KIX is an American hard rock and glam metal band that was formed in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1977. KIX has earned the indisputable title of Baltimore’s most exciting live rock band, which is why KIX is a constant headliner at the M3 concert series in Maryland each year. KIX are vocalist Steve Whiteman; drummer Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant; guitarists Brian “Damage” Forsythe; Ronnie “10/10” Younkins; and bass guitarist Mark Schenker. KIX has earned the reputation as one of the hardest-working bands all up and down the East coast, playing almost every club or bar six days a week for three solid years before they were “discovered” by Atlantic records. Or as lead singer Steve Whiteman often would say in a classic taunt: “We are coming to a dump near you!” KIX band released their self-entitled album in 1981, featuring crowd favorites “Atomic Bomb,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” and “The Itch.”
Ultimately, what makes KIX unique? Check out the reviews by some in the rock music press: Stereogum writes, “Historically, KIX were a total footnote, and their one real national hit “Don’t Close Your Eyes” was a B-level power ballad. At their commercial peak, they were opening for RATT on tour. In their hometown, though, KIX were total gods, rulers of the legendary downtown Baltimore white-trash rock club Hammerjacks.” Loud and Proud records owner Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n’ roll fun.” And All Music writes, “The truth is, KIX were different. They were different because they were much better—they had better hooks, rocked harder, and they could write songs” -later adding their “albums sounded like a constant party.” So yeah of course, it’s a bitchin’ great time, always, with KIX!
KIX achieved significant commercial success with the release of Midnite Dynamite in 1985 (“Midnite Dynamite,” “Cold Shower”); but Midnite Dynamite did not come close to the ascendancy of 1989’s Blow My Fuse (“Get it While its Hot,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “She Dropped the Bomb”) which went Platinum. The single “Don’t Close Your Eyes” with lyrics attempting to stop suicide (of a girlfriend?) entered the Hot 100 at number 11. In 1989, KIX released Blow My Fuse: The Videos which had the band’s official videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Also, KIX release a live album from -where else- Baltimore in 1993, which at first was entitled Contractual Obligation Live. When KIX were touring arenas, they opened for AC/DC, Aerosmith, David Lee Roth, as well as RATT. (See Wikipedia and AllMusic.com for this band history.)
Fast forward 19 years to 2014 when KIX released their newest CD, Rock Your Face Off after signing with Loud and Proud Records. What makes this all so truly astonishing, according to the press release from Loud and Proud, is that the group still consists of the original members! Witness just how dynamic and HOT this band still is. The video in HD is intoxicating, and the DVD set “Can’t Stop the Show: The Return of KIX” entered Billboard Top Music Video Sales at # 3 on October 26, 2016. KIX tested the waters in 2008, according to Loud and Proud, at “two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S.: Rocklahoma in Oklahoma and Rock the Bayou in Texas, where they earned ‘Best Performance’ among the fans there, playing alongside Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queensryche, RATT, and more.” Check it out, and watch these kick-ass dudes bring the house down at M3 in Maryland this coming May.