REDLIGHT KING’s Mark “Kaz” Kasprzyk wants everything to be authentic. His father taught him that nothing comes easy, and he was right. The grit and texture you hear in the band’s music is borne of time on the road and the high and low points of being a recording artist over the years. With Julian Tomarin, Mark Goodwin and Brian Weave added into the mix, and hot singles like “Lift The Curse” hitting the airwaves the band’s upcoming release, MOONSHINE, is sure to win fans of all sorts of real music, rock and otherwise.
Redlight King has 80 million streams across Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora & YouTube, with close to 250,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. A previous single, “Bullet in My Hand” debuted at #3 on the Billboard Alt & Rock charts and “Old Man” (which featured a vocal sample from the man himself, Neil Young) hit #15 Billboard Alt & Rock charts. Pretty good for a wordsmith from Hamilton, Ontario (the Pittsburgh of Canada)…
How did you first get into music, who or what turned you on to rock n roll?
My dad listened to a lot of blues growing up and was always singing and feeling the music. I used to put records on after school and it just grew from there. In the early nineties I listened to a lot of hip hop, artists like KRS ONE, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest. It wasn’t till I was in my twenties that I discovered Led Zeppelin, and I was like ohhh.
Who was your first rock concert, do you have vivid recollection of it and have your parents always approved?
It’s sad, I really don’t remember. I never went out much growing up, I was kind of a loner. It wasn’t until I starting playing live that i started going to shows. Also big concerts were expensive and my parents didn’t realize the affinity I had with live music.
What was the first music bought with your own money and how did you acquire your first instrument? What is your most prized music collectible?
I bought a tape from The Police, the album was Synchronicity. My first guitar was one of two lefties in Steve’s music in Toronto, ON. It was a De Armond, hollow body, basically a cheaper version of a Guild.
Do you read reviews of music, film and food and if so how often do they influence what you buy, watch or where you eat?
I read reviews of films and food especially restaurants, but music I tend to dive into myself and determine how it makes me feel without prior judgement.
What have you been listening to lately and reading?
I’m reading The War Of Art right now, not to be confused with The Art Of War. I’m listening to everything as usual, but really on a soul, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Sam Cooke kinda kick.
Your new album Moonshine drops October 25th, is there a theme that runs throughout the album or is it more of a collection of songs?
The date has been pushed back now, closer to Christmas let’s say for now. It is a fairly diverse record as far as topics go, but there is an underlying if theme of individualism, the search for truth and a pulse which resonates with a hard working, emotional human being.
How much of the new album will we get to hear live and has your entire catalog been played live?
We’ve played most of our songs live before for sure. But the sound of the band, the look and feel and records have evolved. The plan is to play Moonshine front to back in a live setting.
Does it bother you to hear artists express their opinions on subjects outside of music, such as, politics and do you like their art any less if you disagree with them?
Great question. I only really stick to the music and the creative process. It’s everyone’s right to believe what they want, whether it’s politics or religion. I suppose certain artists with extreme positions or criminal acts with a lack of integrity would cause me to not want to listen.
What are the positive aspects of social media for you? Clearly, there are many negatives. What are the positive aspects for you?
Definitely, the ability to connect with my fans and hear their stories of how the music has become and a part of their lives and how it has effected them. An example of that was this latest tour, a fan had stage three cancer, listened to Bullet In My Hand everyday, during his treatment, and beat the disease. Having lost my father to cancer, it really resonated with me and I was honored to be a part of his recovery.