INTERVIEW WITH CHEZ KANE
Date: February 24, 2021
Interviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
The internet is a weird thing in the sense that you can go on YouTube looking up a song or performance, then fading yourself in a rabbit hole discovering this and that and oftentimes wasting a lot of time. I happened upon one of Chez Kane’s clips of her covering “Life Is Beautiful” and then as you know, you watch one clip, then another and another and another… Chez Kane has a debut album coming out of Frontiers on March 12th, 2021. It’s a self-titled album. She talks a little bit about getting approached by Danny Rexon of Crazy Lixx who had a number of songs that were ’80s rock driven and asked Chez to lay down vocals on it. Chez has released a music video for “Too Late For Love” which is a throwback to the glory days of melodic hard rock dominating the radio waves. Speaking of radio, the second single “Rocket On The Radio” is even better than its predecessor. The record is sure to make many a best of 2021 list in the fourth quarter of this year. Enough from me. Enjoy the interview.
Sleaze Roxx: I came across a clip where you were covering Sixx:A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful.” As you know you get on YouTube and you come across a lot of stuff from the artist. I saw some clips of Kane’d, the band that you’re in with your sisters. Before we get into your debut album, what’s the status of Kane’d? Was your branching out influenced by COVID-19 downtime or does it predate it?
Chez Kane: We’re still very much a band. I have not made a departure from the band. I made this solo album when Danny [Rexon] offered me the project. I wanted to branch out and do something outside of Kane’d before I spoke with Danny. There’s so many bands at the moment where members are branching out and doing their own solo projects that I felt that the time was right. Kane’s is very much a band. It’s a bit slow at the moment, because COVID has gotten in the way. There are seven of us in that band, so it’s challenging to be able to get together. I’m taking things as it goes and I hope Kane’d will do another album later down the line.
Sleaze Roxx: Kane’d has quite a few members — real quick on that. How have you managed to keep that band together with all of those personalities in that band.
Chez Kane: It’s crazy [laughs]! Three of us are sisters. We’ve grown up together. Fortunately, we get on really well, so that’s great [laughs]! We work well together and we met Harry [Scott Eliott] who is the guitarist and we started writing with him. Some of the other band members have come and gone, as they do sometimes. The current line-up that we have at the moment have been together for about four years now. Kane’d was formed 11-12 years ago. There’s not a clash of personalities in this band. We get on really well. There’s a lot of us in the band, but it just works [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: In the U.S., that band would look like Lynyrd Skynyrd on stage.
Chez Kane: [Laughs] Right! It’s just so great when you’re part of something where everyone gets on really well.
Chez Kane‘s cover of Sixx:A.M.‘s “Life Is Beautiful” video:
Sleaze Roxx: You mentioned earlier that you wanted to do a solo album. I’m curious if the original vision was to do an all original album or was it going to be a covers album? The reason I ask is because you’ve posted countless performance clips online.
Chez Kane: When I started doing covers, I didn’t think much of it. I just started doing songs that I loved or that I grew up listening to. It was for the fun of it. I didn’t think that I would have gotten discovered by Danny by doing it [laughs]! That was a bit of fun on the side. It was a chance to sing songs that I love. As I said, I always meant to do a solo project, but it wasn’t along the lines of this album. I wanted to do something along the lines of Alterbridge, that kind of feel. I wanted to do something darker. I have grown up on ’80s music. It is my first love in terms of rock music. Def Leppard was the first band that I fell in love with, then I went on to discover other genres of rock. I love so many genres — metal, hard rock, melodic rock and ’80s music. When Danny contacted me about doing this project, I wanted to do it badly because I love ’80s music. I have to say that with the world being so down at the moment, it’s the music that picks me up. I just felt that this was the project for me.
Chez Kane‘s cover of Vixen‘s “Edge of A Broken Heart” video:
Sleaze Roxx: Having grown up in the ’80s, I have to add that music from that time was just such an escape. It was fun. This album really captures that vibe from that time. I haven’t seen anyone ‘recreate’ it so well. Stepping into this project, I assume it was very important that the songs capture that vibe.
Chez Kane: It’s quite funny because when Danny sent me the demos, he said that he wanted to bring back the ’80s female fronted band. He started sending me tracks and I started falling in love with the song straight away. It was like he was hitting all of the bands that I used to listen to growing up. I wasn’t born in the ’80s, but I discovered Def Leppard and I started doing my research and discovered more of their music and other bands. The songs that Danny was sending me were giving me that feel. I just couldn’t not do the project [laughs]! It just had my name all over it!
Sleaze Roxx: I’m curious at how many songs Danny sent you? Also did you take any liberties in terms of changing some of the lyrics or changing some of the melodies around?
Chez Kane: He initially sent me one song. He asked if I fancied the idea of doing a demo of it. I did the next day. I worked my butt off on it [laughs]! He then sent me some more songs, just to see if I was comfortable with those as well. I loved them as well. As far, as rearranging the songs, I was more than welcome to do that. Danny said I was welcome to make any changes, I could let him know and we could discuss it. I have to tell you. Everything that he sent was just so perfect that I didn’t want to touch it [laughs]! It was just so good already! I didn’t think there was anything that needed to be changed.
Sleaze Roxx: You mentioned he sent you one song to kind of test the waters. What was that first song that he sent you to demo?
Chez Kane: It was “Better Than Love.” That might be my favorite song on the album. It’s special to me because it’s a reminder of the beginning of this album.
Sleaze Roxx: I assume the album was recorded by him sending you the tracks and you would then record your vocals then send them back to him?
Chez Kane: Yes, that was the way that we had to do it due to Covid. He was originally thinking about flying to the UK or I would fly over to Sweden, but that just wasn’t going to work. So he would send me the tracks and I would record my vocals in my home studio and get them back to him.
Sleaze Roxx: So you and he had never met before he approached you about this project? So he saw you on YouTube and thought you’d be a great fit for the songs he had written?
Chez Kane: Yeah. I didn’t know him at all. I had seen the name Crazy Lixx around. I follow bands like H.E.A.T and Reckless Love. They’ve been on some of the festival line-ups. So I was familiar with Crazy Lixx, but I didn’t know Danny.
Sleaze Roxx: I know as far as promotion for the album, you’re doing interviews to get the word out. You have videos for “Too Late For Love” and a lyric video for “Rocket On The Radio” and you also cut a clip of you singing the track live in your studio. Have you considered doing anything in the way of a streaming concert performance to promote the album?
Chez Kane: When it comes to ‘live’ streaming, I don’t have anything against it at all. I have watched a lot of bands and singers doing live streams and they’re doing an amazing job and I love what they’re doing. I think for this album and these songs, I really want to get out on the road and perform it live in front of an audience. I want to have the whole ‘buzz’ of perfroming this debut album to an audience. I don’t want to get on stage, perform in an empty room and have nobody there [laughs]! I’m not against it at all and it might be something that I may do in the future. I might do something like a virtual launch party since we won’t be able to do something physically. It’s something I’m considering at the moment, but it’s not confirmed.
Sleaze Roxx: What about more videos? Is that something that you’re getting support from Frontiers?
Chez Kane: I managed to do “Too Late For Love.” I was very, very lucky because then Covid hit. As you know, I couldn’t go to Sweden to record the album. There was a little gap of time where things eased off a little bit. I was able to fly over and we did “Too Late For Love” in Sweden, which was awesome. The plan was to go back in December to do one for “Rocket On The Radio,” but we were hit again and went back on lockdown. We couldn’t do it. That was very frustrating!
Chez Kane‘s “Too Late For Love” video:
Sleaze Roxx: That’s one of the highlights for me. Great song, fun and we’re heading into summertime, which in normal times would be at the height of the concert season.
Chez Kane: I know [laughs]! I’m frustrated that we weren’t able to do one for “Rocket.” In regards to more music videos, Danny and I have tried to work something out. There will be another single coming and we hope that we can get a video for that. Fingers crossed!
Sleaze Roxx: You’re in the process of assembling a band. I saw something online where you were auditioning people. How is that going so far?
Chez Kane: It’s gone really well. I decided to hold auditions a couple weeks back. It was in mid-January. I know plenty of musicians that I could ask. I just want to find ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ talent that can pull off the late ’80s and early ’90s feel that I’m going for. I want people that have the hunger for it and I want to see that come across in their audition. I have my band. I can’t wait to be able to get together with them and start rehearsing. I will let you know a little bit more on that in the near future [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: What was the hardest song to cut for the record?
Chez Kane: Oh, that’s an easy one for me. I would have to say that it’s “Midnight Rendevouz.” The range on that is up there. It’s really high and hard hitting. That was the hardest vocally for me I think. Things could change because I haven’t performed these songs live in front of an audience with my band. That could change [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: The sequencing, the number of tracks is even ‘old school.’ Ten tracks is perfect for the album. Was there material that was left off for this album?
Chez Kane: Oh, thank you. What you hear is what was recorded. The songs that made the album are the songs that Danny sent.
Sleaze Roxx: Give us a little insight into your influences if you could.
Chez Kane: Well, I obviously love the female vocalists of the ’80s, but for me, it started with male vocalists. Def Leppard and Joe Elliott were the first band that I fell in love with. I remember my sister playing a Pat Benatar album, I think that was my first female fronted rock artist. I would say Pat Benatar was the first female singer that inspired me to sing and front a band. I also love bands like Heart, Vixen… I think Janet [Gardner] is pretty badass [laughs]! I love her! From there I discovered Whitesnake, Rainbow, Bon Jovi… God, I love Bon Jovi [laughs]! I also love Tyketto, Steelheart, Robin Beck! There’s just so many [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: Anything that would surprise the readers that you really enjoy musically?
Chez Kane: [Pause] Enigma! I love Enigma, they’re so good! It’s my ‘chill-out’ music but it’s still got a little bit of rock to it. There’s some guitar solos in some of their songs. I don’t know if that surprises you [laughs]?
Sleaze Roxx: In closing, gimme three records that changed your life?
Chez Kane: [Pauses] Let me think… I have to have Def Leppard on my list. The first Def Leppard record that I heard was Def Leppard’s ‘Best Of’ record. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” came on the radio one day and then my parents bought me their hits record. Another album that I love and have influenced me is Alterbridge’s ‘Black Bird’ album. I’m really fond of that one. Then I think I’m going to go with Robin Beck’s ‘Trouble Or Nothin’’ which I think is just great! I remember listening to Robin Beck and thinking, “My God she is a so awesome!” That album inspired me to be like her and rock out!
Chez Kane‘s “Rocket On The Radio” lyric video: