UGLY KID JOE are back! With "Rad Wings Of Destiny".

Posted: September 12, 2023

There are performers and there are players. There is a musician that can accomplish both. The difference is that one looks to entertain and engage their audience. While the player, is comfortable with enjoying the moment with their instrumental gifts. If an artist or musician was focused on one specific thing, is there something lacking in their presentation? No, not really. However, there is always an opportunity to perform with an ability to engage. Reach into the heart and emotions of your audience.

I recently talked about an artist that was performing at a local stadium in Tampa FL. This artist brought in 5 million dollars over a 3-day period. This was what was made by the stadium owners alone. Imagine, what kind of money was made from the entire event? I am still looking into those numbers. However, I was puzzled over the popularity of Taylor Swift. The entire event was like a celebration. There were people walking the streets in the similar attire as Taylor Swift. Cars were backed up for miles with individuals waiting to get into the concert. I didn’t understand what all the hype was about. Don’t get me wrong, I think Taylor Swift is talented. She also has a gift for marketing herself. Which has added to her popularity. The one answer I received that made sense was from a friend that said “Taylor Swift” puts on an amazing show. That is the answer. The difference between the performer and player is the show that they put on.

Taylor Swift recognizes the need to engage her audience. She will do so with what is appropriate for her audience. She gives back, what she receives. From what I understand, she had thousands of fans that will return to her concerts regardless of the cost per ticket.

So why aren’t other artists pursuing this concept? It is a question worth considering. I have selected a featured artists to share this topic with. They are Ugly Kid Joe.



Ugly Kid Joe is an American rock band formed in 1989 in Isla Vista, California. The band’s lineup consists of singer Whitfield Crane, guitarists Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman, bassist Cordell Crockett and drummer Shannon Larkin. They gained popularity in the early 1990s with their humorous yet catchy hard rock sound. Their debut album, “America’s Least Wanted,” was released in 1992 and featured the hit single “Everything About You.” The band’s success continued with their second album, “Menace to Sobriety,” which included the hits “Cats in the Cradle” and “Neighbor.” Despite a hiatus in the mid-1990s, Ugly Kid Joe remains active today, releasing albums and touring internationally. They are known for their energetic live performances and ability to blend various genres such as hard rock, alternative and punk.

UGLY KID JOE are back!

With "Rad Wings Of Destiny" the Californians release their first studio album in seven years! For the new songs, the band once again worked with producer Mark Dodson, who was already responsible for UGLY KID JOE's multi-platinum debut album" America's Least Wanted" in 1992, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. "Rad Wings Of Destiny" will be released as CD digital, vinyl and limited fan box. In November, UGLY KID JOE will return to Europe to present the new songs live to their fans. The band musically combines rock, hard rock, heavy-metal and funk. They became internationally known to a wider audience through the hit singles.

"Everything About You" and "Cats in the Cradle". The name UGLY KID JOE is an allusion to the glam metal band "Pretty Boy Floyd", which was quite successful in the 80s. They came up with the name because a joint gig with that band was planned, but Pretty Boy Floyd” cancelled it. They only wanted to adopt the name for this one gig to emphasize the difference between the two bands, but then kept it.



GT: Hello Klaus. Thank you for taking the time to consider some of our questions. You were simply our first choice. This topic was made for you. As artists who perform, with a rich and popular history what does it mean to you? How does it make you feel when your fans get excited about your performances?

Klaus: I never thought about it that much, I always just loved playing guitar in front of people… but recently I was told by a fan “you make us so happy” and that really struck a chord with me. I feel so lucky that what we as a band love to do, others love to watch and hear us do!


GT: At what point in your career did you recognize the need to engage your audience with something more than singing alone?

Klaus: From the very beginning I always was drawn to bands that had a good rapport with their audiences, and always hoped that whatever band I was in would too.


GT: How often do you sit back and give consideration regarding your last performance? Is each show different? Are you all spontaneous and wait for your crowd to engage you first?

Klaus: I go over shows in my mind afterwards, remembering the mistakes and/or the parts that were good. Each show is different, and we always try to engage with the crowd from the get-go no matter what they are like.


GT: What did you think about Taylor Swift? Is there more to her, than just a showman? Or person, not sure how it is defined these days. 😊

Klaus: I think she is great. Our kids LOVE her!!! She is an accomplished writer as well as a great performer. I have heard she’s a kind and caring person too.


GT: I can’t imagine you ever saying that Taylor Swift is an inspiration to you. However, do you handle yourself as an artist based upon the way someone else has done it? If so, please provide an example.

Klaus: We were lucky enough to open for some of our favorite bands early in our career (Ozzy, Motorhead, Van Halen, Def Leppard…) and ALL of them were kind and treated us well… We hope we are emulating them. On a musical level, just trying to be original and play well like so many of our favorites!


GT: Many performers rely upon their gear. Certain sounds, reliability and sponsors make up selections. What brands add to your confidence when you perform live on stage?

Klaus: Orange amps make me very happy and confident because they are consistent and sound great. My main guitar is the guitar I built to my specs back in 1987 and she is like a part of me.


GT: What does your set up look like? Does someone else create your stage plot? Do you have input?

Klaus: Orange backline, backdrop, simple pedal board. We design it…it’s basic.


GT: Communication can be a showstopper when it comes to a band’s longevity. Tell us about your relationships with your band mates. Are they easy going? Do you feel like you can speak freely

Klaus: We all get along fine… Whit and I have known each other since middle school so we know each other very well. As with anything … we get on each other’s nerves, but who wouldn’t after this many years and this muck time spent together?! We have a child together basically … Joe;)


GT: Ugly Kid Joe have had several changes in the band throughout the years. Has this impacted the way you currently do things?

Klaus: Yes and no. Obviously each different member has different qualities and Whit is very adept at recognizing them and letting the individual bring them to the show and shine. But we don’t change up the set drastically for the various members… we play the songs we think the fans like and that we like.


GT: What are some of your challenges performing on tour?

Klaus: I need to warm up for at least 1/2 hour before shows. Having no bathroom backstage can be challenging. : ) Sometimes the travel can be a bitch. Really cold or humid shows can be difficult for guitar playing.


GT: This is some compelling information. I know it will add to a great article in the October issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. However, before we are ready to say come on back soon. We need to know what projects you are working on now, and what can we expect from you soon?

Klaus: We are writing new material for future recording sessions, designing merchandise, and booking tours for the coming year.


GT: That is awesome. We look forward to your future projects and will keep tabs on your continued accomplishments. Thank you for joining us for an interview. Please feel free to reach out to us at any point.

Klaus: Thank you.

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