20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Ex-Kix Singer Steve Whiteman
This is our last 20 Questions for 2002 and we’re closing it out with Steve Whiteman. Recently we were contacted by Steve’s Funny Money guitarist, Dean Cramer, about Steve doing 20 Questions. We had asked Steve a few years back and he turned us down, but now he came to his senses and wanted to talk. So here it is. Enjoy!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your shit.
I have a band that I started about 6+ years ago called FUNNY MONEY , which has been playing all over the place in the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, as well as the occasional jaunts to New York. Our live shows consist of half FUNNY MONEY and half Kix tunes. Here’s the websight address, though we’ve just put it up, so it’ll look better in the near future: www.funnymoneyband.com . I do still give vocal lessons on the band’s down time, and I’m constantly writing new tunes-ones that will actually get recorded…
2. Why did you pass on doing 20 Questions with us a few years back? Why come to us now?
I was advised against doing it by a friend, since they said all you guys do is tear up on people. But after a recommendation by my guitarist, Dean Cramer, I thought it might help to clear the air on some things, as KIX pretty much same to fall of the edge of the earth. So I asked him to contact you to see if you were still hip on the idea-sorry for the delay, my bad!
3. Why did KIX break up after all?
The same reason a marriage would break up. We were together for 17 years, and grew a bit wary of each other (some MUCH more than others), as well as the fact that the musical climate had changed so much. We had no record company support, either, sooooo…
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
"Guns ‘n Roses" come to mind. Why not just call it something else, instead of tarnishing something that used to be really cool? Aside from that, that’s tough to say, since there are fans out there that don’t want their bands to ever go away. There are definitely those bands who’ve done a 180 turn on what got them respect from their peers, and now look like a fish out of water. If you’re happy doing your thing, keep doing it for as long as you desire. I love playing music myself!
5. Rate these singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who needs a lot of vocal lessons and 10 being somebody who doesn’t need shit.
Jani Lane = Good singer, though he doesn’t quite nail a lot of those higher notes anymore-can be a great songwriter
Jizzy Pearl = Not a good Pearcy, which isn’t a dig-he’s best at his own material
Tom Keifer = Excellent-gives it all every night
David Lee Roth = Haven’t seen anytime recent…
Dizzy Dean Davidson = Take Tom Keifer, cut him in half, and you’ll get the picture
Kevin DuBrow = LOUD(like me) -seems to do it well-kudos!
Vince Neil = sorry, but even HE can’t sing Vince Neil stuff anymore
Mike Tramp = WAIT-it’s coming to me…
Axl Rose = Hit or miss (when he actually shows up) though more often then not a hit
Bret Michaels = read on….
6. You’ve worked as a vocal instructor before. Which hard rock singer do you think is in need of some vocal lessons?
Check out the list above…
7. How did that stick of dynamite become a significant symbol for you & KIX?
It didn’t. Next…
8. Donnie Purnell wrote most of the KIX music. Did he take all the publishing money too, and if so did you ever want to stick that dynamite up his ass for it?
Yes, Donnie took pretty much all of the publishing cash, since he was the main songwriter. Oh, did I mention that we were not asked/encouraged/allowed to write? Essentially, I’d get a tune on the albums as a sort of appeasement, if there was extra time in the studio. Although his music was usually very good, it would have been nice…
9. Any chance of seeing Kix get back together for one of the summer package tours?
No-every one lives have moved on-in fact Jimmy became a chef, and probably hasn’t touch a drum kit since our last gig. Ronnie has a band out called the BLUES VULTURES. Haven’t talked to Brian in a while. Donnie’s…being Donnie. Let’s move on shall we?
10. The last of Steve Whiteman:
Last CD you purchased = Rod Stewart’s new one (for the wifey)
Last time you listened to a Kix CD = about 3 days ago (Funny Money is working on some tunes)
Last movie you saw = Planet of the Apes
Last book you read = Walk this Way (The Aerosmith book)
Last concert you bought a ticket for = no idea
Last rock star you shook hands with = Gene Simmons
Last cover song you sang = Do you include Kix tunes? If not, Satisfaction.
Last time you visited a strip club = 1993
Last lie you told = I don’t tell them…
Last time you threw up from drinking =I can’t remember, since I was too drunk at the time!
11. Of all the bands Kix toured with, who were the biggest dicks and who were the coolest?
Pretty much all were fine (except the show with David Lee Roth at the Capital Center). Gene Simmons was very nice-a gentleman.
12. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
Axl is a strong front runner in this, simply for his late show starts, if he decides to play at all. I feel for the band, then and now.
13. You auditioned for RATT after Pearcy left. What did you sing and why don?t you think they picked you?
There was no vocal audition, so there was no tune. Just some talk…
14. KIX had a small quarter page B&W ad. that ran in Hit Parader for years. Who paid for these ads, and why didn’t KIX ever get a bigger or full color ad like all of the other bands got?
I have no idea who took care of that stuff, sorry.
15. What do you remember about the following years:
1970 = Grand Funk
1974 = Grand Funk
1978 = Mt. View bar
1982 = I was a "Cool Kid"!
1986 = Life was good-lots of road work…
1990 = Not as fun as ’86
1994 = The end was upon us
1998 = Funny Money playing, having fun, enjoying life!
16. How much was your biggest music related check for and what did you do with it?
My biggest check was actually from the Funny Money record sales, which helped me build a pool in the ground out back of my house!
17. Back in the early days KIX use to play the Troubadour in LA. Then a band named Poison came along & according to many of the die hard KIX fans, Poison blatantly ripped off your entire show. What’s your take on this?
Yes, they did. Though I won’t give them any credit for being a talented band at the time, I will say that they busted their balls to get where they got. Think about it:
Poison-a KIX song
The color green for the logo-it’s the Kix color
The list could go on…
18. Have you ever taken speech impediment classes for your lisp, which is more noticeable in your older recordings?
19. How do you feel about Donnie saying that, ?Funny Money Is Phony Baloney, a KIX cover band using songs and recordings.?
There’s a rift between Donnie and myself, of his doing, I must add. I earned the right to sing those tunes, and he can’t seem to deal with that fact. I did make a big effort to put together a band that could play those songs the right way, and retain the spirit of the tunes. I was very successful in that area, I must say! Come out and check us out! Remember-I was a big Kix fan myself!
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Jason Flom = ?
AC/DC = GREAT BAND!
Tommy Lee = Cool drummer, but keep it in your pants
Howard Stern = shock jock
Gene Simmons = a Pro
Sebastian Bach = tall
Kid Rock = like some of his stuff, I admit
Dean Cramer = very good musician/guitarist-lives for music and Planet of the Apes!
Britny Fox = no thanks
Donnie Purnell = good songwriter, but not one of my favorite people…
That’s the second consecutive interview we’ve put up that said Poison ripped off Kix. Joey Allen said the same thing in his Rewind we put up last Thursday. Interesting.
Props to Steve for coming to the table and for more info you can visit www.funnymoneyband.com