Straight out of Cali, the Kottonmouth Kings are quite an interesting group of talented musicians. KMK (as the band is often abbreviated) has been together for close to two decades, and they've been blasting out songs that are a solid mix of punk rock and hip-hop. The Kings are Daddy X, D-Loc, Johnny Richter, The Dirtball, Lou Dog, DJ Bobby B, and Tax Man, and they have a reputation for putting on an amazingly crazy show. Their latest album Mile High will be released on August 14th on their record label Suburban Noize Records, and the Kings have a long tour ahead of them that features some great guest artists. I spoke to Daddy X in the midst of a long tour bus ride on the day that the Mile High Tour kicked off, and he filled me in on the band's beginnings, how it got it's sound, and the new album.
Times Square (TS): You guys have been around quite awhile; how did the band come together?
Brad Xavier AKA Daddy X (BX): We've been together seventeen years. The band literally started in the back of Johnny Richter's VW bus out in Orange County, California one night. We were sitting around and listening to music and I proposed the idea of starting a group to the guys. They were down for it, so I got some beats together and making some songs. That's pretty much the start of it.
TS: Who have been your biggest musical influences?
BX: Everyone in the group probably has a different answer. For me, it's the early punk rock movement, Bob Marley, the early hip-hop movement, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and people like that. There are so many different influences, including life in general. I think the punk rock movement in the 80's and the hip hop movement in the 90's really shaped me.
TS: How did you find such a unique sound? Your music seems to blend a lot of genres together...
BX: I think it's just because we like so many different types of music. We love mellow, acoustic, and melodic stuff. We love hip-hop, punk rock, and that's part of the reason we started the group. We wanted to make sure we created our own niche sound that didn't sound like anyone else. We're never really afraid to try different musical styles with this group, and that's one of the cool things about it.