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Power Trip is the lead off single to Mad Kings much anticipated EP Throne Room. Throne 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 worldwide on Noble Media early in 2015
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. Their music 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 fan base.
Jimmy Law is an Italian beach boy. Before Steen Schmidt, whose parents are of Chilean and Danish descent, 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, self-taught on Stevie Ray Vaughn and Hendrix records. Music professors at prestigious NYC schools admire Schmidt. Guitarists both professional and hopeful aspire to play 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 denominator 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 Chile and Law’s father is a live music fanatic who has lived his life as an avid concert goer. Both men lived at least part of their lives vicariously through their son’s talent and careers.
Law’s management pushed for a meeting between him and Schmidt with the backing of Law's producer. They succeeded in persuading them and Law and Schmidt had to admit they liked one another. After a jam session both Law and Schmidt 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 other's son 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 Matt Sonzogni, are brothers on stage and off. There is no “Front man” and a healthy and humorous competition remains, driving their live shows. 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, but 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 the band's 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.