Interview with Kevin Kennedy (guitars)
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: November 5, 2011
MetalMike: Congratulations on the new album, Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse! Exxplorer has been around for quite a while so for the benefit of those who might not know, why the extra "X"?
Kevin: Hey Thanxx a lot, MetalMike. Well that was after the 1st album and before our 2nd, A Recipe for Power. We were being confused with another band of the same name so we almost changed the name and I suggested adding another X. The funny thing was when we had an artist draw up a new logo he actually copied the exact way that Exxon Gas makes their logo. That was no good so we just went with bold capital letters and EXXPLORER looked better than the original way.
MetalMike: What inspired you to put the band back together and release a new album?
Kevin: We were inspired because of the huge response we have been getting from our fans at the mention of doing a new album. We wanted to do a new album, but I think all the feedback we have gotten has made us wanna do it that much more.
MetalMike: Where did the title Vengeance Rides and Angry Horse come from?
Kevin: The title was from Mikes Sakowski's now famous paragraph in Phantasmagoria; "Vengeance rides an angry horse, to the doorsteps of your mind."
MetalMike: What have the guys been up to in the years between last album and Vengeance?
Kevin: We did various side projects and cover bands for income but the only recordings that took place were the bonus tracks we added to the Underground Symphony release of S.O.S (Symphonies of Steel).
MetalMike: What is the biggest difference between the 80s and today in terms of recording, playing live, etc.?
Kevin: Well it's a huge difference here in the states. The clubs are mostly gone from the famous Jersey Strip, once considered a premier place in the 80's. But it's hopefully gonna make a come back! Also, many once famous studios have gone out of business and are being replaced by home studios.
MetalMike: How tough is it for U.S. based Metal bands? Have you considered relocating to Europe or somewhere else?
Kevin: It's really tough and the scene for old school metal is not like Europe. We would love to relocate the metal scene from Europe to the U.S. We really would have to have an amazing offer to just pick-up and leave our home land.
MetalMike: The internet has certainly changed the game since you first started. How do you see that helping Exxplorer?
Kevin: The internet helps a lot, for sure. That is one "nice change."
MetalMike: Have you stuck with 80s era equipment, like some bands, or are you into the modern stuff?
Kevin: We still use Marshalls And Gibsons along with some nice Raven West axxes and some more modern guitar effects like the Digi Tech 1101 Effects unit and Control -2 Foot Pedals.
MetalMike: Who inspired you to pick up your instruments back in the day? Anyone today that really impresses? What was your first Metal show?
Kevin: I was inspired, in my early days, by the RUSH 2112 album; lots of vintage sounds and a great imagination, lyrically. Then Priest, Maiden, Scorpions, Accept and some Queensryche. My 1st Metal show was Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, a weekly show. He would have all kind of obscure (at the time) acts. I even saw Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush on that show.
MetalMike: What do the band members do when not playing/recording?
Kevin: When not playing or recording I do what I always do; I take notes and make little recordings of song ideas and lyric ideas and make sure to mark them with dates and titles, if they have a title.
MetalMike: What are the plans for the future? Is Vengeance a one-off or are you hoping it marks the start of a prolonged period of activity?
Kevin: We definitely would like to do a few more albums over the next 5 years, God willing.
MetalMike: What are your tour plans? Any chance of a widespread U.S. Tour?
Kevin: We would love to do a nice prolonged tour but you know it would have to be the right situation and be able to support our families. It would be pretty cool to do. We've never had that luxury.
MetalMike: Who writes the songs? Where do your inspirations come from? Any particular favorites from Vengeance, maybe some songs you can't wait to play live?
Kevin: We all write together and that's the fun part. We want everyone to feel like they are involved. I really am looking forward to adding some of the new songs to what we have already. I think "Valley Of Doom" will be a good live song and, eventually "The Vengeance." That will give Lenny a 4-minute break, hahah! I really want to get "As the Crow Flies" added to the set.
MetalMike: What should long time Exxplorer fans know about Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse? How about fans new to the band?
Kevin: Well Exxplorer fans should know it was our most challenging album to date because of the limited financial backing. New fans should check our bio and learn a bit about our history and get familiar with our first two albums, as well as the new one!!
MetalMike: Anything else you'd like to let readers know that we didn't cover?
Kevin: One last thing is I ask that all our fans, new and old, realize that we really poured our musical souls into every second of this new album and what ever we may lack in quality, we make up for with our hearts. And we really appreciate everyone's great support!! And thank you also for interviewing us! Best wishes to you!!
MetalMike: Thanks for taking some time from your schedules to let us know what is going on with Exxplorer and good luck with Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse!
|Other information about Exxplorer on this site|
|Review: Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse|
|Review: Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse|
|Review: A Recipe For Power|
|Video: Live at Headbangers Open Air 2009|
|Video: Metal Detectors (Live)|
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