KIX announce retirement with last show in Columbia, Maryland, USA on September 17th

KIX announce retirement with last show in Columbia, Maryland, USA on September 17th

KIX closed out the festivities at the M3 Rock Festival yesterday night (on May 7, 2023) and shocked the crowd with their announcement that they were retiring (later this year). KIX frontman Steve Whiteman was interviewed by Andrew Daly for Metal Edge Mag before the historic announcement to talk about the band’s decision to retire.

In terms of what went into KIX‘s decision to retire, Whiteman indicated: “It might seem sudden, but this is a decision that I made around a year ago. I gave it a lot of thought, decided, and announced it to the guys in the band and our booking agents. I knew at that point that I was probably going to be done by the of 2023. It’s been 45 years of nonstop rock ‘n’ roll, travel, and hanging out, and I don’t have the time to commit to it anymore. I’m 66. I’ve got neuropathy in my feet. I’m tired.”

On whether drummer Jimmy Chalfant‘s health issues impacted the decision to retire, Whiteman stated: “For sure. When Jimmy [Chalfant] collapsed in November, that put a whole new perspective on things. It was the sort of thing that got me thinking, “How much longer do we want to do this?” And if I’m being honest, I was ready to give up and go home then and there. But everybody rallied and pushed me to keep going and finish the dates we had booked. That’s when we decided to go until this coming September. We knew we had these summer days, and Jimmy – once he felt good enough to get onstage – put his foot down and said, “September is it for me.””

Daly noted that guitarist Ronnie “10/10” Younkins had been out of the line-up for a few years so he wondered what accelerated things with Chalfant‘s health situation to which Whiteman replied: “Being without Ronnie was one thing, but Jimmy essentially died on stage. We were at the end of a show in Leesburg, Virginia, and just as Jimmy finished his drum solo, he went to stand up and immediately collapsed onto his drum kit. We all thought he was fixing a foot pedal or something, but then we realized he wasn’t moving, and the road crew sprang into action. Luckily, our bassist, Mark [Schenker], is a trained diving instructor and knows CPR. And one of our guitar techs is a paramedic, so they worked on him immediately and probably saved his life.

If not for them getting him breathing again before the ambulance could get there, I’m not sure he’d be here now. But watching that was traumatic for all of us and got our minds spinning. I mean… I was dazed. I was on the phone with his wife telling her what was happening, and truthfully, we didn’t think he would make it. But he did make it, went to rehab for seven months, and in that time, Matt Starr did an incredible job until Jimmy came back. But like I said, Jimmy put his foot down and said this is how far I’m willing to go. And if Jimmy is not in the band, I don’t want to do it anymore.”

With respect to KIX‘s last show, Whiteman stated: “Well, the run of scheduled dates actually had us ending in Hinckley, Minnesota. And with all due respect to them, we knew we could not finish our career in Hinckley, Minnesota. [laughs] We knew we had to do something for our local fans who have supported us all this time. So, we decided to call the man who runs the Merriweather Post Pavilion to say, “Hey, would you be interested in hosting the final KIX show?” Thankfully, he jumped at the chance. So, that’s what we’re going to do. The show is on September 17 in Columbia, Maryland. Keep your eyes open for tickets. It’s a nice big venue, which is great because many of our fans will be able to attend and see the show.”

With so many bands coming out of retirement, Daly asked Whiteman whether that was really it for the band to which he replied: “For me, it is. I can tell you that I won’t be back up there. Like I said, I’ve got neuropathy, which is a very painful condition. It’s hard for me to move around up there and put on the kind of show I’m used to putting on. And like I said, it’s important to go out with people loving what we’re doing rather than overstaying our welcome.

I’m very thankful to be able to finish this the way we are. Being up there with these guys has always been a blessing. And we’d love to get [former bassist] Donnie Purell involved in the last show, but he won’t speak to any of us. He’s still got such a grudge and carries such a chip on his shoulder. But the fact that [hopefully] Ronnie, Brian, Jimmy, and I, along with Mark and Bob, can finish this together is amazing. We’ve always been very proud that we’ve stayed together and are proud to cross the finish line together.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Steve Whiteman at Metal Edge Mag‘s website.

KIX‘s “Cold Blood” video (from Blow My Fuse album):

KIX‘s “Girl Money” video (from Hot Wire album):

KIX‘s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” video (from Blow My Fuse album):