EMQ’s with KINGS COUNTY
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Orlando, Florida based Hard Rock band Kings County. Huge thanks to vocalist/bassist Rob Dexter for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Rob Dexter and I am the singer & bassist for the hard rock band Kings County. The core of the band began on Long Island, New York back in the 90’s We all were playing in different local bands both original and covers. New York is a sea of talented players and since we all knew each other we decided to put together our own band playing covers strictly to make money. We quickly developed a strong following performing a variety of rock songs throughout the northeast United States. While performing in Vermont at a ski resort, someone from the Disney corporation saw the band live and asked if we’d be interested in playing for Disney. After a brief audition we were offered the house band spot for Disney’s Pleasure Island. We relocated to Orlando, FL in 2000 and this began our 8-year residency at Disney World.
How did you come up with your band name?
When the band first originated, we were under another name. After a few years of playing in Orlando and going thru a couple member changes we decided to change the band name to Kings County. Since we were all from New York we wanted to keep the New York theme in the band name and Kings County being the county of Brooklyn, NY, we decided to go with that.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
The band is based in Orlando, Florida, USA. The music scene here is pretty extensive. Lots of venues, plenty of clubs and bars with live entertainment. The weather is pretty much great all year round so there’s plenty of outdoor venues to play. The music across the state is fairly eclectic though. There are a lot of rock/ metal bands, but it depends where you live in Florida which dictates the style of music/ bands that are prevalent.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
The band released an album back in September of 2019, but we currently have been focusing on 2 single releases. The first song/single released was “7 Reasons”. It is a radio remix we did with engineer/ producer and Grammy award winner Chuck Alkazian. The song also features Ted Nugent drummer Jason Hartless. The song and video were released in March.
We have a new song coming out on May 15th called “Bleed These Tears”. Chuck Alkazian also produced this song and drummer Jason Hartless and Ratt guitarist Jordan Ziff (solo) perform on it. We’ve been getting some great pre release reviews. It’s definitely a rock n roll rollercoaster of a song, seat belts required. The video for “Bleed These Tears” will follow shortly after.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Honestly, I’d have to say my parents. Nothing is more important then having a strong family structure behind you while growing up supporting and helping you develop your passion. This not only pertains to music, but anything you choose to do in life that you are passionate about.
What first got you into music?
I started a love for music at a very early age. From my father playing albums on this turntable to going to my first “so called” concert at a young age. A lot of musicians say their turning point came when they saw the Beatles on television but mine was completely different. My parents took me to see the band The Carpenters. Not the most rocking band out there but for a young inspiring musician I was drawn in by the lights, smoke and the reaction from the audience. At that moment I knew I wanted to do that, I wanted to be up there performing and from that moment on I never looked back.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Hands down it would be with Trent Reznor from the band Nine Inch Nails. He is by far the most innovative rock artist and visually before his time.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
There’s a bunch of festivals in Europe that would be awesome to be apart of. They’ve created such a huge following over the years with rock fans and rock/metal artists. It’s great how they mix newer rock artists with many of the huge rock/metal staples to make for an epic show, something we’d love to experience one day.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
This wasn’t a gift per se, but I had a fan write a note to me and tape it to my car windshield with bandaids, creative yet creepy at the same time.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
A message to our fans would be thanks for the continued and unconditional support throughout the years. Our core fans are amazing at spreading the name of the band and recruiting potential new fans. That’s so important, so to all of them, a simple. Thank You.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
That would be easy, Freddie Mercury. Not only an amazing voice and songwriter, but I believe he’d be overwhelmed by how his band and music has stood the test of time and quite possibly be more relevant now then when they first became popular.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I really enjoy the creative part of being a musician and the interaction with a live audience. Recording music is a great way to express your personal thoughts and feelings to the masses. We tend to write songs about real situations and real-life interactions that the listener can connect to.
I’m not a fan of the business side of music. Unfortunately, there are a lot of “undesirables” in this business who are basically there with their hands out. You have to wear many hats, the more you know the more you can cover your ass from being taken advantage of, but with anything you do in life these things are part of the territory, just take it head on and forge ahead.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The one thing I’d change about the music industry is the politics that is associated with it. There’re so many layers of the industry you have to go through to get your music heard. Unfortunately, there are great bands with great music out there that will never be acknowledged due to the politics of the business. Like with most businesses, it comes down to dollars and cents, money drives it all.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
One of my all-time favourite albums is from a band from England called UFO. Their album “Obsession” was an incredible collection of great writing, great musicianship and catchy rock songs. Such an underrated band. They have over the years created a strong loyal following but never to the success of other bands from that era.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Funny that you ask this question because we constantly talk about this within the band. Personally, I was never a fan of cassettes, they always sounded muffled (to you) and your favourite tape would break, and you’d be out of luck. I’m gonna have to go with the CD. They are fairly indestructible and the sound quality is great and it’s something tangible you can hold and read liner notes. Albums were like that but I always scratched my albums, so my choice is CD’s.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
By far our best gig to date was opening for Bon Jovi at the Amway Center here in Orlando, Florida in 2018. We had entered a contest thru iHeart radio and Live Nation. They were looking for an opening act by having bands submit original music videos. We submitted our song “Take It or Leave It” and we won the contest. Such an amazing experience to perform for 20,000 people in a sold-out arena.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
That’s a really hard question. Music has been such an important part of my life since I was a child. Maybe I would have followed in my Father’s footsteps and been a civil engineer. I was always good with math in school, but wow, never really thought about that until now. Great question.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
What’s next for the band?
The band continues to write and create new music. Developing your sound doesn’t happen over night so we look to bring as many new song ideas to the table while strengthening our writing skills. We also look to jumping on some opening slots for bigger bands and tours throughout the months ahead hopefully drawing in some new fans along the way. The current world situation will dictate how we proceed in the near future, let’s hope for the positive.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I had to Google Jaffa Cakes, lol. Never heard of them but after some researching, I’m gonna have to go with biscuits. Now I wanna try one.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for inviting Kings County to be apart of this interview for Ever Metal. Hopefully your readers will take the time to check out our music and maybe we’ll pick up some new fans along the way.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.