Stephen Shareaux Interview
(Kik Tracee)

Picture this: A group is practicing in a rehearsal room when some friends stop by. One of the friends gets a little out of hand, so someone yells, "Kick Tracy the hell out of here!"
And so a name (with a few minor adjustments) for the band is born -Kik Tracee.
True Story.
Stephen Shareaux is the lead singer for Kik Tracee. We talked to him about the group's debut album "No Rules" (R.C.A. Records) which incidentally was produced by none other than Slaughter's own Mr. Dana Strum.

Q. You probably get a lot of people thinking that the band's name is a play on words, that it's somehow related to Dick Tracy. Am I right about that?
A. Not as much anymore. We had a few months right around when the movie was coming out that it was a little weird. But, the band's been around for three and a half years. It didn't come up because of the movie or Dick Tracy. People remember the name I find, because of that - Kik Tracee, oh yeah, like Dick Tracy. Sure, whatever. However you can i remember it. I'm sure people have the same suspicion, but it has nothing to do with it.

Q. it would appear that everything i clicked for this band from the very 'beginning.
A. That's the truth.

Q. How did you and Rob (Kik Tracee bassist and co-founding member) meet?
A. We met actually through a mutual friend of mine that had known Greg (rhythm and slide guitarist). It was just a weird situation. I came out here (LA) originally with another band, which for one reason or another just didn't work out. I was at the point where I had enough stuff in my car to either drive home or give it another shot. I ended up calling three ads in Music Connection which is very rare for me. I've never gotten a gig through an ad. I've been in a lot of different bands, and they just kind of always happened, at the right time. Only one person called me back and that was Greg. When I went over to meet Greg, Rob was there. He handed me over a cassette of music that didn't have any words on it, just some new stuff they were working on. I took it home and started writing, and one thing led to another.

Q, So the group you were in, that came to L.A. - were they trying for a record deal?
A. Every group I was in was trying to get a record deal (laughs). Yeah. I originally came out in July '87. The band was together for six or eight months. Our first manager in Kik Tracee was a guy that I met from that situation, in the first band. It just didn't work out. We ended up going back to the mid-west and playing, like in Chicago and Minneapolis, just kind of thinking we would get the bugs out somewhere else before we got into Los Angeles, but by the time we got into LA. the whole thing broke up. That was that.

Q. Your drummer, Johnny Douglas was the last to join. Where did you find him?
A. We did the club scene for about a year and a half, before we got singed. That was with a different drummer. We got to a point where people were going in different directions, and it didn't work out. We'd begun the record by then, and I was out on the road with Slaughter at this time. I was doing vocals out there on like the second Bias song. Before I left is when we lost the previous guy. A friend of mine had mentioned Johnny and I got a hold of him. He was in Texas. A week later he was back in Los Angeles and we were there, and we got down some of the stuff we had recorded, and that was just it. It also ended up he knew Bias from Slaughter. Both of those guys were from Houston.

Q. "Kik Tracee" was very selective about the gigs they played, which means you probably didn't earn a living off the band. How did you support yourself?
A. (laughs). I've done just about everything. Had a lot of delivery jobs. At the time we got signed I was working in this like porno house delivering movies. It was really weird. And delivering pizza. I used to be a school bus driver. Both my parents are lawyers. I used to drive them and deliver documents. Anything you can possibly to to get by.

Q. Didn't your parents try to get you to become a lawyer?
A. Absolutely. That's basically the inspiration behind "No Rules". It's just doing things by your own set of rules. Your parents have an idea of what you should do and you have an idea of what you should do. There's nothing wrong with steppin' out and paving your own path and going for what you know, my parents at first weren't the happiest about it, but eventually they turned out to be the biggest supporters I have thankfully.

Q. How did you get the attraction of both your agent and manager?
A. Everything came to us. (laughs). We developed a reputation as having a very strong "live" show, and there was a certain mystique about the band. We never really fit in with the cliché Hollywood band. We didn't I go to the after show parties. We'd just pack up our stuff and go back to the Valley (San Fernando Valley). We never really existed in Hollywood, until we came in and played. I didn't even go out to see many bands out here. The only bands I was familiar with, were those we played with on the same bill. We did the basic flyering, but not as much as other bands out here. There's a lot of self-promotion out here.

Q, One night you're performing at the Coconut Teezer in LA, and the next week you're showcasing in New York for Clive Davis of Arista. Who pays for that?
A. That was a very flukey gig man. Arista paid for it. They flew us out there. It was as much of a surprise to us as it was to anybody else. We passed on the Arista thing, 'cause it just didn't feel right at the time. That night I walked out of that club with 3 or 4 business cards - Atlantic, Arista, R.C. A. We started getting phone calls.

Q. R.C.A. has a great reputation for braking solo acts, but not necessarily bands. So, why did you choose R.C.A.?
A. For that reason really. They didn't have anything like us. As far as country goes, we all know that R.C.A. basically has the country market locked up. Alternatively, they have "Beggars Banquet" and whoever else. As far as rock went, that's what they wanted to do, and that's what they want to do, basically get a foot hold on the rock world. We thought like at the time, we would be their main priority. And, it's worked out that way.

Q. Does Tracy know about you guys?
A. She knows about the band, but she doesn't know the band was named after her, or after that whole situation, we never even saw her. She lives next door to the place we were rehearsing. She's like 10 or 11 years old. Maybe one day we'll let her know.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved