Kingdom Come: 30th Anniversary Tour Interview with Danny Stag
The landmark Kingdom Come Self-Titled hard rock manifesto was unleashed in 1988 to a good amount of critical acclaim and fan adoration. And now in 2018, Kingdom Come has regrouped for a 30th Anniversary Tour, celebrating the legacy of this scandalously underrated collective and their first two landmark releases. The four original members (drummer James Kottak, bassist Johnny B. Frank, lead guitarist Danny Stag and rhythm guitarist Rick Steier) are joined by the one and only Keith St. John on lead vocals, best known for his work in Montrose, Lynch Mob, and Burning Rain. Included within the cross country trek is a local date at the world famous Whisky A Go Go on October 3rd. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with Danny Stag to discuss the 30th Anniversary of the almighty Kingdom Come. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Kingdom Come, and how long the band has been together.
Danny Stag, lead guitarist. Original Kingdom Come formed in June, 1987, recorded 1st two LPs for Polydor, broke up in August, 1989.
What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Kingdom Come show at the world famous Whisky?
Pre-show dinner at The Rainbow! Just kidding! The Whisky is a very special place, with a rich history. The rock ‘n roll equivalent to Country’s Grand Old Opry. It also holds a lot of special memories for me, from the dues-paying days before Kingdom Come, when I played in bands with Matt Sorum and Prescott Niles, and other greats.
When you look back at the iconic Self-Titled Kingdom Come album, what do you think of it now?
It sounds better than ever. I think it stands out when compared to most hard rock/ metal records of that time, by way of its bluesy originality, IRONICALLY ENOUGH.
In retrospect, how does the second album In Your Face compare to the 1st Self-Titled effort?
Better in some ways. We had 250 tour dates under our belts, and we were kicking ass.
There has been a revolving door of band members from Hands Of Time on. Did you still keep in touch with Kingdom Come during the third album on, and what do you think of the later albums?
I kept in touch with JB the most, since we had been best friends long before Kingdom Come. I believed Kingdom Come was over after the first two albums with the original 5, and I moved on.
How did James Kottak (on the first two albums) formerly of the Scorpions become involved with the return of Kingdom Come?
He was instrumental in making it happen, since he always loved playing the music and playing with us. He’s been wanting to do this for at least 6 years!
How did Keith St. John become involved with Kingdom Come?
James Kottak had worked with him and he brought him to the party after Lenny declined to take part in the XXXth reunion tour.
What bands or projects did you become involved with after you left Kingdom Come, include current ones today?
Most significant is when I was signed to Island Records by the legendary Denny Cordell in 1994, with one-time Foreigner vocalist Johnny Edwards for an album called Royal Jelly. Unfortunately, Denny tragically passed away 3 months after the release, and Polygram had recently bought Island, so the record died as well, even though our 1st single reached #22 with a bullet on the Album Rock chart on the back page of the leading radio trade mag Radio and Records, and we appeared on national TV on the Jon Stewart Show.
How does it feel realizing that the first Kingdom Come album was released 30 years ago! And how many of these songs are you having to relearn to play live?
It should make feel old, but it makes me feel young! It only took me two hours to refresh my memory while playing along to the records. 500-some dates have a way of imprinting itself in one’s memory!!
Kingdom Come is often compared to the legendary Led Zeppelin. Compliment or curse?
Compliment from our peers, curse to the press. To be mentioned in the same breath with the mighty Zeppelin is an honor of the highest order.
Any chance of new Kingdom Come material in the future?
Not ruling anything out, but no recording planned at this time. I/we still have song ideas in our heads which were to hopefully be included on the 3rd LP which we never got to record, if that helps!
Messages for Kingdom Come fans who are reading this now.
Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul for supporting us and making this happen, then and now!! We can barely wait to rock with you again. This tour is dedicated to you, and to the memory of the late, great Davy Kirkwood, who mixed the house sound for EVERY live show that the Original Five did.
The Kingdom Come 2018 – 2019 line up:
James Kottak – drums
Johnny B. Frank – bass
Danny Stag – guitar
Rick Steier – guitar
Keith St. John – vocals
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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