The fun thing in writing about local music is you really get to be exposed to all types of music from week to week, sometimes even from day to day. One week it could be metal, one week it’s more soulful, and so on. We have such a wide range of talent and musical styles in Arizona that it will never get old. Whiskey Kiss is another of those bands that if it weren’t for this website I may not have listened to right away. While I had heard and seen their name around town I never had the chance to see them live or check them out online. Then one day in my inbox comes an email from Nick and the next thing you know I am jammin to a great new collection of Rockabilly tracks that will grace your ears in a few short days. Whiskey Kiss consists of husband and wife Nick and Niki White on guitar and vocals respectively, Tommy Collins on bass and vocals, Michael Robinson on drums and Bruce Legge working the horn section on trumpet and saxophone. What you get from Whiskey Kiss no matter whether it is live or recorded is a rockin good time from start to finish, I couldn’t help but crank up the volume as I previewed their upcoming release while driving around town. So in anticipation of December 10th and “Retro.Revamped, here is more about the band.
ABOUT THE BAND
How did you come together as a band?
Nick has been playing music for years since his days in Detroit. When he moved to Phoenix he began playing in The Surfside IV, a local surf band. Niki’s dad, Skip Mercier was in the popular surf group The Pyramids in the 60’s so when Nick and Niki met Nick was actually playing her dad’s songs. When they met the bonded over musical interests, eventually fell in love and got married and started playing music together. They met Bruce Legge and Michael robins on through their teaching jobs (all four are teachers) and Tommy Collins had been a great friend for years that they had met while he played in many other bands. When Whiskey Kiss had the opportunity to play with him they snatched him up and the band has been going strong ever since.
Each of you share with our readers some of your musical influences.
As far as influences go, Nick is a huge fan of the Beatles and The Cure. Niki looks up to her idol Imelda May. Tommy loves Merle Haggard and old country. Michael is a Led Zeppelin fan and Bruce is a classically trained musician and composer.
Tell me something about the band that no one knows..at least until now.
Our inside joke is “band name–call it!” (a la Parks and Recreation). Some of our favorites are Attractive Nuisance, Graveyard Runners, and Deep-Throating Jesus (sorry–don’t ask)
What is your worst or most embarrassing moment as a band as a band or one of you personally?
Well, Tommy and Niki have both had clothing related incidents. Niki once had a dress on that the zipper kept falling in the back so Bruce ended up on dress duty for the gig. Tommy once took his famous stand-on-the-bass antics a little too far and ended up ripping his jeans open Lenny Kravitz style. Nick’s would be his nickname, he was christened “Buttercup” while we were on tour and staying at a friends house. Our friend Randy came downstairs and said “What’s Up Buttercup” to Nick and we loved it so much we wont let it drop, much to Nick’s eternal discomfort.
Each of you tell me your favorite song
Nick’s is “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles and Niki’s is “Come Softly To Me” by The Fleetwoods. Tommy’s is “Out Of Habit” by BR549, Michaels is “Hot’s on for Nowhere” by Led Zeppelin, and Bruce says there are too many to name.
Tell me your favorite song by a local band
“Back in the Day” by Junction 10 (written by Ray Lawrence Junior), “Help Me Up(So I Can Get Down) by Tony Martinez, “So Fine” by Voodoo Swing, and ‘Cry” by The Moonlight Howlers
LOCAL MUSIC SCENE QUESTIONS
Tell me your favorite place to play in the Valley
Our favorite places to play live are The Rebel Lounge and Chopper John’s. Rebel because they are so professional and the sound is so great. Chopper Johns because it is like being with family every time we play there so we always feel at home.
Do you consider yourselves a better live band, or better on your recorded works?
We are definitely a live band. But even our recordings have a live feel to them. Since we have the throwback-retro sound we like to do as much as possible like it would be done in a live show. Also, we are known for our stage show which you really ahve to see for yourself to know what we are talking about!
Who are some local bands or artists that our readers HAVE to see or hear?
Definitely The Darts, The Moonlight howlers, Manual Sex Drive, and Voodoo Swing
What, If anything, would you change about the local music scene?
If we could change anything it would be to have more cross-genre bills around town. Our music has a lot of variety in it but we tend to play with a lot of the same bands over and over again. What that means is we get exposed less to other music and fans. While we really love the bands we have the privilege of playing with we would love to branch out more.
Ok, time for some shameles self promotion. Tell me what is coming up for you.
We have worked really hard on our new album called Retro.Revamped and we are really excited to release it December 10th at Rebel Lounge. We just released a music video as well filmed by Barry Gossage at Studio 3D that we are very proud of (link below). Right now we are focused on promoting the new release and we will be planning our summer tour with our eyes on the U.S. Southwest and possibly Europe!
Anything else to share with our readers?
We just wanted to share that the name for our album was first given to us by YabYum Music, another great blog about local art and music. In 2014 they named our debut album “Dangerous One” as one of the top 3 retro-revamped albums. We always had a tricky time defining our sound but when we heard that we loved it and it stuck!
Thanks to Whiskey Kiss for taking the time to let us learn more about you! Learn more about them and check out some music at these links.