KIX Frontman On His Band's COVID-19 Battle: 'We Were Vaccinated, So It Was Very Mild For All Of Us'

November 4, 2021

KIX frontman Steve Whiteman spoke to "The Chuck Shute Podcast" about the band's return to the live stage during the pandemic. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "KIX was busy as hell at the end of May. We worked from May, June, July, August, I mean, almost every weekend — two, three shows a week — just to make up for all the shows that we missed through COVID. And then we got COVID, and we had to shut it down for about a month. We missed another eight shows.

"It was weird, 'cause I got it… And we were vaccinated, so nobody really was in harm's way; it was very mild for all of us," he continued. "But I would get it one week, then Mark [Schenker, bass] would come up with it the next week, then Bob Paré [guitar] got it. It spread out to the point where we had to take the whole month off and lose a whole lot of shows."

According to Whiteman, KIX decided to cancel a month's worth of concerts because "we didn't wanna infect other people. If you have it, you do not [wanna] infect people, so we followed the protocols and we all quarantined. We wouldn't fly with it, we wouldn't go to shows, 'cause you're around a whole bunch of people. Even if they're not in your band, they're still around you all the time. And we didn't wanna infect other people, so we decided to shut it down until everybody could come up with a negative test."

Regarding what symptoms he had while he was battling COVID-19, Steve said: "For me, I thought I was getting a little bit of a cold. I basically had to clear my throat a couple of times a day. I had a slight headache and I lost the taste and smell for about a week and a half."

Whiteman went on to say that he got his second COVID-19 vaccine in March and he contracted the disease in September. "[That's] just about six months, which is about the time when they tell you you need a booster," he said. "That's why the boosters are out now, because a lot of people are breakthrough cases — you thought you were safe, but the vaccine didn't last."

Last month, Whiteman told Adika Live! that would like to see as many people as possible get the COVID-19 vaccine: "We're all vaccinated [in the band], and I preach it. 'We're able to be here tonight because there is a vaccination, and I really encourage everybody to take it.' And I've had people walk out and want their money back because I tell people that I think it's really important that we all get vaccinated. And people who are offended by it, they're just some people that won't do it. And they're the ones [who are] holding everything up.

"We keep our distance," he continued. "We won't do meet-and-greets anymore. We keep our distance backstage. Traveling, you have to get on a plane, you have to wear a mask, but I'm not that worried about it 'cause I am vaccinated. And if I do get it, I don't think it'll be that bad."

Whiteman released a solo album, "You're Welcome", in July. The 12-song LP was co-produced by Whiteman along with his trusted collaborators Brad Divens, Jimmy Chalfant and Bob Paré; it was recorded and mixed by Divens at Fixintogetmixin Studio.

KIX was founded in 1977 and released its first, self-titled album on Atlantic Records nearly 40 years ago. Their breakthrough came with 1988's "Blow My Fuse", which sold nearly a million copies, thanks to "Don't Close Your Eyes". The band continued to ride the hard-rock wave until 1995, when KIX took a hiatus. Nearly 10 years later, KIX reunited and started touring regionally. A 2008 performance at the Rocklahoma festival led to more gigs and the release of a live DVD/CD called "Live In Baltimore" in 2012.

In 2014, KIX released its seventh full-length album, "Rock Your Face Off" (Loud & Proud Records),the band's first studio effort since 1995's "Show Business".

Photo credit: Mark Weiss

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