Stephen Shareaux Interview
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.
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
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
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
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.
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