- - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When 1970s disco dance icons KC and The Sunshine Band hit D.C. on the Fourth of July for the massive “Capitol Fourth” celebration on the National Mall, your shoes are bound to boogie and your booty is sure to shake — whether you like it or not.

Not even the most staunch “Death to Disco” fanatic can deny the power of KC’s danceable hits such as “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Get Down Tonight,” “Please Don’t Go,” “(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Boogie Shoes,” “Give It Up” and “Keep It Comin’ Love.” The man and the band know how to get the crowd going.

The group’s leader and namesake, Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey, took some time to talk about the upcoming show, his latest album, a collection of 1960s covers and why he hates the word “disco.”

Question: What does it mean to you to be playing the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C.?

Answer: It’s great. There is so much history there. I have been asked many times to play this show, but my schedule never did permit. It’s exciting to finally be doing it.

Q: What can people expect when they come out to the show?

A: We are part of a major show. We are on the show with Alabama. Barry Manilow is on the show. We are doing a medley of our hits, as requested, with an orchestra, including “Keep It Comin’ Love,” “Shake Your Booty” and “That’s The Way I Like It.” It’s going to be a great evening for everyone.

Q: How many shows do you a do a year these days?

A: We do 60 or 70 or so.

Q: Do you still love it?

A: Oh, yeah. Are you kidding me? When I go out there, I have this great connection with the audience. That’s what I live for.

Q: Your shows are super high energy. What do you do to prepare?

A: The main thing we do before the show is a lot of stretching. Very important. I’m in the gym every day, riding my bike. Recently lost 35 pounds.

Q: What are your favorite songs to play live?

A: All of them.

Q: Any song you wish you didn’t have to play?

A: No, there really aren’t any. When people come to the show, they expect to hear your hits, and that’s what I give them. I also like to play bits and pieces of songs that were popular during that period. I throw those in the show.

Q: What did you think of the whole “Death to Disco” movement?

A: I don’t get calling it a “movement.” There was no movement. This took place in one arena in Chicago. That’s the only place it happened. It didn’t happen anywhere else in the world. Nowhere else.

I don’t know why everybody has blown it up into a big “Death to Disco” movement. I’m glad they killed the word. I hated the word “disco.” Then, because of a movie, they renamed it disco. Since when did genre get defined by where the music was played?

We created and changed the sound of music — the same way Elvis changed it in the ‘50s and The Beatles changed it in the ‘60s, we changed it in the ‘70s.

Q: Is dance music stronger than ever?

A: Yes. Disco or dance music never died. What could be more disco than Madonna? Here it is, 2015, and the No. 1 song in the country for 20 weeks was dance music by Bruno Mars. It’s never going to go away.

Q: Your latest album is a collection of covers called “Feeling You the 60s.” Why the ‘60s?

A: I like to do covers in my live shows. I put ‘60s covers in the show, and people reacted. I have a whole new album coming out of original material. Part of that was three songs from the ‘60s that I do in my show. The more time I spent in the studio, I thought it would be great to make it a two-record set with 17 songs from the ‘60s and 17 songs that were new originals. We decided to release the ‘60s part of it first.

Q: What is the sound of the originals album?

A: It is everything. I took some of the EDM tracks I got from a DJ in the U.K. and started adding a little KC and The Sunshine Band flavor to it — the horns and such. Tracks with the DJ and others with the full band. A combination of old and new.

Q: What is the best thing about being KC in 2015?

A: I’m very blessed. I have been able to live the American dream and have it come true. I know that people think it doesn’t exist anymore in this world, but it does. It just takes hard work, sacrifice and determination.


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