Kevin Steele Interview
Roxx Gang is fast becoming the most talked about new glam-rock band. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, the group is currently shopping a demo tape produced by none other than Central New York's Carl Canedy (The Rods).
Lead singer Kevin Steele talked with us about Roxx Gang.
Q. You've got a great sounding demo tape, produced by Carl Canedy (The Rods) and Public I Public Relations is handling your publicity. Who's the money man behind Roxx Gang?
A. The money man'.' (Laughs). A couple of years back we got a connection with this girl who's been backing our band, plus the families of all the band members have all helped out. Ida (Langsam - owner of Public I PR.) is really impressed with us, so she's working with us, too.
Q. Mow are the label negotiations coming along?
A. Really good. Right now we have 3 major labels that are really interested in us: Elektra/Asylum, Chrysalis, and Manhattan.
Q. How did these labels hear about Roxx Gang?
A. We have an entertainment lawyer, and we have Carl's manager who is also helping shop the tape. They've been presenting it to all the labels.
Q. You guys are a young band, How did yon get your act together so fast?
A. Most of us are veterans of the club circuit around here. I just decided I can sing other people's songs and go nowhere or sacrifice a little popularity or local following, and let's get to work on the real thing. We decided that was the way to go.
Q. Do you still perform in the clubs?
A. We still gig once in awhile here. We got a lot of respect in this area. The local Florida promoters like us and we've been opening for a lot of national acts that pass through. Besides that, we just do what we can. Everybody wheels and deals. We scrape enough to keep our heads above water.
Q. Is it true that the Florida club circuit is the lowest paying circuit around?
A. I could believe that, yeah.
Q. I've been told that hard rock just isn't happening in Florida. It's Top 40 all the way. Is that true?
A. That's not true in the Tampa Bay area.
Q. It's a healthy scene then?
A. Well, it's getting better. This area is growing so fast, you wouldn't believe it. I truly believe that in a few years this place is going to be like the new Hollywood. There's movie studios going up.
Q. How'd you team up with Carl Canedy?
A. Before we did this demo, the band had done a few demo tapes. In going to the labels with those tapes, we got offered quite a few independent deals. But we held out, because with our backer we felt we would be in a better position. She could offer us almost as much money to cut our record as these labels were offering. So we figured we'd do it ourselves and not be under contract to anybody. Combat ( Records) hooked us up with Carl. I was a Rods' fan, but I was a little hesitant just because of his reputation of working with heavy bands. Even though I think rock is getting a little heavier than the average glam band, we're really not so wimpy. Still, he kind of scared me a little bit, 'cause he's worked with bands like Possessed, and Anthrax. He spent .more time with us in pre-production than he has with any other band. But the time we went to the studio, I knew we were going to make a good record. I was really convinced Carl had a good idea of what we were all about.
Q. The glam look among rock bands is certainly popular once again, but it's created a backlash. Some people don't understand why you have to wear makeup to play music. Why did Roxx Gang feel they needed the makeup?
A. I don't think it's so much that we needed it or anything was so calculated as to what kind of an image are we going to present. We truly have the same influences. I was highly influenced by bands like Mott the Hoople, and T-Rex, the New-York Dolls. To me half of the romance of rock 'n roll is the style, the fashion, the look. When I was a little kid I was attracted to rock n roll just because I wanted to look like that, and dress like that. It's just something that's come naturally. We never planned it; that's just how everybody came to rehearsal looking.
Q. If you placed a photo of Roxx Gang next to Poison. Cinderella, and Delia City Rebels, you might have a problem telling the groups apart.
A. They could tell Roxx Gang apart. We're the really good looking guys. (Laughs).
Official Website; roxxgang.com
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