Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer)

English Version



Scheduled for October 21, 2011, approaching the exit for Pure Steel Records "Vengeance Rides An Angry Horse", the fourth studio album of the glorious U.S. Power Metal Band from New Jersey "Exxplorer". At 27 years after its debut with "Symphonies of Steel" and 15 since the last "Coldblackugly", after about 10 years of silence, the warriors are back and well armed, but since the material at our disposal is not so, we at R&MIMB have decided to chat with the historycal axe of the band ... Kevin Kennedy!

R&MIMB: First of all, which are the motivations behind this comeback? What happened after the release of "Coldblackugly", a record, it is said, you repudiate?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): My main motivation was to put a jolt of life back into Exxplorer!! After I left, prior to "Coldblackugly", I felt the band had made a big mistake to go in a new direction, and I had suggested to Ed Lavolpe that they should not call the band Exxplorer anymore, but he chose to... and the results spoke for them self... I never wanted to abandon our roots so I simply left.

R&MIMB: Who's the main composer this time? Is it a team work or do you write separately?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): The great thing is we all write together as a team! I've always been a lover of an old school hook and lyric, and Fred, J., Mike and Lennie always have great ideas...

R&MIMB: How does it feel playing in team with new axeman Fred Gorhau?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Really Fred and myself have known each other for decades and we should have done this decades ago so much time would not have been wasted!

R&MIMB: "Vengeance rides an angry horse", what a great title! One single listening session of "Glory Hunter" was enough for me to scream: "They're back with a vengeance!...
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Thanks Alle, we love the title also! It was a sentence taken from the song "Phantasmagoria" from S.O.S, written almost 30 years ago, our drummer Mike helped me finish the last paragraph and it was his line that ultimately I suggested to use as the title... So in a way we revisit S.O.S and there are a couple of other moments during the album where we secretly re-visit S.O.S lyrically as well as musically!!

R&MIMB: I'm not lucky enough to have a copy of your promo and I'm curious... Is the rest of the material in the vein of "Glory hunter"? How many tons of metal will fall on our heads?!
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): It is definitely an old school album and it is piled high with a ton of STEEL!!!

R&MIMB: The production is really good and sounds very "old school" but with much more power and balls, did you work with a team in the studio or did you produce it yourselves?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): We along with our producer and good friend Willy produced it together as a team and no-one was ever left feeling out of the loop... Unfortunately on previous albums some people, including myself, were some times left feeling out of the loop which only created animosity!!

R&MIMB: That Classic American Power Metal we all love, but with an epic twist and a lot of melody, how much Lennie's comeback helped in shaping this creation? Listening to "Glory hunter" I was impressed by Lennie's voice as it sounds even more powerful and especially deeper than in the past...
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Lennie has been amazing!! He is one of the finest vocalist's walking on this earth as is the talent in the band, Fred, Jay and Mike are all amazing musicians!! You know, with Glory Hunter Lennie really shows the richness of his voice!

R&MIMB: Togheter again after all these years... is it blood thicker than water in the end?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Yes, blood is thicker than water, we are a metal family now! And I would die for our music as would all of us!!!

R&MIMB: Looking back through the years, how do you feel about the music you created? Wich were the dreams of a young musician named Kevin and did he fulfill some of these dreams?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Looking back I would not change anything, even when i left before "Coldblackugly", it hurted to do that but taught me to stand up for what you believe in!! And it made me stronger! with a Vengeance!! I As I look back to when i was a 20 year old kid Mike and i introduced (WW111) to a small crowd in a bar in New Jersey and now we will play it at the Swordbrothers Festival. I think it has really been a dream come true to do this with these guys !!

R&MIMB: Which were the musicians that inspired you the most throughout your career?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): I was really influenced by Rush, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, The Scorpions and the great Accept!! I can tell you though there is no greater fan of metal than Lennie Rizzo!!

R&MIMB: On the live side, how do you intend to promote the new album? Is there a chance to see you in Italy?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): We absolutely love our friends in Italy! Shout out to Alessio Caotice, Sandro and M.G.P Label!!! It is our dream to play Italy !!

R&MIMB: Pure steel records is a very active label in bringing back true heavy metal to the front, it has a lot of cool young bands in its roster, how your collaboration started?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): WE spoke with my friend Markus Wosgien from NUCLEAR BLAST and he highly recommended PURE STEEL... And they have done a GREAT JOB !!

R&MIMB: Your record is coming out for a young label, do you follow the new heavy metal bands and the directions heavy metal is taking nowadays?
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Well, there are some really talented young musicians out there, the trick is to stay in an Old School format and be true to It! They need to really listen to the greats like the Scorpions, Accept and be influenced as we have and I am learning every day, metal keeps us young in our souls!!

R&MIMB: Thank you so much Kevin, it's time to say goodbye to your friends of R&MIMB!
Kevin Kennedy (Exxplorer): Thanks So Much Alle!!! Please send our best regards to everyone!! Kevin.