KNITTING FACTORY PRESENTS
Reverend Horton Heat, Strung Out, Fishbone, Los Kung fu Monkeys
Loaded guns, space heaters, and big skies. Welcome to the lethal littered landscape of Jim Heath’s imagination. True to his high evan- gelical calling, Jim is a Revelator, both revealing & reinterpreting the country-blues-rock roots of Ameri- can music. He’s a time-travelling space-cowboy on a endless inter- stellar musical tour, and we are all the richer & “psychobillier” for get- ting to tag along.
Seeing REVEREND HORTON HEAT live is a transformative ex- perience. Flames come off the gui- tars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock & roll transfiguration of a Rever- end Horton Heat show. Jim be- comes a slicked-back 1950′s rock & roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the Stand- Up Bass. And then there are the “Heatettes”. Those foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle-skirts and cowboy boots slamming the
night away. It’s like being magically transported into a Teen Exploita- tion picture from the 1950′s that’s currently taking place in the future.
Listening to the REVEREND HOR- TON HEAT is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. The Reverend’s commandants are simple.
AND LIVE TRUE.
Six years. It’s longer than the president sits in office or most people spend in college. In the music industry, it’s practically an eternity. Bands form, blow up and break up in that time period; new, disturbingly awful trends develop, old forms of media die out, social networks spread their insidious seed through shiny handheld devices no one actually needs but everybody wants.
Six years is also the amount of time that has passed since Strung Out’s last album. The Southern California tech-punk quintet had been so reliable for two decades—write, record, tour, repeat cycle roughly once every two years—that to go this long without new music felt like cause for alarm. Frontman Jason Cruz shared similar feelings.
“You get to a point where you decide if you’re going to go on or stop,” he admits. “Everyone kind of just lived life for a little bit. I think that’s pretty important if you consider yourself a songwriter or an artist of any kind. You have to live and experience other things in your life to have something to write about, to give value to what you’re singing about.”
Cruz & Co. were able to put their time off to good use, focusing their energy on the creation of Transmission.Alpha.Delta, out March 24 on their longtime label Fat Wreck Chords. The album didn’t come together easily, though; according to Cruz, writing was a yearlong process, as was recording. “We have an excess of ideas, and everyone in the band likes to put their elbows up and fight for their ideas,” he explains. I think that conflict is healthy. It’s all part of collaborating.” The process was further knotted by adding in another strong voice in producer Kyle Black, whose previous production credits ranged from Paramore to Comeback Kid. “There was butting heads in the beginning,” Cruz admits. “We’ve been doing something for 25 years and then some kid steps up and tells you to try it a little differently, all of us were like, ‘What? Who is this guy?’”
Early tensions were resolved, though, when the band realized they had an ally behind the boards. “Kyle was the first producer we’ve worked with that was a true fan of the band,” the vocalist says. “A lot of people said Transmission.Alpha.Delta is reminiscent of some of the earlier stuff we did, and I think Kyle had a lot to do with that, celebrating what this band is but at the same time hopefully elevating our artform.”
And elevate it he did; Transmission.Alpha.Delta is an album well worth its half-decade wait, with incredible songs like “Magnolia,” “Modern Drugs” and “Tesla” lyrically tackling difficult issues like drug addiction, faith and even the technological brainwashing of today’s youth while musically measuring up with the best moments of the band’s back catalog. “The biggest theme of this record was that we were all outside our comfort zone,” Cruz says. “Instead of just soloing, we’ve incorporated the solos into the actual structure of the songs. We mixed up the tempos, and we switched to E flat, which gives the guitars a better tone. I think we created a journey from where each song begins to where the song ends are two completely different places. I love that about Strung Out songs.”
Cruz is is own harshest critic, so when the singer says this might be his favorite Strung Out album, he really means it. “I judge the record by how accurately it describes my life,” he says. “As long as it’s a representation of who I am, and sincere and not pandering to any ’90s bullshit—I fuckin’ hated the ’90s. I don’t want Strung Out to be a nostalgia punk band at all. I wanna be right here, right now. I consider it an honor to be a musician and to contribute to everything that came before me.”
That urge to keep pushing to be modern and relevant and not rest on their laurels is what continually sets Strung Out apart from so many of their nostalgia-obsessed peers. “I’m not interested in looking back at all,” Cruz states. “I have no time or energy for that. There’s too much shit to be done. When I’m sitting in a diaper and on a morphine drip, maybe I’ll look back. Maybe I’ll actually listen to one of our old records.”
It’s clear Strung Out are rejuvenated and ready for more. And even though Cruz might not listen to Transmission.Alpha.Delta again until a few decades from now, odds are their fans will listen to it more than enough in the interim.
Strung Out’s Transmission.Alpha.Delta out March 24th on Fat Wreck Chords!
Celebrating 25 groundbreaking years, FISHBONE has been trailblazing their way through the history of American Ska, Funk, Punk, Rock Fusion and (so-called) Black Rock since starting their professional career in Los Angeles' burgeoning, Alternative Rock music scene of the mid-1980s. Their sound has often been imitated, but never duplicated. They have toured worldwide with such bands as the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Roots, Les Claypool/Primus, Fela Kuti, George Clinton, The Dead Kennedys and many more. Angelo Moore’s ability to combine thought-provoking, humorous social commentary with FISHBONE’s frenzied, up-tempo music and frantic, euphorically entertaining stage show has cultivated their undisputed reputation as one of the best live acts in music history.
Now in their 25th year of composing, creating, recording, releasing and performing original music together, mass critical appeal appears to be returning to the band, fueled by their critically acclaimed full-length feature documentary; Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the film earned LA Weekly’s Critic’s Choice Award at the Los Angeles Film Fest in 2010, has been called “effortlessly Entertaining” (Variety), “Brilliant and Groundbreaking” (Pop Matters), and hailed as “more than a documentary about rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a documentary about the American spirit and one that shows the life of one of its most influential creative forces.” (Encore Magazine)
The documentary features celebrity testimonials from an A-list cast of rock icons such as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), who calls the band “an important musical institution” and “the band that gave us the inspiration to be a band” by Gwen Stefani (No Doubt). The film also includes similar admiration from the likes of Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addition), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Questlove (The Roots), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Tim Robbins (Grammy Winning Actor) and many more. The film not only highlights the bands substantial legacy in contemporary music of all forms, but also the struggles, adversity, and inner turmoil that has surrounded the bands career. Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone has already premiered in over 60+ theaters across the country, and many of the dates have sold out. The documentary aired on Public Television’s AfroPop Series as well as Encore early 2012. The DVD is currently available for purchase nationwide at all major retailers, and on NetFlix.
To date, FISHBONE still continues to tour all over the world, turning heads at some of the most noteworthy festivals around the globe such as Ottawa Blues Fest (2012), Montreal Jazz Festival (2012), DeLuna Fest in Pensacola, FL (2012), Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA (2012), Riot Fest in Chicago, IL (2012), Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, LA (2011), Fuji Rock Festival in Tokyo, Japan (2010), Wakarusa in Ozark, AK (2010), Sunset Junction in Los Angeles, CA (2010) and more. This year, the band had the opportunity to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Angelo Moore sat in with The
Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. They also performed three outstanding shows with Primus, and have been featured in a variety of national press this year including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, MTV Hive, Spin Magazine, E! Entertainment, Rotten Tomatoes and more.
Last year, FISHBONE completed a national U.S. tour with Slightly Stoopid and Dumpstaphunk; a sold-out SXSW showcase with Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep; an Australian tour featuring performances with Trombone Shorty and George Clinton, highlighted by a performance at Byron Bay Blues Festival.
The band also toured all over Europe this year and Japan last year, and is currently on tour in support of their highly anticipated new EP Crazy Glue (DC-Jam Records) released October 11, 2011. Crazy Glue is currently available online everywhere and select retail stores nationwide.
The current member line up includes original members Angelo Moore aka Dr. Madd Vibe (vocals/sax/theramin), Norwood Fisher (bass/vocals), Dirty Walt (trumpet, vocals), as well as Rocky George (guitar), Dre Gipson (keyboards/vocals), John Steward (drums), and Jay Armant (trombone, vocals).
Los Kung Fu Monkeys are a ska punk band based out of Canada and Mexico. Formed in 1997 joined their talents and forces to start Los Kung Fu Monkeys. That same year the band recorded their first three-song demo which included songs like “Consecuencias” based on the excess of uncontrollable youth, costing them 10 dollars to record each song, and opening the doorway to being one of the top local and regional bands with such a loyal following that it caught the eye of Los Angeles-based now defunct label ONE SHOT RECORDS, who released their first album Rebuilding the World recorded in Love Juice labs in Riverside, California, U.S.A. in 2000. With the release of Rebuilding the World in 2001, they were brought to the attention of an international audience that it became the precursor and the beginning of what would be the path to endless touring throughout the world, starting their first with Union 13 (Epitaph Records) all over Mexico in 2001 with a sold out concert in Mexico City for more than 2000 people.
In 2002 they released the Para los que ya no estan E.P. limited to only 1000 copies that included a series of lost demos by Philco Raves of Mystic Records (punk label in the 1980s and 90s and producer of NOFX’s Maximum Rock and Roll Album), including a hidden track of AFI’s song “A Single Second” covered by Los Kung Fu Monkeys live at the Glasshouse in Pomona, Ca.
“End Transmission” was released in 2003, recorded, mix, mastered and produce by Mike Trujillo (Strung out, Chocking Victim, collaborator with Epitaph Records) and this album becomes the fuel to get the band to shared stage, tour Mexico and for the first time the U.S. with Voodoo Glow Skulls in 2004. Time passed, promotion still going on the album, and the band gets invited to take part on one of the most important punk festivals in the U.S. the “Vans Warped tour” in 2005 becoming the first Independent Mexican Band to be a part of the festival tour and getting a slot on the 2006 “Vans Warped Tour” Compilation with the song “Short Fuse”, also by this time the band records their first official music video for the song “Neglect” landing a month plus airtime on the National Mexican Music Television station TELEHIT.
This same year they released the self-titled album, this is the first album on their own label RIOT RADIO Records, taking this decision when the band got offered a deal from a label in Mazatlan, Mexico that the owners ended up being involved with drug trafficking, laundering money and being arrested by the authorities, leaving the band with no label and no way to release their album, so they took upon themselves to make this happen, the result, one of their most successful albums in Mexico, recorded, manufactured and distributed by the band itself, with 14 songs mostly in Spanish (one in English), and the sound and the fury of such songs like “Una y Otra Vez” caught the eye of European label Übersee Records who opened the doors for the band to release and tour Europe for the first time in 2007, going to France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria.
In 2008 LKFM was hand-picked by Dropkick Murphys directly to be their support band in all their Mexico dates, and also to be included in Guadalajara’s “Festival Extremo” with artist like Moby, Underworld, Maldita Vecindad, Stephen Marley and more.
In 2009 Übersee Records asked LKFM to release an EP exclusively for Europe, as a result they released the “Lobo Hombre in Paris” E.P. where they cover the iconic Spaniard pop band La Union with the song of the album title, also including another cover “Screaming at a wall” from the iconic legendary hardcore band Minor Threat, a remake of “Ciudad de Nadie” and 2 more unreleased tracks for the album that open the doorway to tour England, and Belgium for the first time as well as coming back to Germany, then coming back the tour the United States, and once again being picked to be the support band for NOFX’s Mexican tour in late 2009 Tijuana and Mexico city. By 2010 the band releases their first discography collection album “And they came from Tijuana…” recollecting almost all of their songs from their firs 3 full length albums and giving the opportunity for the band to play in Canada at the “Victoria Ska Festival” with bands like Fishbone and the Aggrolites, and tour once again the U.S.A.
2011 came and with 10 years of non-stop touring, being included in many important compilations, played with many important bands, and festivals, Los Kung Fu Monkeys return to the game and continue touring Europe once again now playing in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Croatia for the first time, and coming back to Belgium, England, Germany and Austria once again, playing 4 shows of the tour with NYC’s The Slackers for a crowd of 2000 in Austria at the Arena.
2012 became the most important year of the band, after many years of proving that they are a Mexican Icon and Institution in Mexico, they get added to the most important rock music festival in Latin America “VIVE LATINO 2012” playing with Gogol Bordello, Foster the People, Café Tacuba, and MADNESS. A new record on the works for the first time this same year Los Kung Fu Monkeys release their first vinyl record a 7” 45 RPM split records with the Voodoo Glow Skulls on their own label Cafeina Riot Radio in Mexico touring to promote the release September and October. And also releasing a greatest hits record in Japan on ska in the world records
2013 saw the band tour Canada again with Jamaican Canadian singer Jah Cutta and sharing the stage with bands like the Planet smashers and Rude city riot. Also Returning to Mexico city to play a sold out headlining show at the famed Alicia venue.
2014 Los kung fu Monkeys start the year playing Que me pregunten fest in Mexico city in front of 10,000 people and in April start to record their new upcoming album with Canadian producer Steve Loree (The Real Mckenzies, S.N.F.U)
2015 looks to be their best year putting out a new record with Canadian label Stomp Records and planning on touring for the 2015 release of the record and all of 2016.
Till this day Los Kung Fu Monkeys has toured in over 15 countries all over the world, Headlining, and also sharing the stage and bill with all the greats in the underground as well as the mainstream markets, mythical bands like The Misfits, Moby, Panteon Rococo, Mad Caddies, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Fishbone, Madness, The Toasters, The Aggrolites, NOFX, Dropkick Murphys, Enrique Bunbury, the Planet smashers, The Adicts and many more.