Interview: The Mojo Gurus
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Interview: The Mojo Gurus

Sometimes we fans need to have a bit of hardcore material to thrash out to. It is always fun to have such a genre of music to get pumped up for a sporting event, a speech or even just to feel the ecstasy of it all. Recently, I become a fan of a band that caries this genre on the wild side of rock and roll. They call themselves and they are destined to prove to the world that rock and roll is thriving well.

These Floridians of The Mojo Gurus comprise of astounding musicians: Kevin Steele, Doc Lovett, Vinnie Granese and Sean Doyle. It seems to be that The Mojo Gurus are bent on providing listeners with stellar tunes to shake up the earth for good. I love it! Their music is an exuberant mix of exciting songs that cause even the most lethargic listener to wake up and mosh. To share some thoughts, lead singer and songwriter Kevin Steele discussed some of his musical experiences to date.

Kevin Steele

First off was the birth of The Mojo Gurus in which Kevin had a very specific and rather dark explanation for his love for music. “I had a pretty awful childhood. My mother was murdered when I was eight years old. After that I was put into a situation where I was mentally and physically abused. Music was an escape for me. I guess I wanted to provide that same escape for someone else, that and for the girls of course.” Well, he and the band have successfully found a way to channel their emotions in their raw and truthful style. Despite the hard upbringing, I am glad that he was able to create some tremendous art from it that would become The Mojo Gurus.

In that music making spirit, shows are the next best thing for these musicians. To note, Kevin and the gang have done some unbelievable concerts to date. “When we first started this band we would play anywhere and everywhere. [As The Mojo Gurus, we play at various venues that include;] roadhouses, biker bars and even strip clubs. I look back on those days very fondly. Sometimes things got a little dicey but we had a lot of fun. We’ve played some pretty shady venues; we’re from Florida after all. I’ve seen pool cues and bottles used as weapons and once I even saw a drawn gun in the audience of an after hours bottle club we used to play… Performing is never difficult. We live to perform. The Mojo Gurus’ biggest strength has always been their live show.” Glad to hear that they made it through in one piece! I would have loved to have caught these guys rocking out in strip clubs, must have been a wild. The Mojo Gurus may be one of the few remaining true rock and roll soldiers braving the harsh field of southern rock and roll. You have to admire and appreciate such a determined group, especially in Florida.

Kevin shared some of his feelings on his work to date as we shifted.It’s hard to pick favorites. I’m extremely critical of my own work. I’m never really satisfied. I’m pretty proud of our new album Who Asked Ya? though. I’ve written almost all the songs for our next album and I think it could quite possibly be our best one yet.” I for one, am a huge fan of Who Asked Ya? as well. My favorite song off of that album is Foolish Boy. Immediately, the listener is introduced to a hard guitar riff that hooks you. As the song progresses, Kevin’s voice shoots out and is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s as he welcomes you to this rock anthem. Listeners bob their heads and are ready for anything that comes their way supported by the loud and raunchy guitar solos. Foolish Boy is fueled by distorted guitar licks that also make listeners flinch with satisfaction. It is truly as old school as you can get with a modern appeal that music fans will be attracted to.

Beyond his music, Kevin shared with me his views on the music business today. “It’s a sad state of affairs. I wrote a song about it called The Last Rock ‘N’ Roll Show on Who Asked Ya? Rock and roll, as we play it, is almost non-existent. There are very few new rock bands that move me. Pop music is a joke. I’m really not a fan of rap and country music isn’t even country anymore. People have stopped buying CDs. I don’t have the answers. All we can do is keep writing and playing the music we love and hope that people will get on the train.” Well, I hope so too. Despite the limitations that the music industry may populate today, there is also a vastness to it all that was not available in the past. There are so many new musicians from all over the world making their own music to their own style that can be broadcast via mediums such as Soundcloud, YouTube and even Twitter! If anything, music has grown but its focus on popular musicians and media has clouded the rest. Hopefully, that will change. Luckily, Kevin has been making the most of it. “I’ve really enjoyed making our videos, Bandito in particular. I’d love to do some acting if given the chance. [As for our music,] I don’t think I’d change a thing. It would be nice to compliment our live sound with the keyboards and horn section we use in the studio but right now, to be frank, we can’t afford to.” Someone give these guys capital please, I love a good horn section.

The Mojo Gurus are inspired by a specific genre of music. “Most of our influences are from the ‘60s and ‘70s and the list is way too long to mention. Mick and Keith are still performing and that … is pretty inspirational… Our influences are ‘60s and ‘70s rock, soul, funk, glam, old school country and delta blues. Marc Bolan and Ian Hunter had a big influence on my song writing [too].” 

Currently, the crew is busy performing in support of Who Asked Ya? and getting ready to record their next album of which is still untitled. “It’s going to be the hardest rocking album the Gurus have ever made. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people,” remarks Kevin, “that and keeping the Gurus out of trouble is a full time job.” That’s the spirit! We all need to keep this rock and roll passion alive and one way to do that is to enjoy The Mojo Gurus. Catch them on tour and witness the satisfaction that is sure to follow.

 

Jam On.

 

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Written by Myles Hunt

Music fan, simple and sweet.

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