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STREET KING HEROS brings together the best of today’s rock. A mix of powerful, energetic musicianship with clever story-telling and catchy melodies, STREET KING HEROS gives it all to the listener in one strong dose that catches the ear yet doesn’t overwhelm. With songs such as “Sex Magic”, “Simple” and “Fall & Rise”, STREET KING HEROS is heavy music with positive messages.
The story of STREET KING HEROS begins in Long Island, NY, where lead singer JamesHilzman was born and raised. “I grew up around music thanks to my mother, who was a classically-trained pianist” he explained in a recent interview. “One day, I sat at the piano and started playing melodies - the result of watching my mom practice. Soon, she noticed and enrolled me into piano lessons. Because I was also able to learn by ear, I just wanted to jump right in and create music. So, I started writing songs before I entered my teen years.”
In addition to songwriting, James mastered the guitar, bass, drums and keyboards - with the rock sounds of the day being his inspiration. “I was listening to Aerosmith, Rush and others. Geddy Lee (Rush’s leader/composer/bassist/keyboardist) was a big influence musically - just the sheer musicianship and power that band created was something for the ears and mind. It motivated me to challenge myself as a musician, composer and producer.”
In no time, James was gigging with bands in the Long Island area, including the popular rock act Street Legal. “We were all over Long Island and New York City during the late 1980s and into the 1990s. Street Legal opened for Zebra and Steve Morse as well as Dee (Twisted Sister) Snyder, who had the band Widow Maker at the time.” It was during this period that he met fellow Long Island guitarist/keyboardist/composer John Mennen. “John was in a band that I once gigged with and we became good friends. I always liked his approach to music, he came from a classical music perspective. So, John came up with these great melodies and chords when he played. I knew then that I wanted to work with him on projects.”
Years went by and James moved to California to continue his music career. John went on to produce a rock album for Hugo (released on Avalon Records) as well as work with Robin S. (“Show Me Love”), Marc Middleton of Blackstreet and Grammy Award winning Gospel legend Edwin Hawkins as a recording engineer. Fast forward to 2012, when James got a phone call from John with an idea of forming a new rock act. “John teamed up with Dominick Marabeti, a Queens-based composer who had co-written hits for George Lamond (“Look Into My Eyes” from the Columbia album Bad Of The Heart and “Someone Like You“, released on George‘s Greatest Hits disc, available on the Timber/Sony label). He also wrote “I Wanna Let Go” for Jillian (released on Nutone Records), an artist whose vocals were produced by John. Dominick and John came up with the concept of bringing together the rock sounds of bands such as Van Halen, Foo Fighters and Nickelback. So, John created the music (guitar, drums) while Dominick came up with the songs - lyrics and melody. We also formed a production company (MMH Productions) and a record label (Kingsland Ave Recordings). The tracks were emailed to me. I laid down my vocals and bass guitar parts, sent them back to John and Dominick. The result - STREET KING HEROS”.
How does James describe the music of STREET KING HEROS? “It’s new, challenging music from a production angle as far as the power in the musicianship - fat bass & drums, thick guitar chords. The melodies move you and the lyrics convey a strong message. The important factor is our music is positive - something that I feel is missing in today’s sounds as far as pop/rock stuff is concerned. There’s so much negativity out there in the world that if music carries that tone, the listeners are gonna feel crappy as well. Granted, we all need to vent and release what’s bothering us but it can be done in a good way. That’s what we want to accomplish.”
James looks forward to meeting new fans of STREET KING HEROS and continuing his collaboration with John and Dominick. “Creating music reflects life’s changes and a course for action. That is why we as artists write and record songs. It allows us as humans to release our thoughts and feelings, both individually and collectively, which is why STREET KING HEROS will be around for a long time. As long as there’s an audience for positive rock music, we’ll be there to share it with them.”