Interview with Brad Xavier of The Kottonmouth Kings July 5, 2012

July 18, 2012 by: Shauna O'Donnell

July 5, 2012

THE KOTTONMOUTH KINGS

Suburban Noize records

Brad Xavier (Daddy X)

Placentia, California

www.kottonmouthkings.com

www.facebook.com/kottonmouthkings

www.twitter.com/kottonmouth

www.youtube.com/kottonmouthkings

By: Shauna O’Donnell


Shauna: Hi Brad, thanks for talking with me today. How are things going?

Brad: Things are going good. I’m heading down to the studio today.

Shauna: Do you still live in Placentia?

Brad: I do not. I grew up there, but I live up in the mountains now.

Shauna: On August 14th, you will release your latest album titled Mile High. You have put out quite a bit of albums in the past. Do you find it difficult to come up with new, creative ideas for songs?

Brad: No, not really. To me, that is the funnest part about the whole thing, creating new music and writing new songs. That is what keeps it interesting and fresh.

Shauna: Does it get easier or harder with each album?

Brad: I think it gets easier. On this particular record we were really going for a more aggressive record. We knew what we were doing when we set out to make the record. We knew exactly what we were doing when we went into the studio. We were really focused on what kind of record we wanted to make and we made it.

Shauna: Describe this particular album. How does it differ and how is it similar to previous albums?

Brad: We tried some new technology and messed around with some new spectrum analyzers with the EQ for some bass frequencies. We have some insane bass frequencies on this record that I don’t think anyone has used before. It will definitely blow some speakers, I can guarantee that. It’s a bangin record! We are passing the mic around a lot with the rhymes. It was a super fun record to make and it feels like there is a great chemistry with the band right now. I think we captured that on this record. I think it is going to blow a lot of people’s minds. We are firing on all cylinders.

Shauna: It was said that this is your most prolific record to date. How so?

Brad: All of our records have eighteen songs on them. We try to put the maximum amount of songs that you can put on a CD because we want to have the value for the customer. Each one of these songs themselves is unique and special in its own way. I just think that it is a very focused record. Sometimes we are all over the map when we make a record. We will go from mellow stuff to punk rock stuff, but this one was way more focused.

Shauna: Do you do the majority of the writing?

Brad: Everyone contributes on the writing end of it. Everyone kind of writes their parts and comes up with ideas.

Shauna: Did you have any guest spots or outside collaborations on the record?

Brad: Yeah, we have a couple great guests on the record. We did a song called “Watch Out” with Twiztid. We also did a song called “End of Rope” with Jahred of Hed p.e. who just killed it. We did a song called “Honey Dip” with Mickey Avalon featured on it.

Shauna: So you do a lot of stuff with the other bands signed to Suburban Noize Records then?

Brad: Yeah we do a lot of collaborations with them for sure. Saint Dog, one of the original members of the Kings came back on this record and he is on a handful of songs. We did an EP with all of the original Kings on it, which is kind of cool, but that is going to be a Best Buy deluxe bonus disc. Saint Dog is on three songs on the actual album. We also did a song with Swollen Members too.

Shauna: You filmed a video for the song “Hold It In.” I assume that will be the single off the album.

Brad: We did that just to give people a taste of what direction we are going. We just finished shooting a video for the song “Boombox.”  We shot it on July 2nd. It came out really good and we worked with the same director that we did with “Hold it In.” He is a great director and he is great with special effects and stuff. We are looking forward to seeing that. We will probably shoot a couple more videos prior to the release of the record, a song called “Roll Us A Joint” and a song called “Get Out of the Way.” We did a reggae song called “Cali Man” that we might do a video for.

Shauna: Do you make all of your own videos?

Brad: Todd directed the last two videos, but usually we make our own videos, yeah. We built our own website, produce our own records and pretty much do everything. We are hands on with every aspect of the band.

Shauna: Do you design your own album covers? I really love this one because it is so fun to look at.

Brad: We had the concept and someone from Seedless Clothing approached me and he had an artist he was working with out of L.A. named Dane Holmquist that designed the artwork. If you go on YouTube there is a time lapsed video of him creating the artwork. It is pretty cool. We thought it was super important for the artwork to be really special and match the kind of record we were trying to make. We collaborated with a couple people to bring it to life.

Shauna: When does The Mile High Tour kick off?

Brad: We are playing the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on July 27th and 28th and then the tour takes off the next week.

Shauna: The Kings enlisted horror master Prozak, underground heavyweight Big B, and the Moonshine Bandits for this tour. Have you toured with these bands before?

Brad: We’ve done shows with the Moonshine Bandits, but we’ve never toured with them. We have toured with Prozak before. We are pretty familiar with everybody on the bill.

Shauna: Where do you tend to get the biggest response to your music?

Brad: The West Coast is always great, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Detroit and Boston. The Midwest is always very supportive. We have pretty fanatical fans out there.

Shauna: You also produce, are you currently working on any projects?

Brad: We are working on a record that has all the original Kottonmouth Kings on it. We are doing a full album with all the original MC’s of The Kottonmouth Kings. It is a pretty fun project.

Shauna: What is your advice to new bands that model themselves after you?

Brad: My first advice would be for you to model yourself after yourself. Be original and be yourself really because everybody has something interesting to bring to the table. You always start out as a band being influenced by somebody that influences you to start and want to be in a band. I totally get that, but define your own identity and your own sound. You want to write songs that you enjoy writing. Be in control of as many aspects of your business that you can. There is so much opportunity with the internet now, that people should really jumpstart their career on the internet. Take advantage of all the technology out there.

Shauna: I stopped by the Kottonmouth Kings store online and you guys have more merch than any band I’ve ever seen. I think it’s cool that you offer such a wide variety of options.

Brad: I appreciate that. We put a lot of work into it believe it or not. We are always trying to create new designs and we are at a place now where we want to offer classic editions of some of our best stuff like shirts from over the years that are not available anymore. We have been around for seventeen years.

Shauna: I know, does it feel that long?

Brad: No it doesn’t feel that long, but what is crazy about it is that there is that much history, that many albums and that many t-shirt designs. It’s great to be able to pull from that to kind of bring the nostalgia to the fans because they appreciate it. Different fans were into different stages of the band. Some people were really into it at the beginning with the earlier records and some people are just now discovering us. I can see our fan base change through generations which is kind of cool. Like our original fans, maybe there younger brothers or sisters are coming to the shows and they are the older ones back at the bar drinking or something. It is passed down through generations, which is really cool.

Shauna: Thank you so much for the interview. Was there anything you’d like to add or say?

Brad: The record drops August 14th! The “Boombox” video will be dropping really soon. Come out to the shows! We also created an animated series called Stonetown. If you go to http://www.welcometostonetown.com/ we have a cartoon series going on right now. You can go the website and create your own profile. We have a social network on there. You can be an official citizen of Stonetown. It’s an animated virtual world. I encourage people to check it out.

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