The band was founded in 1978 in Hagerstown, Maryland as The Shooze, then changed its name to The Generators before eventually settling on Kix. They were considered one of Maryland’s top cover bands prior to their signing with Atlantic Records in 1981. Though considered by many glam metal, the bands pop-metal stylings drew inspiration from bubblegum pop and new wave as well as hard
rock. In 1981, they debuted with a self-titled album “Kix,” featuring “Atomic Bombs,” “Heartache,” “Contrary Mary”,” The Itch,” “The Kid.” “Love at First Sight” instantly became a concert favorite. “KIX Are for Kids” creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, KIX (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit (i.e., “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”). “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” became the band’s most popular concert song, always with a unique ad-lib performance by Whiteman. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock & roll style of Kix was established.
Their 1983 follow-up, “Cool Kids” showcased a slightly more commercial side of the band featuring the title song and the single “Body Talk.” Somewhat overlooked but a favorite with female fans was the ballad “For Shame.”
Kix then partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and, in 1985, released the album “Midnite Dynamite,” featuring a hard rock single by the same name and funk rock songs “Cold Shower” and “Sex.” The band headed west to begin to make a name for themselves in such places as the Sunset Strip, where Mötley Crüe and other glam metal bands rose to stardom.
Kix went back to the studio to write more songs. In 1988, they released “Blow My Fuse,” and finally achieved fame as it went platinum. The slow ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” — containing anti-suicide lyrics — led the way and other popular cuts followed. The album featured popular singles “Cold Blood” and “Blow My Fuse” with popular videos showing the band in concert at Hammerjacks. In 1989, the band released “Kix, Blow My Fuse, the Videos” with their now popular videos and behind-the-scenes footage. As Kix finally graduated to arenas, they opened for such popular artists as Aerosmith.
The album “Hot Wire” finally arrived in 1991 with the single, “Girl Money”.. While on tour in 1992, they made a live album, titled “Kix Live” at the University of Maryland, College Park. This album was released in 1993. In 1995, the band released their final album “Show Business,” on CMC records. Kix broke up in 1995, and Hammerjack’s Concert Hall was torn down in June 1996 to make way for a parking lot for the Baltimore Ravens’ stadium.
Steve Whiteman would re-emerge as the singer for local Baltimore band Funny Money, with whom he continues to work. Jimmy Chalfant has also joined Funny Money as the full time drummer. Steve also teaches voice at The Musician’s Institute in Baltimore and Triple R Guitar in Lemoyne, Pa. Ronnie Younkins moved to L.A. and wrote, recorded and released the album The Slimmer Twins – Lack of Luxury as collaboration with singer Jeremy L. White in 2000. In 2002 he founded The Blues Vultures, maturing into the lead singer and main songwriter position and followed in 2005 with the album The Blues Vultures – Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars. Brian Forsythe plays in The Snakehandlers and has recently been on tour as the guitar player of Rhino Bucket. Brian can be heard on the Bucket’s 2005 release ‘And Then It Got Ugly’. Steve Whiteman, Jimmy Chalfant, Ronnie Younkins, and Brian Forsythe have teamed up a few times a year for the last few years to do Kix reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania area that have been very well received.
Then in the summer of 2008 Kix performed outside their home area for the first time in 13 years at two of the biggest rock festivals in the US. Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma and Rock the Bayou in Houston, TX. Kix was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at both festivals. These were both massive rock festival where Kix played along side acts such as Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Telsa, Queesryche, Ratt, Lita Ford, Warrant and more.
Since then KIX has been performing more and more shows at festivals, casinos and biker rally’s across the country impressing promoters with their top notch performances and cult following of fans who seem to turn up in big numbers to see them everywhere they play.
* Lead Vocals- Steve Whiteman * Guitar- Ronnie Younkins
* Guitar- Brian Forsythe *Bass- Mark Schenker
* Drums- Jimmy Chalfant (less)