- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2002

Parents can share a bit of music history with their older offspring when Bo Diddley appears tomorrow at the 9:30 Club with Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun.
The intimate setting of the venue will give showgoers a chance to get up close to a rock 'n' roll legend whose career has spanned more than 50 years. This icon, whose songs include "I'm a Man," "Who Do You Love," "Hey! Bo Diddley," and "Road Runner," is freely credited with a crucial role in the birth of rock 'n' roll as well as a continuing impact on the direction of popular music.
Mr. Diddley has been recognized for every major music award. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and has performed for three presidents John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He has received Lifetime Achievement awards from both the Rhythm & Blues Foundations and the Grammys (1998).

January blows out of D.C. with an industrial revolution when Gravity Kills opens for Sevendust at the 9:30 Club tonight. Both bands are out in support of third albums; Gravity Kills' "Superstarved" is due out in March.
The band intends its name as a not-too-veiled reference to just how difficult it is to be a rising star.
"If I wanted to accomplish anything with this record it was to show myself and the rest of the world that Gravity Kills is still a viable band," says Jeff Scheel, the band's front man, from his St. Louis home. "Bands go through a reinvention after their first album, and that is something that we have done to a certain degree because our feet are still firmly cemented in that first album."
Born in the Midwestern heartlands of Missouri, Gravity Kills featuring Mr. Scheel, guitarist Matt Dudenhoeffer, keyboardist and bassist Doug Firley and drummer Brad Booker the band's first success came about when they submitted their song "Guilty" to the alternative rock station KPNT of St. Louis for the broadcaster's "Best of St. Louis" compilation record.
"Guilty" became a success on the radio station, becoming the most requested song of 1995. The song found the band a fan base among the audience for both industrial rock and heavy metal.
All this took Gravity Kills by surprise as they became the most popular rock band to rise out of the city on the muddy river.
Its blending of eerie industrial rock with pop-infused melodic chorus and a bit of hard-core head-banging struck a resonant chord in their listening audience as well as the mainstream as they contributed a demo version of their song "Goodbye" to the video game "Mortal Kombat" and "Guilty" to the "Seven" movie soundtracks in 1995. Both songs became radio staples when released on their TVT self-titled first album in 1996, selling almost 500,000 copies to date.
"Guilty" also found a life on the 1996 X-Games Volume One, while "Blame," also on the debut album, found a home on the 1996 soundtrack for "Escape from LA."
All of which sent the little band shooting skyward, until their second album, 1998's "Pervision," brought them back to Earth with poor fan response and record sales.
With "Superstarved" the band is hoping to regain some of its lost momentum. What is most surprising is the guitar-driven, pop-tinged melodies infused with the industrial grind that aptly reflects the roots of this group of thirty-somethings.
"I grew up listening to every bad pop band on Top 40 radio broadcast in a small town in Missouri," he says. "Today I am into bands that get me up, such as Static X or White Zombie/ Rob Zombie, which may be the greatest show on Earth. Of course, Jim Morrison is the archetype of every modern front man both physically and vocally."
The band's live show is not only entertaining, loud, visually intense and physically energetic, it also becomes quite physical, and not just among the fans.
"We have to keep responding to to each semi-generation of bands that comes out and raises the bar a little bit higher," Mr. Scheel says.
Mr. Scheel often finds himself taking on the band's keyboardist Doug Firley and his 330-pound "Geiger-esque" keyboard in a little contest, a contest that Mr. Scheel admits to usually losing.
"We believe everything we do on stage; there are no posers, no rock stars in the band," Mr. Scheel says. "I hate when I walk out of the show feeling that the performance left something that I did not believe in."
He and his bandmates hope that the future for Gravity Kills is not too firmly rooted in terra firma, as their goal is to keep touring.
"When a band keeps touring, it means the album has legs. It is the ultimate measuring stick for bands. It means we can keep going out and communicating."


LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide