If you love the kind of 80’s Hard Rock that rode the silkier side of the street then you’ll love the combination of Chez Kane’s remarkable vocals and Danny Rexon’s time-travelling song writing! It’s a match made in heaven! And just a year after Chez’s debut here comes album number two ‘Powerzone’ – a little more diverse and full of wonderful songs this one sounds like the 80’s is back with a vengeance. This is Rock and Roll full of fun and blue skies, just like it’s meant to be!
Mark: Hi Chez, thank you so much for talking to The Rockpit!
Chez: Thanks Mark, and thank you for the support and the review.
Mark: No problem. I must admit I really wanted to review the new album, it’s great. I had to fight the reviewer for it, it’s a big favourite here at The Rockpit, you’re sounding very, very good.
Chez: Thank you so much,
Mark: It’s come to us so quickly too, I’d not stopped playing the first one yet. Danny seems to be on fire at the moment writing for you and for Crazy Lixx.
Chez: (laughs) Yeah, I think Danny’s a little bit of a work horse to be honest! He’s constantly working and everything he’s been smashing out is amazing, He’s just so good at this stuff. I released the first album then he was straight onto the Crazy Lixx album and then right back with me on the second album – just one thing after the other.
Mark: I remember the first album was written right at the peak of the pandemic, did anything change in the way you recorded the new album?
Chez: So basically yes, when we did the first album we were hit with the pandemic and we didn’t know if we were able to get it done, but I had stuff at home that I could record the vocals so we ended up sending things back and forth thankfully. So when we were looking at ways to do the second album, it worked so well the first time round we kind of thought whey change it. So we went down the same path of me doing the vocals here and sending them back and forth. So not a lot different.
Mark: One of the interesting things for me when I talk to someone for the first time is finding out where it all began for them. Rob who reviewed the two albums has given me some background with Kane’d and things like that. But for someone who was born so, shall we say, recently…
Mark: Where did the love of 80’s music come from?
Chez: It’s mad, I think my parents just had the radio on one day and Def Leppard came on with ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ and I heard that song and ever since there was no going back! I got obsessed with Def Leppard for a while. And then one of my sisters was listening to Pat Benatar a lot so I started listening to her, and my Dad was a big Rainbow fan so I got into them, and my other sister got me into Bon Jovi and it just went on an on from there. I still feel I’m discovering so much from back in the day even now. But I love Rock music, I have such a passion for it, but I love all kinds of genres, from 80’s stuff to heavier stuff but 80’s rock always has that place in my heart because that’s where it all began.
Mark: It certainly shows! I’m just glad that it was Def Leppard they had on the radio and not The Nolans!
Chez: (laughs) I won’t mention that my Mum likes The Osmonds (laughs).
Mark: I can stretch to ‘Crazy Horses’ that’s a cool song!
Chez: (laughs) Yeah that’s a great song, she had the on all the time. There’s a guilty pleasure going in there.
Mark: Tell us a bit about Kane’d then – you were in a band with your sisters and presume that’s still a go?
Chez: You’re right we haven’t Kane’d it was just that the pandemic hit and I was doing this project and things change, and so the girls are doing other stuff at the moment, We see each other every day, we’re best friends, we talk all the time and we are hoping to do some more stuff in the future but it’s just not going that way at the moment. But we’ve been singing together all our lives and we’ll definitely be singing together again at some point, I know that.
Mark: So where do your vocal influences come from, you mentioned Pat Benatar, I hear a little of that? But I get some Patty Smyth, some Vixen but there’s a lot in there and on the new album you get a lot of different songs to sing on, from the title track which is very Crazy Lixx to a bit of Def Leppard, Journey, Bryan Adams, it’s all good stuff!
Chez: Thank you (laughs) I’m not sure really, I take influences from many people, my Dad was one of my first inspirations as he was a singer then my sisters as they started to sing and I was very young and jealous that they got to sing before me. And then it went onto bands like Def Leppard so I hope you can hear a bit of that in my voice, but I love so many singers I couldn’t pinpoint one person that I’m more influenced by than another.
Mark: Much as I loved the first record I think the second is a little broader and it makes you realize that this could just be the start. I see you have a pretty lengthy UK Tour starting in a few weeks, That must be pretty exciting finally getting out to play this music live and local?
Chez: Yeah because when we did the first album I couldn’t promote it on the road which I was absolutely devastated about as you can imagine (laughs) So I’ve only played a handful of gigs and really wanting more! So I thought you know what? I’m going to go all in and do a headlining tour – even if only five people turn up to a show I’m doing it anyway! (laughs) But stress levels have been up and down because I’m currently doing everything myself when it comes to preparing the tour – it’s a lot of work, but I know the second I get onstage I’m going to be loving life! (laughs)
Mark: Your enthusiasm is catching, I’ll be checking fight schedules soon!
Mark: Tell us about the band – who do you have laying with you?
Chez: At the moment I have Harry Elliott on guitar, James Reidy on guitar, Nico Martin on bass and Jay Haynes on drums for this tour – they’re fantastic – they work so hard and we’re just about to get together to start the rehearsaling! (laughs) Rehearsaling? I can’t even speak!
Mark: I’m going to use that now! We’ve made a new word we just need it to catch on! (laughs)
Chez: (laughs) Rehearsaling! (laughs) That’s funny! So after the rehearsing we’ll go on to do the shows and hopefully everything wil come together, but we have played shows together before and they’re a good bunch of guys, we have a laugh! And we’ll have a laugh rehearsaling too! (laughs)
Mark: It sounds like you will! The album is out on the 21st October, I’ve already secured my double silver vinyl, I’m a fool for a limited edition and if someone says it’s signed I might as well just hand over my wallet.
Chez: (laughs) Thank you.
Mark: Let’s look at some of the songs. You can I say controversially open with a ballad!
Chez: Yes. ‘I Just Want You’.
Mark: I love the fact that you break the rules right away, everyone knows the ballad is towards the end of the first side!
Mark: What was the first thing Dany sent you for the album?
Chez: The first song was ‘Powerzone’ and i think that’s why the album is called ‘Powerzone’ because I got so excited when I heard that song about making the second album. I instantly knew the album was going to be insane.
Mark: And for all those who don’t know tell us about how you met Danny. The story I was told was that you had some stuff up on YouTube and Danny came across it, was that what happened – a call out of the blue after seeing you singing on YouTube?
Chez: Pretty much, yeah he wanted to do this project with Frontiers and he was chatting to them and telling them he wanted to bring this female Rocker from the 80’s back as he felt it was missing in the market. And he was on the scout for a singer and saw me on YouTube doing Vixen’s ‘On the Edge of a Broken Heart’ and picked up the phone and contacted me. I finally got to meet him after we recorded the album when we did the first music video for ‘Too Late For Love’ when I flew out to Sweden to do the music video and I finally met him in person. (laughs)
Mark: I must admit I’ve never met him yet, I’ve been interviewing him for 12 years now and he was supposed to be coming to Australia to tour a few week back but that sadly got cancelled at the last minute.
Chez: Yeah sadly I heard that.
Mark: I’ve actually got friends from Australia flying back to the UK and catching one of your dates probably the one in Cannock I’m guessing.
Chez: (laughs) Oh wow that’s crazy!
Mark: And then after the UK Tour you have the Stockholm Rock Out, what a great Festival, one I’d love to see – is that your first?
Chez: I did one in Spain, in Ibiza – the Hard Rock Hell one, and one in Sheffield but this ironically was going to be my first Festival last year but it got postponed to this year. But they’ve actually expanded it now so I’m in Norway on the first day and Sweden on the second day at the Oslo Rock Out as well, so that’s really exciting.
Mark: We always let fans know before we interview people and try to ask a few of their questions the first we have is ‘If you could share the microphone and duet with any other singer who would it be for you?’
Chez: OK so there’s two that are on my list that I’d really love to sing with. The first is Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and the other is Erik Grönwall formerly of H.E.A.T. now of Skid Row!
Mark: Two great voices. Do you want me to ask Erik?
Chez: (laughs) I do chat with him now and again, I keep nudging him! I’m going to see them in Cardiff in a few weeks, I can’t wait.
Mark: He’s a great guy. I love the fact that he’s joined Skid Row it’s the perfect combination, a bit like Joe Elliott announcing his retirement and you stepping in!
Chez: (laughs) That’s crazy! I’ve never even thought of something like that.
Mark: Neither had I but I can just imagine that now!
Mark: So how did Sweden treat you? You’ll have been over there a few times now?
Chez: Yeah I love Sweden, it’s great – we had to split up the recording of the videos so I’ve been over a few times now and the weather was really good too so that was great.
Mark: What was the most challenging song to sing on the album, if I was to hazard a guess maybe ‘Guilty of Love’?
Chez: Most of the songs have their own little challenges with the high parts and the adlibs here and there, but recording wise the most challenging for me, and I was absolutely exhausted after recording it, was ‘Powerzone’ and I think it’s because it’s at a pitch where you want to be hard hitting, and emotional, and it’s there all the way through and it’s quite fast-paced so at the end of teh song I was done for the day and I just went to bed I was exhausted! (laughs) Just because of the amount of effort I tried to get across in that song.
Mark: Both Danny and yourself sound like you’re perfectionists, does that mean you go through a lot of takes nailing those songs?
Chez: I put myself through the paces, I will keep going and going and going until I’m happy and I won’t send him anything until I’m entirely happy with it.
Mark: The mark of any great album in my book is that you can’t pick a favourite or that your favourites change by the day. Today I think it’s ‘Children of Tomorrow’.
Chez: Quite a lot of people who have heard that are telling me it’s a killer song. Fr me it changes every day. Every time I hear the album a new one grabs me, but I love all of the songs on there, otherwise they wouldn’t be on there.
Mark: Are you noticing a resurgence of all things 80’s in your part of the world, we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence in interest in 80’s music down here?
Chez: Yeah I think TV shows are helping, Kobra Kai is quite popular, Stranger Things is really popular and they’re helping
Mark: And shows like ‘Peacemaker’ too.
Chez: I’m still yet to see that, everyone keeps telling me to watch it! So I’ll try and watch that next. I’m itching to see it.
Mark: You’ll love it even if just for the soundtrack. What was the song you had most fun with on the album?
Chez: Probably ‘I’m ready’ because it’s a real get on stage and rock out type song. It just makes me feel great.
Mark: So not giving up on those influences, a reader asked ‘if you could invite four singers round to tea to play them your new album, who would you invite?’
Chez: Oh that’s hard, I’ll go for two men and two women – Myles Kennedy and Joe Elliott and Janet Gardner and Pat Benatar. A bit random but they were the first of the top of my head.
Mark: That’s cool.
Chez: But there are so many that’s really putting me on the spot! (laughs)
Mark: You’d sound great duetting with Janet I reckon, Janet’s lovely, her and Justin are the coolest people you could ever meet. OK I’ll write that down, we’ll call Erik and Janet!
Chez: (laughs) Please do!
Mark: And I know that this album will open you up to a lot more opportunities, I see you have some European dates after the UK Tour – any plans to spread your wings further?
Chez: I’d love to, it’s just hard to get to a lot of places at the moment. I’d love to play Australia and The U.S. and I am booked to play the Monsters of Rock Cruise next year and I’m hoping that’s going to be the start of many more.
Mark: I love the Cruise. it’s so surreal.
Chez: I still can’t believe I’m doing it, I have to pinch myself when I see my name on the poster. (laughs)
Mark: I loved it and I know you’ll go down great. The combination of your voice and Danny’s writing is just the perfect fit.
Chez: Thank you so much, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Mark: We just have a couple of traditional questions we ask everyone the first time we speak to them. If you could have been a ‘fly on the wall’ to witness the creation of any great rock album at any point in the history of music, what would you have loved to have seen being made?
Chez: I think it would have been quite interesting to have been a fly on the wall to see Freddie Mercury work his magic on anything. I would just have loved to watch him create, it doesn’t matter what for me.
Mark: A wonderful singer. And our finally question, a really easy one… What is the meaning of life?
Chez: The meaning of life is to just enjoy every single day, just enjoy the moment because you don’t know how many moments you’ve got left.
Mark: I like it! Thank you so much for talking to The Rockpit today it’s been great to talk to you all the best with the tour and stay safe!
Chez: Thanks Mark, Thank you so much! Bye.
POWERZONE is out NOW!