Take a mix of progressive rock mix in some good old school rock and throw in a bit of blues/jam at the same time and you have these guys but don’t be fooled by there sleek looks and unique sound, these guys really rock, its like having all your fav rock music in one place so many good sounds and guitar riffs of blues rock and more. Vocally supreme, Lyrically superb and the music is to die for. This lot are sheer talent.
Power trip is the lead off single to Mad Kings much anticipated EP Thrown Room. Thrown room is an adrenaline rush of original rock material produced by Tony Shimkin (Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney) and Grammy award winning Engineer John Seymour (Santana, Chris Whitley, TSO). It will be released world on Noble Media December 10th
Mad Kings approach both their recordings and live concerts with a bang. The music is a blend of Progressive and Classic Rock with a hint of Jam, evident in the guitar solos and the virtuosity of the rhythm section. It is pulsing and indefatigable. Mad Kings are palpably talented musicians. They are musicians-musicians and their songs are esoteric and characteristic of Mad Kings.
Mad Kings are as much of a fixture at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, where Bruce Springsteen began, as they are on the festival and prog rock circuits. Their fans are loyal and emphatic. They made a much talked about appearance at the October 2014 Souper Groove Festival, thrilling crowds and broadening their base.
Jimmy Law is an Italian beach boy. Before Steen Schmidt who’s parents were from Chilean and Danish descents entered his life, Law by age nine was already etched in the Asbury Park, NJ music scene. He is the youngest musician to headline the legendary Stone Pony. Raised on a steady diet of Grateful Dead and The Allman brothers he sought to bring vocal substance and less noodling to the genre he loved. He wanted to create a new kind of Hard-Rock-N Roll. Although Law played often and was well received by fans and promoters, he imagined music he could not define until he met Steen Schmidt.
In sharp contrast to Law, Schmidt is a city kid. He is also a well-known Blues rather than jam prodigy, self-taught on Stevie Ray Vaughn and Hendrix records, as so many blues and rock guitarists are. Music professors at prestigious NYC schools admire and refer to Schmidt. Guitarists both professional and hopeful aspire to be like him. Schmidt fronted a band before Mad Kings and played with Vernon Reid and Sons Of Cream at B.B. Kings regularly.
Law’s Management and producer had heard of Schmidt too. They were as impressed as others were. They imagined Schmidt on a stage with Law and saw fireworks. When
Law’s team approached Schmidt he was adamantly disinterested. Not in Law, whom he had heard and respected, but in the idea of sharing a stage with Law. Law was equally resistant, claiming that he would always be the lead guitar player and front man just as Schmidt was.
Other than a very different flavor of guitar prowess, Law and Schmidt had little in common. Their vocal tones and styles were as different as their cultural, geographical and musical backgrounds. There was one salient common dominator in their lives. They both had fathers who were passionate about music and who voiced their concerns about their sons sharing a stage or band together. Schmidt’s father was a stadium musician in Chili and Law’s father is a live music fanatic who has lived his life as an avid concertgoer. Both men lived at least part of their lives vicariously through their son’s talent and careers.
Law’s management pushed a meeting between him and Schmidt with the backing of Laws producer. They succeeded in persuading the two and Law and Schmidt had to admit they liked one another. But after a Jam session was instigated and by the time the session was over, both were more intimidated by one another than they had been before. Law was interested but very wary; Schmidt was more convinced that he would not create a project with Law. Both Law and Schmidt’s fathers were vehemently apprehensive as well, each eyeing the others son and Laws team with a scrutinizing gaze. To increase tension, others in the industry thought sparks would fly and live music promoters and fans waited with morbid fascination to hear word of the session’s outcome. Very few saw how Law and Schmidt could share a stage. They do now.
In the end the extraordinary sound and stage show that was born of the match between Schmidt and Law won out for them and even for their fathers. The music and presence was undeniable. Today Schmidt, Law, and rhythm section Austin Blau and Sonzogni are brothers on stage and off. Schmidt and Law are kindred. There is no “Front man” and a healthy and humorous competition remains, driving the live shows. Schmidt and Law out do themselves every time. They use their different guitar and vocal styles to create something unique and lasting.
Austin Blau is the quintessential “monster drummer.” He effortlessly plays like a man possessed with a contrasting calmness of spirit. Blau made his mark playing drums for a metal band that is known for its songs on Dexter and True Blood. He is the funny man, never partaking in a conversation he does not lace with dry humor. Blau also co-writes material.
Bassist Matt Sonzogni is laid back and avoids confrontation much like Law. But Law is hyper and gregarious in contrast to Sonzogni who is mild mannered and sometimes taciturn. Sonzogni worked patiently at Burger King while listening to Judas Priest and Blue Oyster Cult on earphones, waiting for Mad kings to accept him as a permanent member of the band. They did.
The band came together over a box of
Fruit By The Foot, (“glorified” fruit roll ups.) After playing together for a few months they named their band Mad Kings.