys to learn and play new material for such a big show. Plus we only have 70 minutes which is barely enough time to get the best KIX songs in the set.

CV: Some artists prefer to work alone while others thrive on the collaboration opportunities to create with others. Which do you prefer? Has working on a solo project given you new perspectives on writing and recording music?
SW: I was fortunate enough to have some great guys to collaborate with on this record. I wrote and played all the songs on the demo but these guys; Brad Divens, Jimmy Chalfant, Bob Pare’ and Dean Cramer, helped me take these songs to a different level! The pandemic made us work in new ways so we all learned to record in a new way…not a bad thing!

CV: So much has changed for both the artist and fan over the last 15 months because of COVID as the music business was hit hard. Where do you see the industry going post-pandemic? Some feel it will never be the same while others believe it will come back stronger than before.  What are your thoughts?
SW: I have no idea. I’m just glad to be back out on the road and have a solo record to promote! I don’t think anybody really knows what the future holds!

CV: With a 35 plus year career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as an artist?
SW: I would say being around for 35+ years and going strong!

CV: Is there anything you would have done differently if given the chance to do over? Or is it a matter of "it is what it is" for you?
SW: It is what it is, no regrets, no looking back. Full steam ahead.

CV: In additional to "You're Welcome" and a host of live dates with KIX, what more can we expect to see coming from you in 2021 and beyond?

SW: Not getting any younger so I take it year by year, we have a lot of dates to make up from 2020 so we will be busy for the unforeseeable future and looking forward to it!

CV: Thank you again Steve for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.

SW: Thank You! You’re Welcome…Ha Ha

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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