Kix performing in 2009
|Also known as||
The Shooze (1977-1979)|
The Generators (1980)
The Baltimore Cocks
|Origin||Hagerstown, Maryland, USA|
|Genres||Glam metal, hard rock|
|Years active||1977–1996, 2003–present|
|Labels||Atlantic, East West, CMC International, Loud and Proud Records|
|Associated acts||Funny Money, The Blues Vultures, The Snakehandlers, Rhino Bucket (Deep Six Holiday), Jeremy and the Suicides, Jeremy L. White, Souls at Zero, Wrathchild America, Silent Old Mtns|
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant
Brian "Damage" Forsythe
Ronnie "10/10" Younkins
|Past members||See: Former members|
Kix is an American hard rock band that achieved popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Band members have continued to tour, including at the Rocklahoma festival in 2008 in Oklahoma and the M3 Rock Festival in May 2011 in the band's home state of Maryland.
Early years (1977–1987)
Kix was formed by Ronnie Younkins, Brian Forsythe and Donnie Purnell in December 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1981, they released their self-titled debut album, Kix, featuring "Atomic Bombs", "Heartache", "Contrary Mary", "The Itch", and "The Kid". "Love at First Sight" instantly became a concert favorite. "Kix Are for Kids" creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, Kix (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit ("Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"). "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" became the band's most popular concert song, always with a unique ad-lib performance by lead vocalist Steve Whiteman, of Piedmont, WV. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock and roll style of Kix was established.
Originally calling themselves Shooze and eventually changing their name to the Generators and ultimately, Kix, Baltimore's favorite hard rock band garnered quite a reputation for themselves as one of Maryland's most exciting live bands, covering influences AC/DC, Aerosmith, April Wine, Led Zeppelin and others, prior to signing with Atlantic Records in 1981.
Led by frontman Steve Whiteman and creative mastermind/bassist Donnie Purnell, the band is rounded out by drummer Jimmy Chalfant and guitarists Ronnie Younkins (nicknamed 10/10) and Brian Jay Forsythe. Hitting the club circuit six nights a week for three straight years resulted in the band cultivating a huge local fan base and led to a contract with the Time Warner affiliate. Releasing their self-titled debut in 1981, Kix featured live favorites like "Atomic Bombs," "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" and "The Kid." To support the release, the quintet set out to hit every club up and down the East Coast. Their 1983 follow-up, Cool Kids, showcased a slightly more commercial side of the band. Spearheaded by the single "Body Talk," rumors ran rampant that the song was written to appease the band's label, who, eager to capture some steam at radio, also forced the band into shooting a blatantly commercial video for the song which featured the band in full-on workout mode. Other songs like "Restless Blood" and "Mighty Mouth" fared a little better. Eager to get back in the studio, Kix partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and released Midnite Dynamite — their "self-proclaimed favorite record ever." The album spawned two singles: "Midnite Dynamite" reached #18, followed by "Cold Shower," which reached #23, both on the Hot Mainstream Rock chart. Other notable cuts are "Sex" and "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)."
Commercial success (1988–1995)
In 1988, Kix went back into the studio to record more of Donnie Purnell's songs. Later that year they released Blow My Fuse, and finally achieved fame as it went platinum. The power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes"—containing anti-suicide lyrics—led the way (peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100). The album featured the singles "Cold Blood" and "Blow My Fuse", along with videos showing the band in concert at Hammerjack's. In 1989, the band released Blow My Fuse: The Videos, with their videos and behind-the-scenes footage. As Kix finally graduated to arenas, opening for Ratt.
The album Hot Wire arrived in 1991, with the single "Girl Money". In 1992, guitarist Jimi K. Bones replaced Brian "Damage" Forsythe. While on tour in 1992, they made a live album, titled Live at the University of Maryland, College Park. This album, internally referred to as Contractual Obligation Live, was released in 1993. In 1994 Atlantic dropped the band from that label. In 1995, the band released their next album, $how Bu$ine$$, on CMC International.
Side projects (1996–2002)
In 1996, Steve Whiteman formed a band called Funny Money In 1998, Brian "Damage" Forsythe teamed up with ex-White Sister and Tattoo Rodeo drummer Rich Wright, and erstwhile Rhino Bucket members rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist Georg Dolivo (George Dolivo) and bassist Reeve Downes to forge Deep Six Holiday. Ronnie "10/10" Younkins relocated to Baltimore City, and would be located in rock 'n' roll act Jeremy and the Suicides.
In 2001, guitarist Brian "Damage" Forsythe joined Rhino Bucket.
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant joined Funny Money as their drummer in 2003. Ronnie "10/10" Younkins moved to L.A., then wrote, recorded, and released the album The Slimmer Twins: Lack of Luxury, as a collaboration with vocalist Jeremy L. White in 2000. Back on the East Coast, he founded the Blues Vultures in 2002, maturing into the lead vocalist and primary songwriter, and in 2005, released the album The Blues Vultures: Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars. Brian "Damage" Forsythe is now with Rhino Bucket, joining the band in 2001. Brian performs lead guitar on Rhino Bucket's 2005 release And Then It Got Ugly.
A new version Kix reformed in late 2003 without songwriter and band leader Purnell. Kix then lined-up shows for September 2004, the lineup consisting of Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Ronnie "10/10" Younkins (guitars), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitars), Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant (drums, backing vocals), and Funny Money bassist Mark Schenker (bass, backing vocals) in place of Donnie Purnell.
On August 7, 2012, Frontiers Records announced that it had signed Kix; the band subsequently released a live CD/DVD, titled Live in Baltimore, in September, with a new studio album to follow in 2013.
On April 16, 2014, it was announced that the band had signed with Loud & Proud Records, and are scheduling the release of their new album for July 22, 2014, making it the first studio album the band released in 19 years.
On June 18, 2014, it was announced that the band would release their seventh studio album, titled Rock Your Face Off, on August 5.
On August 5th, 2014, KIX Rock Your Face Off was released on Loud & Proud Records. It debuted at #49 on the Billboard Top 200, (the band's second highest-charting record after 1988's Blow My Fuse) debuted at #1 on Amazon Hard Rock and remained at #1 for more than three weeks. It was well received by fans and critics alike. The prominent hard rock webzine Sleaze Roxx published that Rock Your Face Off was awarded #1 in the Top Ten Albums of 2014 by editors and staff as well as #1 in Top Ten Albums of 2014 in the Sleaze Roxx Reader's Poll. The first time in the web site's history that an album has taken the top spot in both categories. Stereogum.com chose Rock Your Face Off as Album of the Week with high praise saying "...all of it is delirious and catchy, and it proudly flaunts its out-of-fashion party-hard spirit. It’s glittering trash, made by guys in their fifties who probably hold down day jobs these days and who have no business making this vigorous and fun anymore. Its mere existence is an inspirational thing, and it’s a reminder that sometimes exploring new musical space isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, songs are the most important thing."
- Brian "Damage" Forsythe – guitar, guitar synthesizer, backing vocals (1977–1993, 1994-1995, 2003–present) lead vocals (1977-1978) keyboards (2003-present)
- Ronnie "10/10" Younkins – guitar, talkbox, backing vocals (1977–1982, 1983–1996, 2003–present)
- Steve Whiteman – lead vocals, harmonica, percussion, saxophone, harp, drums (1978–1996, 2003–present)
- Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant – drums, percussion, effects, backing vocals (1979–1996, 2003–present)
- Mark Schenker – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
- Donnie Purnell – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals (1977–1996)
- Donnie Spence – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1977–1979)
- Brad Divens – guitar, talk box, backing vocals (1982–1983)
- Jimi K. Bones – guitar (1989, 1993–1994)
- Pat DeMent – guitar (1995-1996)
- Anton Fig – drums, percussion on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — 2 tracks)
- Mike Slamer – guitar on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — 1 track)
- John Luce – backing vocals on Midnite Dynamite (1985 — track "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)")
- Paul Chalfant – viola on $how Bu$ine$$ (1995 — multiple tracks)
|Year||Album||US Top 200||Certification|
|1988||Blow My Fuse||46||US: Platinum|
|1991||Hot Wire||64||US: 200,000+|
|2014||Rock Your Face Off||49||US: 20,000+|
- Live (1993) also known as Contractual Obligation Live
- Live in Baltimore (2012)CD/DVD retail packaging (also available for download at Amazon or iTunes with bonus tracks)
- The Essentials (2002) (12 songs compilation)
- Thunderground (2004) (15 demo songs unofficial compilation-bootleg)
- Rhino Hi-Five (2006) (5 songs compilation)
- Monster Metal Power Ballads (2006 — track "Still Loving You" (Scorpions cover), credited as "Still Lovin' You" by Steve Whitman)
- Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition (2006, retail version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
- Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition (2005, exclusive version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
- Leppardmania: A Tribute to Def Leppard (2000 — track "Foolin'" (Def Leppard cover), credited as "Foolin'" by Steve Whiteman)
- Monster Ballads (1999 — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
|1983||"Body Talk"||-||-||Cool Kids|
|1985||"Midnite Dynamite"||-||-||Midnite Dynamite|
|1989||"Get It While It's Hot"||-||-||Blow My Fuse|
|"Don't Close Your Eyes"||11||16|
|"Blow My Fuse"||-||-|
|1991||"Girl Money"||–||26||Hot Wire|
|2014||"Love Me With Your Top Down"||-||-||Rock Your Face Off|
|"Wheels In Motion"||-||-|
- Blow My Fuse: The Videos (1989)
- "Kix". Big Time Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Revived hard rock band Kix playing area show". The New Item. March 29, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "KIX Signs With FRONTIERS RECORDS For Live DVD, Upcoming Studio Album". Blabbermouth.net. August 7, 2012. Archived from the original on December 30, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Kix signs with Loud & Proud Records – first new albums in 19 years in the works for July 22nd release". Loud & Proud Records. April 16, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "KIX To Release 'Rock Your Face Off' In August". Blabbermouth.net. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Album Of The Week: KIX Rock Your Face Off". August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- Kix website
- In-depth 2014 interview with Kix guitarist Brian Forsythe on Guitar.com
- Funny Money website
- Brian "Damage" Forsythe's website
- Brian "Damage" Forsythe's band Rhino Bucket website
- Brian "Damage" Forsythe's band the Snakehandlers website
- Ronnie "10/10" Younkins' band the Blues Vultures website
- 2008 Ronnie Younkins Interview at Sleaze Roxx
- 2013 Monsters of Rock Cruise