California Kings are a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band comprising Jayden Faass, Brent Maxton, Gregory Wall and Michael Ginsberg. They’ve been pulling solid crowds through local venues with another big show on the horizon at Parkwood Tavern. We chatted to guitarist Michael Ginsberg about the music of the 80s and 90s and what makes RHCP so appealing to fans.
You’re obviously a big fan of RHCP but what other music has influenced you over the years?
We’re all products of the 80s and 90s, so many genres that fit that era we’re in to, whether it be hard rock, metal, funk. Definitely bands like Rage Against the Machine, Living Colour, Chilis of course and 80s bands like Gunners, Van Halen are in the mix. And a few of us are metal heads too.
Given you’ve got this broad taste in music what made you want to start a Chili Peppers tribute band?
Our bass player (Brent Maxton) and drummer (Jayden Fass) have played in various bands in NZ and Australia and were in a Rage Against The Machine tribute band. They always wanted to jam a Chilis tribute so it was an easy transition. I played in a covers band with them so guitar was sorted. Finding a charismatic singer was the challenge!
How did you find a singer?
Greg (AKA Anthony Keidis) advertised for a bassist for his new RHCP tribute band. Snow (our bassist) was made aware of the ad, and thought he would audition, just to check out the singer. Snow was blown away by Greg’s vocals. Aftr the audition, bhe invited Greg to rehearse with the rest of us. Greg loved our sound and immediately joined our band.
We’re big fans of original music here at Blank GC and so are our readers, but there’s no doubt that Gold Coast is the covers band capital of Australia – it just comes with the entertainment x tourist territory. What are your thoughts on the originals vs covers scene?
There seems to be a little bit of conflict with the whole “playing someone else’s songs” but for us it’s just about having fun. We’ve all been in originals bands and some of us still are. As long as we’re playing live music and having a blast, I don’t think it matters.
Red Hot Chili Peppers have totally stood the test of time – from LA beginnings in 1983 to still touring and headlining the world’s biggest festivals today. What do you think it is that connects so many people to the band? What makes them so appealing?
They’ve certainly changed from the straight funk rock/metal band they started out as but I think they’ve just used their influences collectively to just change with the times. Whether it’s the ballads or the really heavy tracks, it seems everyone can like the Chilis. All the members are characters too which creates a pretty good image for the band.
Tell us about your upcoming Parkwood show and what people can expect?
We’re really looking forward to Parkwood! We’ll be playing a stack of tunes from their whole catalogue including a lot from ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magic’ which is our favourite. There’ll be some radio classics then some of the more obscure tracks for the diehard fans – a good two hour mix.
_ _ _
Catch California Kings at Parkwood Tavern on Saturday 16 June from 8.00pm.