STEVE KIMOCK: PUSHING THE SOUNDS

Kimock 2015

A veteran rock guitarist expands his already wide horizons. 

By Steve Houk

The cover art for Steve Kimock’s stunning new record Last Danger Of Frost is, on the one hand, perfectly indicative of Kimock’s career.

The art depicts a road coming from a barn that is paved with a swirling myriad of different types of guitars, and Kimock’s long career — both as a lead guitarist in his own bands as well as sideman alongside some of rock’s biggest — has also been paved with a multitudinous array of different guitar sounds.

But the sounds on Last Danger Of Frost go beyond Kimock’s typical mindbending guitar sounds. Using not only a wide variety of guitars but also an array of other instruments to create an elaborate soundscape, Kimock has taken his sonic pallette to yet another level.

“Last Danger Of Frost tells a story,” Kimock described recently. “It tells a story of music, but also it tells a story of other spaces, of other experiences, in which the music flows into and melds and conforms…things like family, travel, nature,  contemplation, even imagination, to name just a few.”

Last Danger Of Frost (2016)

Last Danger Of Frost (2016)

Kimock co-produced Last Danger of Frost with engineer Todd Scheid, using a variety of six-and-12-string guitars, MIDIs, Moogs and bass, with different tunings and techniques. Some tunes have almost Asian sounds, another sounds like birds, and yet another tune is largely guitar feedback. With his new ensemble appropriately named KIMOCK, Kimock will be playing a good amount of material from the new record when he rolls into the Hamilton on Tuesday, March 29th.

Kimock said that the recording process that took place in his barn was one of his most unique to date. “We walked around banging on anything in the room to see what sound we could get,” Kimock told me from the barn. “Well, maybe not literally, but it seemed like we were finding sounds that we never expected or had heard previously. We ended up with so many different and exciting things to experiment with.”

Steve Kimock and son John of Kimock (courtesy Steve Kimock)

Steve Kimock and son John of Kimock (courtesy Steve Kimock)

Reproducing the many different sounds and vibes from Last Danger of Frost live on the road could prove to be a challenge to many, but Kimock and his current band, including son John, seem to have the challenges well at hand.

“It is challenging, yes, but because of who these musicians are, and the experiences we are putting together, we’re able to recreate the sounds quite well. It’s pretty cool.”

Although he’s often pushed sonic boundaries, Kimock has broken new ground on this latest record, as well as how the new music will be performed live. He feels it’s always good to keep pushing the envelope as the years go by. “It was amazing to be transported somewhere else with the sounds, and it’s especially great when you’ve been doing it this long, to be able to push the boundaries even more.”

Kimock performs Tuesday March 29th at The Hamilton, 600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. For tickets, click here

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