Premiere of Kings of Dust’s lyric video for new single “Like An Ocean” + mini-interview w/ band members
Sleaze Roxx is pleased and honoured to premiere Kings of Dust‘s lyric video for their new single “Like An Ocean.”
Kings of Dust consisting of bassist Greg Chaisson (Badlands, Red Dragon Cartel), lead vocalist Michael Beck (Red Dragon Cartel), drummer Jimi Taft and guitarist Ryan McKay will be releasing their debut self-titled album via Shock Records / Vanity Music Group on March 13, 2020. Kings of Dust can be reached via their Facebook page.
For the lyric video premiere occasion, Sleaze Roxx caught up with the four band members for a mini-interview.
Sleaze Roxx: Why did you decide to go with “Like An Ocean” as one of the singles released in advance of the official album release date?
Michael Beck: As the lyric writer, I like the message in ”Like An Ocean.” And it seemed like a great place to start. And I think it’s something everyone can relate to.
Ryan McKay: “Like An Ocean” is a good representation of the record as a whole. It grooves, has a great hook and a solo section that allows us to stretch out.
Greg Chaisson: We kind of went round and round about which song should lead off the record and decided on this one because it has a nice sort of up-tempo groove that maintains itself through the whole song. Lyrically, it has a great message. I also think it’s a fair representation of the band and precursor to what the rest of the record is going to sound like.
Jimi Taft: Well, if I remember correctly, we had a few in mind initially, but we ended up deciding on “Like An Ocean” because we felt it was a good representation of our sound overall. It’s also the song we chose to kick off the record. Plenty of drive to open without giving too much away right out of the chute. Plus, we get to pay a small tribute to some of our influences at the very end of the song, which is always fun!
Sleaze Roxx: The name Greg Chaisson will likely be quite familiar to Sleaze Roxx readers due to Badlands but what about the rest of you? Can each of you provide a little bit of your background?
Michael Beck: I was briefly the singer for Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel. It didn’t work out but one door closed, another opened and I’m anxious for everyone to hear the new Kings of Dust.
Ryan McKay: I spent the 2000’s fronting the ’70s throwback Crash Street Kids. For the last 10 years, I’ve been the lead guitarist and co-songwriter for Louis Prima Jr.
Greg Chaisson: I found them in an alley playing craps. They looked pretty needy so I asked, ‘Can you guys play any musical instruments?’ They said “No” so I taught them how and the rest is history [laughs]. Oh, you want the true story of this band coming together? OK, here goes. About six or seven years ago, a guitar player friend of mine asked me if I would like to do some recording with a drummer friend of his and a singer at the singer’s studio. The singer happened to be Michael Beck. We wrote a few songs and it started sounding pretty good so we decided to form an actual band. After a while, the guitar player and the drummer both had to drop out for their own reasons. One day, Beck called me and said I think we should put this back together so we did. I always liked Beck‘s voice. He doesn’t really sound like anyone else to my ear, which is what I was looking for. I had seen Ryan McKay play before and always liked his guitar playing. He had a real ’70s sort of feel with great chops so I called him up and he was interested.
We went through quite a few drummers but it just wasn’t feeling exactly right. Then out of the blue, I ran into Jimi Taft. I had played with him before in another band and he’s amazing and we played together real well. I asked him if he would be interested in checking out the band which was now called Kings of Dust and he was. I went so far as to do an interview naming him as the new drummer before he ever even jammed with the band [laughs]. These guys are top notch musicians and all around groovy guys as well! It all works like a fine oiled machine now. It couldn’t be better. I think once people have heard the record — and if the early reviews are any indicator — I think people will really like it. The best thing I can say is I would buy it even if I wasn’t on it.
Jimi Taft: I remember playing dice in an alley with Michael and Ryan one afternoon when Greg walked up and asked if we wanted to be in a band [laughs]! Actually, Greg and I go back quite a few years, to 1991 when I was at The Complex in L.A. mixing an EP for my band at-the-time, Rag Doll. Our bass player was a close friend of both Greg and Jeff Martin. They actually all played in Surgical Steel at one point, which is also the band that moved me to Phoenix around 1989-90, and they dropped by to hear what we were doing. Greg and I hit it off really well. He said he liked the way I played, and floated the idea that someday we would do something together.
Fast forward to sometime in 2018, Greg did an interview wherein he was asked about Kings of Dust. He stated that he had a “cool new drummer, Jimi Taft.” He chuckles and then goes on to say that he had actually not spoken to me about the position! Classic Greg! He had sent me a link to the interview and this is how I found out I was offered the spot. Hands down, the coolest way I found out I landed a gig! I have been playing professionally since the ripe old age of 14 and have been able to play with some really good bands and extremely gifted players, but never have I been into a project as much as Kings of Dust. This band represents everything I love in rock music. I can honestly say that I would buy this record even if I wasn’t playing on it!
Sleaze Roxx: Kings of Dust has a real old school ’70s sound. Which ’70s bands do you think that sound a bit to a lot like Kings of Dust, and why?
Michael Beck: I think we sound like elements of a lot of the ’70s era bands. I don’t think we sound exactly like any of them but that era is definitely an influence. Honestly, I don’t know why. It’s nothing we’ve ever discussed or talked about. But with Greg being the main songwriter for most of the music, that’s definitely the vibe he gives off. And for me that was pretty easy to pick up on.
Ryan McKay: The riffs are reminiscent of In Rock era Deep Purple, Physical Graffiti from Led Zeppelin and the like.
Greg Chaisson: We wear our influences on our sleeves. That’s for sure. So you will definitely hear some Deep Purple, Mountain, Humble Pie, Zeppelin, etc vibes and of course Badlands. I’m a huge Jake E Lee fan [laughs] and I always loved the way that he wrote. I kind of write the same way… I always have. So if you are a fan of ’70s bluesy hard rock with a few other interesting elements thrown in there for good measure, you will probably enjoy Kings of Dust!
Jimi Taft: That’s an interesting question. I don’t know that we set out to have a specific sound… It’s actually very organic. We write and play what moves us. We have that sound because it’s what we grew up listening to and honing our craft around. I’ve heard varying comparisons to some of our influences from those who’ve had a chance to hear the record. All of which put a huge smile on my face, because the comparisons I’ve heard all happen to be to bands that I love! You’re never going to hurt my feelings by comparing Kings of Dust to bands like Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, just to name a few I’ve heard… I’m honored to be compared to, or even thought of in the same light as any of those bands!
Kings of Dust‘s “Like An Ocean” lyric video:
From the KINGS OF DUST album (c) 2020 Shock Records