Exclusive Interview: Rock Star Greg Kihn

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What makes your new album “Kihnplete” different from the previous albums you’ve done?

Greg Kihn: Most People know the Greg Kihn Band by our hits – The Breakup Song, Jeopardy. Lucky, Reunited, etc. All that stuff happened on the legendary Berserkley label, but KIHNPLETE is all post-Beserkley material. We’ve had some amazing musicians in the band over the years- Joe Satriani, Steve Douglas, Jimmy Lyon, Greg Douglass, Ozzie Ahlers, and Tim Gorman, my son Ry Kihn. A ton of great talent, but most of it happened post-Beserkley. We decided to make this stuff available (some of it for the first time) and we had a good time listening to it and re-mastering some of it, that it became a labor of love.

 

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What are some of the things that contributed to your success?

Greg Kihn: I never seem to run out of creative ideas. To me that’s the most important thing – the ideas.  Whether I’m writing a song or a script or a novel, it’s the same spark.  Also a lot of hard work and a decent attitude help. I have made a ton of mistakes in my life, and I have blown it several times, but every time I bounce back and learn from my mistakes. Like my old buddy Eddie Money says – you can’t keep a good man down.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What were you pursuing before you got started in the music industry?

Greg Kihn: I was always in the music business starting from the age of 13. I had my first group and we were playing gigs and making money!

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: As an artist, how would you define success?

Greg Kihn: I think about that all the time now because I’m a grandfather. I wonder what my legacy will be. Will I be remembered hit records, books I wrote, stories I made up, or decades of radio? Nah.  Probably not. The road to rock and roll heaven is paved with the bleached skulls of guys like me. I just want to be remembered as a good person, one with some integrity left in the tank at the end of the day.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Any downsides to being Greg Kihn “The Rock Star”?

Greg Kihn: My privacy is drying up like a drought-stricken lakebed on the Serengeti. What else? People recognize my voice! It’s so weird to be out at dinner and somebody say, “I know your voice.”  Also people always come up to me and say, “Hey, man, I saw you at- fill in the blank.” That comes from a lifetime of gigs. Everybody’s seen me somewhere. “Hey, man, I saw you with the Grateful Dead, or the Stones, or Journey.”

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What makes your music unique from other artists?

Greg Kihn: My music comes from the heart. That’s makes the connection with most people. All my best songs are written quickly – in 15 minutes, that’s how you know if its good – the great songs write themselves.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Which artists today inspire you the most and why?

Greg Kihn: I’ve been blessed with having great musicians around me, all of whom made me look a lot better. I love playing live, and the key to it is to have a great band. Which I do. My son Ry is every bit as good as Joe Satriani (in fact Joe was his guitar teacher before music college). The current lineup of the band – Dave Danza, Robert Berry, Tim Gorman, Ry and me is the best GKB ever. These guys are world-class musicians.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/ musical talent?

Greg Kihn: No, not really.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: If you were given the opportunity to perform with any artist, who would that be?

Greg Kihn: Bruce Springsteen. Actually I did get to jam with Bruce once in New Jersey at a little club called the Playpen (no, it’s not a strip club!) and there’s a bootleg of that show out there somewhere. There were a bunch of legendary songwriters there that night.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Thinking back to the very beginning of your career, how do you feel about your performance today and has it changed now from when you first started performing?

Greg Kihn: There’s nothing at all the same today as when I started. After a lifetime of rock and roll, my gnarly, twisted dreams of world domination have mellowed. I just enjoy life. I am very comfortable in my own skin.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: How much creative control do you have over your own music?

Greg Kihn: I have complete and total control of my music.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: In your opinion, what are some things that makes you a successful artist?

Greg Kihn: I think it’s my incredibly sexy voice… or maybe it’s my ability to blend into the furniture. I don’t know.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: How would you rate your live performance ability? Do you feel better performing live or in the studio?

Greg Kihn: I can’t hit the high notes like I could when I was 25, but I can still take care of business and I love every minute of it.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: How long have you been performing live and creating music?

Greg Kihn: My whole life, really. Started playing guitar at 13.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans that snuck into the dressing room/rehearsal? If so how did you handle this?

Greg Kihn: We used to let fans hang out and watch as long as they didn’t get in the way. In fact, that’s how we hired a couple of our roadies.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What can people expect to see at your live performances?

Greg Kihn: I do the hits, some old tunes, a few jams; I think people can expect a fun show, one that I am enjoying as well.  If the performer is having a good time, it becomes infectious. Come to a gig this summer. Come to the KIHNCERT we do every year at the Shoreline Amphitheater in San Jose. We have fun. So will you.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Do you receive comments from fans on how your music impacted their lives?

Greg Kihn: One couple said they conceived their daughter to the my music. I consider that the ultimate compliment.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What’s the one thing in the world that means the most to you?

Greg Kihn: My grandson Nate is numero uno right now, but this list would not be complete unless I also said my health (knock on wood), my family (love ‘em), my creative spark, and the ability to see through BS.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: How has the music industry changed since you started in this business?

Greg Kihn: When I started there was no Internet, no cell phones, no iTunes, no downloads, no CD’s, no iPods, no nothing! Dinosaurs still walked the earth!

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: When things seem to appear negative at times, how do you turn that into something positive?

Greg Kihn: Learn from your mistakes. Also, believe in yourself. That’s the most important thing – believe in yourself. All things are possible if you believe.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: What else are you planning to achieve in the music business?

Greg Kihn: Good question. Right now I’m super busy juggling several careers. I do the morning show on KFOX radio in San Francisco and we were just bought by Entercom and we’re kicking ass in the ratings.  KFOX is a classic rock station and it’s a comfortable fit for me. I’ve been doing radio now for 15 years, 14 of it in the morning on KFOX when it was a little mom and pop station in San Jose, CA. Now we’re a two signal super station, with a huge radio audience on 2 frequencies – 98.5 in San Jose and 102.1 in San Francisco. So the radio career is going along nicely.

In addition to radio I have written a pilot for a TV called 45RPM, which we will be shopping in June.  We already have the interest of several major networks.  It’s Sopranos style mafia meets rock and roll, about the mob in the music business in the 60’s. This is very exciting for me because it is my first foray into TV writing. I’ve been writing novels for years, and even some scripts based on those novels, but never for TV.

A movie project for HORROR SHOW based on my first novel is in the works with Corbin Bernsen (from LA Law fame) directing. Corbin’s so busy that it’s hard to pin him down but hopefully we’ll get into production next year. It’s about a B movie director in the 50’s who uses real dead bodies for zombies in his movie.

That reminds me, I will be recording the audio book for Horror Show this summer so hopefully it will be available for download in the fall.

Egyptianman Entertainment Group: Will you please keep us updated with your music so the fans can find out more about you and hopefully catch a live show?

Greg Kihn: There are so many websites right now, the best thing to do is go to GREGKIHN.COM, because it all flows from there. You can buy stuff, download music, read things, see what’s new – I blog all the time about this and that. For instance, today I bogged about this date in 1984 when we were on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell as guest host. I found a link to the video of that show and posted it on my website. Last week it was a story about Dick Clark and a link to the actual footage of Dick interviewing me in 1981! My dad had written Dick a thank you letter after I was on American Bandstand the first time. He said, in all the years, and all the thousands of groups, no not one parent had sent him a thank you letter. He had it framed in his office! Blogging has become a lot of fun for me and I do it often. Check out my Facebook page, It’s all at GREGKIHN.COM.

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