By Kylee Dawson
photo courtesy DAVID VANCE
KC and the Sunshine Band - Harry Wayne Casey, best know as KC, gets down tomorrow night with the Sunshine Band at the Desert Diamond Casino located at 1100 W. Pima Mine Road.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 17, 2005
There are washed up one-hit-wonders from the 20th century and then there is KC & the Sunshine Band, which has managed to maintain a familiar presence in popular culture into this century.
They've created music both you and your parents can enjoy together when they perform at the Desert Diamond Casino tomorrow.
With hits like "Get Down Tonight" and "That's the Way (I Like It)" and "Shake Your Booty" still played in film and television, it'll be ages before we'll ever get them out of our heads, if ever.
Despite constantly touring -more than 100 days out of the year - Harry Wayne Casey, best known as simply KC, is a man who puts his fans first.
To whet our appetites before he and his band arrive, Mr. Casey - pardon me, KC - found the time to sit down and speak with the Arizona Daily Wildcat to talk about evil record companies, why he doesn't play new material at shows, and Snoop Dogg.
Wildcat: There's been a major transition in the music in the '70s and the music now. Do you think there is room for new music, created in the format artists used back in the '70s?
KC: I think so. I just heard a new song by Snoop Dogg the other day called "Signs" or whatever. It sounds like it could be an Earth, Wind and Fire song. And many of the records that have come out today, to me, you hear sounds from the '60s, from the '70s and from the '80s, so, you know, everything that has been coming out lately has been a little taste of a lot of different decades.
Wildcat: I noticed how impossible it is for students to not know who you are and to not know the lyrics to your songs, possibly because they've heard it on music and television. How does it feel knowing you've created something that has become so immortalized?
KC: It's a wonderful feeling. My music was created to bring happiness to people and it's just wonderful that, 30 years after their creation that people do get to still enjoy them. That advertisement agencies and movie directors and producers want to include them in their films and stuff. It's just great to know they're still doing what they were created to do.
Wildcat: Also a lot of young people realize that you guys weren't a "one-hit wonder" group. You had several hits back in the '70s. So, what do you think of some of the groups you played with back then and now who've had one hit?
KC: Well, they were all talented, I don't know why. I'm not sure what happened. I mean, today, the record companies just want the next hot thing. They want the next hit record. If you have one hit record and the next one doesn't sell so well, they drop you off their list. So, you become a one hit wonder without ever knowing if you ever would have had any more hits because the record companies are trying to save money by not backing artists the way they used to back them. I've never understood ... the record company I was at, there was always a lot of one hit wonders there. It's like me. I mean, I mean I had a lot of hits, but I didn't have as many as Elton John. So, I'm not sure what the real answer is. That's just the way the industry is.
Wildcat: You mentioned Snoop Dogg. What do you think about him and White Zombie and Beyoncé and R. Kelly sampling and covering your music?
KC: I think it's awesome. It's the highest form of flattery to know that you have influenced people way beyond when you started influencing people. Earth, Wind and Fire and my band, our productions still influence people to this day.
Wildcat: How long were you on your 30th anniversary tour?
KC: Well, we tour every year, so it would have been from August 1973 to August 2003 to August 2004.
Wildcat: Wow. What's that like? You get tired of the traveling, you said, but you don't get tired of performing? Ever?
KC: No, never.
KC: Never. Never, ever.
Wildcat: In 2001, you released a new album. Are you currently working on another?
KC: I've been thinking about doing something, I just haven't decided what to do yet. We're so busy touring that it takes time to shut down and put a project together.
Wildcat: So, what do you plan to perform for us when you get to Tucson, besides your classics, of course? Like new songs you're trying on the audience?
KC: Well, I really won't be trying out a whole lot of stuff. It includes some segments of songs that were hits back in the '70s and stuff like that. The show is just a high-energy show. It's a lot of fun and people want to come and hear the hits. They really don't want to hear too much new stuff sometimes.