Interview With Kenny Dubman

Interview With Kenny Dubman

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

Brand new album, “Conflicted”, is being released on 5.17.22! The first two lyric videos for “Old Dog” and “Modern Day Jesus” are out now, and can be seen on my YouTube channel (Kenny Dubman). Album release show will be at The Saint, Asbury Park NJ, on 6.17.22.

XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

Well, I’m a solo artist. I do have a set bunch of guys that I record and play live with, but they’re all involved in other projects as well, which is pretty typical now. I’ve known these cats for years, played with them all separately in various bands over the years, and they are all the best of the best.  Dave DiPietro, my co-lead guitarist, was in a NJ band called TT Quick during the 80’s and early 90’s…they played the same circuit as my old band Prophet, and we were all friends. Rob Clores on keys is a full time NYC guy that’s played with The Black Crowes, Jesse Malin, and many other noteworthy artists; he’s really just entered my sphere over the past year and a half or so. Eric Winnicki on bass played with me in a blues cover band called Rocket 88. And believe it or not, I met my drummer Joe Bellia playing with him in a wedding band in the early 90s. He was so good that I told him he was going to be the drummer on my first solo album…and he was, albeit some 20 plus years later, lol! As far as songwriting and arranging, I do it all myself on an acoustic guitar, alone with my 4 walls.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?

That’s an easy answer…hearing my mom’s Hendrix and Santana albums cranking in my house when I was a kid. The sound of a wailing electric guitar was absolutely seductive and magical…irresistible power. I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to be a musician, just that I needed to be able to make that sound.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

Started on guitar at age 9, by 12 I was pretty proficient. Went into a working band right out of high school (Prophet) that went on to record 3 albums and achieved some pretty fair notoriety…though the band never really got above cult status globally. Took an extended break from all of it until 2014, when I started writing again. And here we are, with a 3rd baby on the way….LOL

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

That’s a good question…the first word that comes to mind is tough…not like “I’m a badass” kind of tough, but toughened by life with a hard edge. The next thought is truth, which there’s a lot of in the lyrics. I see through life’s bullshit now, and I’m not afraid to call it out. It’s really quite liberating!

XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?

I’d like to be able to tour. A lot. Being that I’m basically an infant again in this game, that may take a while to get there.

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

They are such different worlds. When the crowd is great, the sound is perfect, and the band is firing on all cylinders, there’s nothing better…but with all of the variables, it’s always hit or miss. Writing a song that really clicks; when you know the parts all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, and you know you have a keeper….that’s joy on a whole different level…the deepest satisfaction. And recording…I guess the studio is my happiest of happy places. Once the rhythm tracks are done and everyone is cleared out…and it’s just my engineer/co-producer and myself, we can start with the fine paint brushes, and that’s just so much fun. I always catch myself thinking, during that stage, that I wish I could just do this, all day every day.

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Everything from revenge to dirty politics to raising my kid to evil Big Pharma to the dark side of relationships and the good and bad sides of human nature. Real life.

XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?

Being happy in my day-to-day life. Happiness is what fosters creativity, which turns into songs, which turn into records. I draw from shitty or dark times in my life sometimes for lyrics, but I can never write when I’m not feeling good.

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

Well, I’m 58, so fuck what people think. Hahahaha yes of course they are.

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?

Play from the heart, write from the heart. Don’t let anyone to you “you should be more like so-and-so.” Be unified in your direction and keep charging. Give it absolute hell when you play live. And pay your bar tabs, ya cheap bastards.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

“Son Of A Colt .45” and “Little Venom” from the Reckless Abandon record, and “Bottom Of The Slide” and “Crystal Ball” from American Songbook. These are my first 2 albums and can be heard/downloaded on my website, I’d encourage anyone reading this to do so…don’t cost nuthin’!

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Ace Frehely, Jimmy Page….so many others also be these were the cats that had me prior to picking up a guitar and into the first few years. Why? The sound of a wailing electric guitar lead moved me in a way that nothing else ever did. I had to learn how to do it myself. And the rest is history in my own head 😉

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

Blackberry Smoke, Blackstone Cherry, Larkin Poe, Rival Sons.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

Single-handedly raising my daughter into teenage-hood without one of us killing each other. She would have had to have gotten me in my sleep, and I can’t say I’d have blamed her. 😉

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

Something outdoors, for sure. Alaskan fishing boat, logging camp, etc.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

Either a 100 watt Marshall JMP with a 2×12 Marshall cabinet, or just my Orange 1×12 Tiny Terror…it’s a 15 watt combo that just has the sickest tone ever!

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

Gotta be honest…I live in NJ, and there’s really no rock scene to speak of here. I’m encouraged to see the bands and music that I dig thriving…but it looks to be mainly south and west of me. So let’s just say I’m workin’ on it.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

I’m a Coast Guard licensed captain, had a charter fishing biz here in NJ for 11 years…did pretty well, too. Still a fishing nut.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

YES! New album comes out on 5.17.22. You can hear/download my first 2 records and keep up with the latest goings on via my website, Follow me on Instagram at @kennydubman, and subscribe on YouTube (Kenny Dubman)

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!

My pleasure, thanks for having me!!

About the author

Bobby Caughron

Bobby Caughron is a music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK. He began a life-long fan of hard rock and metal music after hearing KISS as a kid. He is still an avid fan of the 80s metal scene and continues to discover and write about new music in all rock genres today.

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