After signing to Victory Records, Kissing Candice stepped further into the spotlight during the final Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival earlier this summer. At the event, we spoke to vocalist Joey Simpson along with guitarists Dreamer and Walt. The masked group have been garnering comparisons to the likes of other visually similar bands such as Slipknot, Hollywood Undead, Mushroomhead and more. You can click here to purchase their debut album, ‘Blind Until We Burn,’ on iTunes.
Who in Mayhem’s lineup do you think has had the biggest influence or affect on your band?
Joey: Us growing up, we’ve heard Slayer a million times, so they’re definitely the legend on this tour. Me personally, I’ve been listening to The Devil Wears Prada forever. Their old stuff like the Zombie EP is great and a huge influence. King Diamond, Hellyeah, and Whitechapel are great. In regards to influence, not really. But, I’m stoked to see them on the bill.
Dreamer: I’m a huge King Diamond fan, so this is legendary for me. We wouldn’t be here without him because of the stage production and makeup.
Lately, you’ve been receiving comparisons to Slipknot, Mushroomhead, and Mr. Bungle because of your visuals. Musically, are those influences on the band?
Joey: There are a couple nods to those bands. Visually we can’t ignore those comparisons, especially with the masks. A lot of people are calling us wannabe’s and bringing up hatred with these comparisons but, we feel like we’re carrying the torch and tipping our hats to them. If it wasn’t for Kiss, there wouldn’t be them. And if it wasn’t for Slipknot, there wouldn’t be any influence for us. We take a lot from horror movies, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson stage production. We’re not ripping anybody off, we’re just trying to be a part of that army of masks and production.
Dreamer: Well first off, Mike Patton is my biggest influence. But, I know when I got to see a show, I like to be entertained visually just as much as aurally. It’s hard to ignore that we will get those comparisons, but we’re taking it in a positive way and sending attention to our music.
So, ideally which band would you like to tour with?
Dreamer: Eventually, it would be Faith No More. That’s not going to happen, but I’d love that.
Walt: I’d love to tour with Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson.
Joey: Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Mushroomhead, or Five Finger Death Punch. We love all these second stage bands like Asking Alexandria, Attila, or Emmure, but we’re swinging for the main stage right out of the gates. We want to be considered an arena band with lights, props, mascots, etc. We’re thinking big.
Blind Until We Burn comes out later this month. Can you talk about the writing and recording process?
Joey: Everybody had a hand in it and we meshed together and glued it together to make it work. Dreamer wrote a lot of the lyrics and he would bounce it off me and we’d tweak it. It was a real team effort and we’re super proud of it.
Lyrically speaking, was there an overall theme or message on Blind Until We Burn you were hoping to convey?
Dreamer: I want to say the main theme would be to challenge your thoughts, beliefs, media, or any influence. If you were born into religion your whole life, you don’t have to go down that path. If your family are doctors, you don’t have to do that. Just thinking out of the box as far as societal stuff like the way you look or talk.
Walt: A lot of the album as a whole is encouraging individuality.
Joey: We also have a song or two that tips our hats to horror movies. Our song, “Roach Motel,” is based off the movie, The People Under the Stairs.
What do you see for the far future of the band?
Joey: More albums and newer masks. We want to keep the music and our image fresh. I think I speak for everyone when I say we want to keep upgrading to the point where we’re a full production band with fire and LED screens. Think Rob Zombie meets Slipknot with just chaos. I feel like as bands get bigger with that size, they have a huge stage show, so they don’t have to put that much energy in. But you can’t lose your personal energy because once you lose that, you lose it all.