Saturday, November 26, 2016

Volume 54 - Kevyn Kelley


Hello my brothers and sisters. It's that time again, when we delve into the world of one of our own. From NY to OH to NV, this kat has crossed a nation and has a world of knowledge and experience.
Not just a drummer but a Songwriter and Producer as well. Bringing a full load of talent and creativity to his various projects.
Currently playing in a high energy power trio and producing hot tracks for some kool artists out of his studio in Las Vegas. Kevyn is bringing some serious grooves to the table and is definitely one to be reckoned with. With deep roots in the Ohio Funk scene, he is bringing his own brand of O.B.B. and we all can be glad about it.
So enough of the pleasantries, let's get dirty and funky. This is def something that doesn't need to stay in Vegas! We're Talkin' Chop with Kevyn Kelley!!


Name or Stage Name: 


Where are you from? 

I was born in Albany, NY but was raised in Toledo, OH.

How long have you been playing? 
33 years give or take.

Do you have a main genre of playing? 
No I like to much stuff it's crazy.

How did you get where you are now? 
Playing a lot of music over the years with different people made me come to the realization that I had to make a change and be me by playing original music only, so that road is now being traveled and I love it!

What are some of the goals you would like to achieve in the Music industry ? 
To produce, play and perform on as much stuff as I can. We are only here for a short of time so I would like to leave something behind worthwhile.

Artists you would like to play for? 
Already playing with them.

List some of your accomplishments: 
Some of my great accomplishments starting in the early 90's when playing with a local alternative band called Liberty Zoo we won battle of the bands and 91. From there I joined Cassiusslade with producer Sugapop that was a funky bunch of cats man. Then I did some showroom gig here in Las Vegas that was cool. So finally after playing so many gigs with bands in Las Vegas, I made the decision to concentrate back on writing performing and doing original music.

You are currently playing with the band Acid & Pearls, how did that come about? 
Well I met Jeau James the lead vocalist and guitar player some years ago at a gig in the Venetian Hotel. He liked the way I played drums and I digging his vibe. So some months later our bass player in that band had split and we needed someone to come in and play he did and eventually landed the gig. So, as we bonded as brothers on that gig, he disclosed to me that he was a guitar player and that he had these great original songs so, I was very interested in hearing what he had to offer. Being into recording in my own personal studio, doing what I do I always look for the opportunity to record people and mess with sound. I am a freak about that type of thing. So finally it came to the point where we both were no longer playing in bands on the strip anymore and we looked at each other and said Well, looks like it is time for us to move forward and do this or hang it up. So we got Scott Griffin on bass from the band L.A Guns and that was it.

Kevyn, Jeau and Scotty

Are you guys doing any touring or concentrating on local shows? 
We just got done wrapping up a five song EP for people to vibe on. We also are ready to get back into the studio and record another 10 songs at my place Funklab 2. We have talked about playing out live and doing shows for people just don't know when at this time.

Acid & Pearls jamz Rotunda

After listening to some of the bands tracks on Reverb Nation, I was really impressed with the overall vibe of the band and great energy in the songs. Was the focus of those sessions geared toward really capturing the live vibe? 
Yes, we were all in my room that I turned into my recording studio and we all play together the songs in real time. It was a real pleasure playing that way with these guys they are great musicians. One thing you should know is that two out of the five songs were actually played in real time without us playing to a click or on the grid in recording. I highly recommend that more bands start to do this, play using you're bands own internal clock. Music is not to be sterile but to be alive the push and pull feel is just a part of the musical experience so on tunes Rotunda and Rock Hard And Roll we rocked it to no grid.
*Listen to & Pick up their EP "You Need To Be With Me" here

Being in a trio myself, I love the space in the music and the magnitude of the dynamics. Do you enjoy being in that situation? 
Yes it is quite a experience.

How would you describe the live music scene, for original bands, in Vegas? 
It starting to make a comeback somewhat a lot of musicians who live here in Vegas play on the strip to make money so that they can live. So a lot of the original stuff are from a younger set doing they're thing. Vegas is a hard place to break out of when doing your own thing because this is a place where everything is a emulation you know. So it's hard to have people come out and support what you do when there is so many things to do in a city like this.

Tell us about one of your other projects, Galactic Kannibals, with bassist Traa, from P.O.D.
 WOW! Galactic Kannibals is some pure funk stuff! Can't wait for ya'll to hear that. Me and Traa Daniels have known each other for going on 30 years and we always wanted to do something outside the box and not rock. We are both from Ohio the funk state of the nation so the funk us in are dna. We have made characters for this project and its just going be off the chain. Looking forward to a 2017 release.

You guys also work on studio production for other artists, correct? 
Yes, me and Traa are producing rap artist Swish. That guy is the real deal red hot man. We have others to be announced.

How do you view your approach to being a producer, coming from a drummers perspective? Is it different than if you were a keyboardist? 
I think I rely really heavily on how things feel how the groove hits me with the other instruments. Just how putting the whole puzzle together feels, sometimes musically things may not be perfect but if it feels good I'll let it go whereas someone who is a keyboard player with music theory would not think the same way, but again it's all about the feel and everything having this organic nature to it.

Now, it looks like you have a busy 2017 coming your way, what other projects do you have in the works? 
Working on my own EP which will be entitled 3 new songs 3 new keys of noise. But may have to put it on the back burner because have to get ready to do Acid & Pearls stuff along with dates with artists Ladomour Diacriz.

So, what's your current gear set-up? kit, heads and sticks...ect? I play on a Sonor acoustic set right now as well as my Yamaha DTX 900 electronic kit. I use aquarium drum heads I love the new force 10 heads so much depth in the sound of them. I have been using Sabian cymbals since '96 and became endorsed in 2005 great company great sounding cymbals.

Do you have multiple kits and snares? 
Yes, I have about 7 snare drums 2 Yamaha DTX kits and a Sonor acoustic kit.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?  
A DW drum set with custom finish that would be mad pimpin. They have some of the best finishes I have ever seen on drums.

How do you describe your drumming style?

O.B.B is my playing style Ohio Basement Beatz! man when we was kids me and my friend my best friend actually Traci Roberts we were going to the basement of our parents house and play drums as long as we could that's the way it was sometimes it was too hot to go outside so you put on your favorite Parliament Funkadelic record or Cameo record and you would play those grooves which you turned into them basement beats.

Speaking of Ohio, Ohio has brought us some of the most talented musicians and funk music of our time.
What is in the water in that state? 
That's hard to say but one thing is for sure there was a lot of time you had in your basement working on your skills and playing. So you listened a lot to funk records which was awesome.

Why the drums? 

Playing drums felt natural not forced just organic.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
I have no ideal! HaHa...

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Drumming saved me from a lot of things. It wasn't a great living environment growing up as a kid in my house, so when the family was in turmoil I would go downstairs and listen to music and dream about being the person performing it. So, when I realized I had the gift to be able to play and hold a groove it took me to another place a place of peace.

Are you doing music full time? 
Yes, original music only the filling of being free to create what you feel is beyond believable.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
 *Diamond Williams
Larry Blackman
Dennis chambers
Mitch Mitchell
Stewart Copeland 

Diamond Williams is a kat that you only hear mentioned from Funkateers, yet his playing has been such an influence for so many drummers and so much modern music, people don't even know..... 
Diamond Williams to me as a drummer was the guy who had the most devastating right single foot technique on a bass drum I had ever heard. Long before I knew who John Bonham was of Led Zeppelin, there was only Diamond Williams. That's who I learned all of my foot technique from. He was the dude!
*For those that don't know "Diamond" Williams is the drummer for  Ohio Players

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 

I don't know about any one concert but I can say they're have been many DVD drum instructional videos that have made me want to improve on what it is I do.

How much time do you practice? 
Not enough when you start producing and engineering you get behind a drums you lay down the grooves and then you spend a lot more time behind the computer and the desk but with things coming to completion soon is going to be time to sweat it out.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?Normally I sit and front of the TV with one of my Yamaha DTX pads and work on flams double strokes and singles just working my hands.

Kevyn - Solo

Do you sing and play? 
Yes, sing on Galactic Kannibal stuff but nothing else.

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman? 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?

Stay true to who you are create a brand for yourself with what you do, things are changing in the world and if you want to be heard you have to do the right things to do so happy drumming!

When it's all said and done, what would you like your legacy to be? 
That guy who played for the songs and produced that funky stuff I'll be good with that man.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 

Yes, thx to all the people who have supported me, my family I love you and be blessed!

Another great drummer and all around talent. BIG Thanks to Kevyn for sharing a bit of his drum life with us. It's always nice to have a funk brother in the mix 😉
I am looking fwd to hearing more from your projects, especially Galactic Kannibal, that sounds insane!

I hope you all stop by his pages and drop a "hello" on him and show your support by purchasing the Acid & Pearls EP  #SupportIndieArtists and if you need some kool production work, hit him up!
Kevyn Kelley Facebook

Acid & Pearls

Acid & Pearls ReverbNation


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1 comment:

  1. Just wanna say I've known kevyn Kelly for over a decade and what I love about him the most is his passion for drumming. Not only is kevyn a funk superstar, he's extremely down to Earth as well. What he and Traa has created with Gatalatic Cannibals and with Kevyns own project with Acid & Pearls the world hasn't yet begun too see the True music that's coming there way.