Welsh rocker Chez Kane is best known for being one of the triple thronged vocal attack of Kane’d and belting out classic rock anthems with her sisters. After dabbling in singing solo online for some time, the news broke recently that she was going to be recording her first solo album for Frontiers, the Italian based rock specialist label.
MetalTalk’s Ian Sutherland caught up with Chez via Skype to hear all about it.
MetalTalk: So how are you doing in lockdown mode?
Chez Kane: As good as I can be I guess. It is what it is really, you just have to get on with it. I’m trying to be as productive as I can be. I’m the kind of person who goes to the gym a lot and not being able to go has thrown me off my routine. I’m trying to stay active but it’s quite hard!
MT: Do you have a home gym?
CK: I’ve got a couple of weights and a skipping rope but that’s about it(laughs).
MT: How long have you been singing as part of Kane’d?
CK: I’ve always been singing with the girls as obviously we’re sisters but as the actual Kane’d line up where we met Harry and Josh and put an actual band together, that must have been about twelve years ago. I mean I’ve literally been singing since I was about five but with the Kane’d line up it’s been about twelve years. Time has just flown by though, I mean twelve years, are you serious?(laughs)
MT: So how have you ended up going from doing the band thing with Kane’d to recording the solo album? Has it been a journey of sorts?
CK: It’s a bit crazy really. I’ve been looking at a lot of bands recently like Alter Bridge for instance, I’m a huge Alter Bridge fan. I saw that Mark Tremonti went on to do a solo project and Myles Kennedy did a solo album. Tyketto as well, Danny Vaughn did a new solo album and that kind of inspired me to do it as well. It gave me the inspiration to think I can do both.
MT: You’ve been recording cover versions for a while and putting them up on YouTube. Has that been part of a plan or has it just sort of morphed into this solo record?
CK: That was a bit random really. One day I decided I wanted to do a cover of a Metallica song, ‘Unforgiven II’ and I had the idea of lifting the vocals as James Hetfield is quite a low singer so taking it up an octave to suit a female voice. So I gave it a go, put it up on YouTube and didn’t think anything of it for a while. A couple of years later I had the idea to do ‘Barracuda’, a phenomenal Heart song so I gave that a go and it went from there. I started doing a few other covers but there was no intention of doing a solo album. It was purely that I loved the songs. This solo album has completely hit me out of the blue!
MT: So how has the solo album opportunity come about? Did you go looking for it or has it come to you?
CK: It came to me, it was really random! I was sat, late one evening, watching a movie on Netflix as you do. My phone went off and it was a message from Danny(Rexon, frontman of Swedish rockers Crazy Lixx) saying he had an idea for a project and wanted to see if I would like to demo some songs to see if it would work out. I went on to demo a couple of songs he’d written, he was really happy with the results and so were Frontiers so he offered me the chance to do this with him as a solo project for me.
MT: One phone message and your world changed! Is Danny someone you’ve worked with before?
CK: No! I’d never met him. I knew who Crazy Lixx were but I’d never spoken to him or met him. He said he came across some of my videos on YouTube and thought I was what he was looking for so he asked me! I still can’t believe it!
MT: What’s going to happen with the songs for the album? Does Danny have songs ready to go or will you be writing with him?
CK: Danny’s written all of the stuff for this album so I haven’t had much input in the sense of writing but I’ve had input into how I sing each song. We’re in the process of sending stuff back and forward at the moment, new ideas here and there. The songs are being made at the moment, as best as we can anyway with the situation that we’re all in. It’s a bit frustrating but we’re making progress slowly.
MT: If the virus hadn’t got in the way you’d be in the studio right now then?
CK: Yes, it would have been the plan for me to go to Sweden where he’s based or for him to come over here and get a studio. Very frustrating but we’re working it out as best as we can.
MT: What sort of style will the album be in? Has Danny come up with songs to suit what you do?
CK: Definitely. I’ve always been a fan of a style of music, maybe the best way to describe it is like melodic rock from the late eighties and early nineties, Lee Aaron, Vixen, Robin Beck, that kind of thing with a stamp of Crazy Lixx on it and then my voice. That’s the best way I can describe it! I really can’t wait for everyone to hear the music, I’m really excited about it.
MT: When can we hear it? Is there a release date or is the virus causing problems with that too?
CK: Sadly because of the virus we really can’t put a release date out there right now. We’re just going to get as much done as soon as we can and as soon as I have a release date I’ll let everyone know via my social media.
MT: This will also impact any live shows you might have had planned too. Were you looking to play some solo gigs?
CK: Most definitely, I can’t wait! I have no idea when that’s going to be. I’m sat here waiting and hoping that we can start booking shows soon but we just have to wait it out. The main thing is that everyone is safe and then we can party at the end! I was supposed to be playing gigs with Kane’d this weekend and it’s so frustrating that we can’t do them.
MT: Are you one of these people who just needs to get up on a stage and perform?
CK: Oh yes, that’s the best part! I get a lot of emotions out when I’m on stage I’m really missing it at the moment.
MT: So I take it that despite the solos stuff you’re still very much a member of Kane’d?
CK: Yes, very much so. A lot of people have been asking what’s happening with Kane’d and we’re still very much a band, I’ll be doing both solo and band projects and bouncing gigs off each other and I’m still a hundred miles an hour with them as well.
MT: There was an acoustic album supposed to be coming out soon, right?
CK: Yes, but that’s on hold as well just like everything is. One of the positives from all this though is social media. Seeing all the stuff out there lifting people’s spirits, the power of music is incredible. The acoustic album will be resumed as soon as we can though. We’ve wanted to do an acoustic album for a while, that’s the band’s focus at the moment. Once that’s completed we’ll probably look at doing a new Kane’d album or a couple of singles or whatever.
MT: What are your plans for the rest of your locked down day?
CK: I’m actually recording a new cover video today (see below!). It’s a song by Steelheart and it’ll go up later today! They’re a band I listened to a lot when I met Harry (Scott Elliot, Kane’d guitarist) and Tyketto guitarist Chris Green has challenged me to sing this tune. It really is a challenge as the big notes are right up there!
MT: We look forward to hearing the results. Thank you very much for your time. Please stay safe and good luck when the album finally gets to see the light of day.