Ones to Watch Presents
Ones to Watch Presents Redlight King & Icon for Hire at Studio B at Skyway Theatre
711 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN, 55402
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
There's stubborn. And then there's Kaz stubborn. The singer-songwriter of Redlight King refused to take no for an answer when music business suits denied his request to sample a Neil Young classic, pressing relentlessly until he got a "yes." More importantly, Kaz held on to vanquish the inner demons that nearly wrecked him several years ago. Now, with "Something for the Pain," Redlight King's redemptive Hollywood Records debut album, Kaz relives both his darkest days and the turn-around, when he clawed his way back to the light.
A latticework of rock and hip hop, the album conjures old school sounds, thanks to Kaz and producers Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry, as well as the good vibes at Hollywood's TGG Studios (now called Wax Studios, whose alums include Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and, yes, Neil Young). "I'm all about mixing in the old sounds," Kaz says, "and giving it that warm, analog feel. There is sampling, hip hop grooves and beats, but I also wanted good old fashioned meat and potatoes: bass, guitar, drums."
The sound may be warm, but his songs revisit the cold climate of Kaz's native Hamilton, Ont., and the even chillier emotional landscape of his lost years. In the astonishing hip-hop flavored debut single, "Old Man," Kaz offers a reluctant salute to his father, a larger-than-life figure who taught school by day and raced stock cars at night ("The life he demanded/Kept us all in a struggle/When he ruled with his fist/It kept us all out of trouble"). "No father issues here," says Kaz with a laugh.
Hard-edged rockers like the blustery "Bullet in My Hand," "The Underground" and the title track take listeners on a vertical drop into an abyss Kaz once knew all too well. "Most of it was written while the feelings were still there," he recalls. "My songs are written about real issues, real experiences. I like to bring listeners in deep, and give them time to look around."
Kaz starts "digging six feet up" (as he puts it) on songs like "Comeback," "Built to Last" and the irresistibly melodic "Driving to Kalifornia." Collectively, they describe the hard labor of rebuilding a life, then hitting the road, with the wintry east receding in the rear view mirror. The album ends with the acoustic-flavored "Past the Gates" and "When the Dust Settles Down," the former a hope-filled forward glance, the latter a last look back. He may be whistling past the graveyard, but it's such a pretty tune.
Kaz grew up in Hamilton, Ont., once a booming steel center on the shores of Lake Ontario, and now struggling in the global economic meltdown. He grew up in middle class home where his parents "struggled to pay the bills." Like his dad, Kaz loved cars and drag racing (Redlight King is named for the light "tree" that signals the start of a race). As he grew, music also began to take hold. He loved Queen, Springsteen, Dylan and Lennon no less than A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Treach and Nas. He started writing early on, recording his first track at age 16. But in his teens, music took a back seat to judo. He was good enough for a shot at Canada's Olympic training center to prepare for the 2000 Games. But he didn't make the team -- a blow that would take a toll later.
Meanwhile, Kaz returned to music, landing a deal and releasing an album in Canada. That led to a Juno Award nomination for Best New Artist, but the affirmation wasn't enough to halt a steep slide. "You know why it's happening," he recalls of his struggle with substance abuse. "You don't know where the end is, you've lost all rationality. You're borderline insane. But in the end, you make a decision to start again, and the only way was to forgive myself for my mistakes."
It worked. Kaz came back strong, headed to California in a rebuilt '49 Mercury pick-up and converted his two-year nightmare into the song cycle that became "Something for the Pain." Says Kaz, "Writing songs when you're in a dark place is dangerous. The songs I wrote for this album I won't write again. I won't have to."
Just because he lives in Los Angeles now doesn't mean he's gone Hollywood. When the mood strikes, he takes his rebuilt 1950 Harley up the PCH, just to clear his head. Hot rodder that he is, Kaz is currently restoring a rare 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, with plans to make "a film capturing the journey and process of bringing the car back to life," he says. "Hot rod culture runs deep in my roots."
Music runs even deeper, and with the release of "Something for the Pain," Kaz will take the show on the road very soon. He knows his music touches a raw nerve, but that's part of the appeal for him. "I hope people will be able to connect with it and take from it what they need," he says. "It's about the human condition. In the end, we're all the same."
Icon For Hire
Tooth & Nail Records proudly announces the signing of creative rock/pop talent, Icon For Hire. Female fronted and hailing from Decatur, IL, Icon For Hire is comprised of Ariel (vocals) Shawn Jump (guitar) and Adam Kronshagen (drums). Since 2007, the band has been establishing their strong following by touring extensively across the Mid-West. From the beginning, the band has written music with a positive view without downplaying the hardships in life, which is a vision the label understands and supports.
"We are thrilled to be joining such an established and well-respected group at Tooth & Nail," shares the band upon their signing. "It's a label that has a history of consistently putting out good music and really working side by side with their artists. Because we've been doing this thing on our own for over two years, it feels great to partner with Tooth & Nail. We can't wait to record our debut full-length and see where this road takes us."
Icon For Hire will be hitting the studios with famed producer Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, The Almost, Acceptance) this fall. Writing for the last several months, the band is anxious to get into the studio to formulate their sound of combining heavy, rock-oriented sounds and modern pop elements with a strong focus on the production.
"We feel like it's a common misconception among new bands that once a band gets signed, the hard work is over. We're approaching this completely different, we realize that now's when the real work begins and we're up for the challenge. We're three very driven people, and we're not gonna stop until we fulfill our goals."
NEW ALBUM "FOOL'S GOLD" JULY 9TH 2013
Good Times & Bad Advice available now on iTunes.
BIG B has been an underground heavyweight (literally) since he first debuted on the scene with 'High Class White Trash' in 2004. However, he made his presence known in the mainstream this past summer when his single "Sinner", which featured Scott Russo from Unwritten Law, exploded in the Alternative Rock radio format and became the anthem for that summer, garnering heavy airplay from the world-famous KROQ amongst others.
Now, BIG B is back with his most well rounded album yet – 'Good Times and Bad Advice' will see this American underdog transcend genres and create a catchy album of outlaw hip hop and alternative rock melodies that will have you singing along all summer!
BIG B has become known for his raw and honest style, likening him to a modern day Johnny Cash yet blending in his own elements, namely hip-hop, alternative rock, country and even a laid-back reggae vibe. 'Good Times and Bad Advice' sees the Las Vegas rebel build upon the success of his smash previous effort 'American Underdog' and touts some of the industry's biggest names as featured artists – Everlast, Cisco Adler (Shwayze, Whitestarr) and another epic pairing with Scott Russo!
Continuing to expand his image to diverse audiences, BIG B has even entered into a partnership with Madison Square Garden to feature the album's title track in the legendary venue's entire summer advertising campaign. BIG B has also been a regular cast member on the A&E hit television series INKED, focusing on his work at the Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company in Las Vegas alongside his friend and freestyle motocross icon Carey Hart. INKED became one of the most viewed television shows in A&E's history and brought BIG B an entirely new fan base.
BIG B has unleashed four previous studio efforts, worked with underground royalty OPM, toured the world alongside icons such as Pennywise, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings and more AND starred on a hit television show. In 2010, the Suburban Noize Outlaw will continue to expand his career and push musical boundaries while also staying true to his underground roots. With touring already planned alongside groups such as The Expendables, Hed PE and Kottonmouth Kings, BIG B also plans to remain a road dog and bring his high-energy live show to fans across the globe.
The hard-hitting lyricism, anthemic choruses and catchy guitar-infused beats of this record will captivate fans of such diverse artists as Eminem to Sublime and Unwritten Law to Willie Nelson. This fall, make sure you turn to BIG B for plenty of 'Good Times and Bad Advice'!