In a world that seems to spiral further and further out of control every day, Kurt Deimer is just trying to create order in the chaos.
“There’s too many people trying to tell everyone how to be today,” says Deimer, drawing on a cigarette and pausing before continuing his thought… “I’m just a simple guy. I support the people that make my life better, and I try to make their lives better in return. If we all just worried about that and not everything else that we can’t control, the world would be such a better place.”
Despite making his mark in the business world, Deimer didn’t feel complete - so at an age when most people start thinking about slowing down, he started to speed up. Inspired by the artists that helped shape him - Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley and AC/DC, to name just a few - he started writing song lyrics. And inspired by his love of movies and acting roles in films including the 2018 ‘Halloween’ remake and John Travolta’s ‘Trading Paint,’ he started hashing out a movie concept he had bouncing around his hyperactive brain.
To call him a Renaissance man would be a bit melodramatic, but in the few short years since - armed with an inability to take no for an answer, a drive to constantly improve his craft, and an insatiable desire to network and keep expanding his rolodex - Kurt Deimer has filmed a feature length movie aimed to launch his ‘Hellbilly Hollow’ horror franchise, recorded more than two dozen songs with legendary producer Chris Lord-Alge, whose credits include Green Day, Joe Cocker, James Brown and the Rolling Stones, and is co-managed by Andy Gould, the former manager of Rob Zombie and Guns N Roses.
“I saw something completely different in Kurt, and that was the lure for me,” says Lord-Alge of his musical partnership with Deimer. “He isn’t a typical rock or country artist - I love hearing him talk and narrating a story, and I was drawn to taking those stories and helping turn them into music. He’s a personality, he’s someone you want to talk to, and his combination of narration and singing really works for me. He can tell a story as well as anyone I’ve ever worked with, and I love that we aren’t working within a certain format - I like being outside the box, that’s what makes it fun.”
Those are huge accolades coming from the Grammy Award winning producer - and the sentiments are audible on “Have A Cigar,” Deimer’s rendition of the Pink Floyd classic that couples his unique delivery with a band that fires on all cylinders, a hard rock muscle car driven by lead guitarist and musical director Phil X. The same Phil X that Bon Jovi recruited to fill the shoes of Richie Sambora.
“I’ve worked with so many artists on so many different levels, it’s nice to be in a situation where you feel full creative freedom, and that’s what I’ve found with Kurt Deimer,” says Phil X of their partnership. “It started with recording ‘full-on Phil X’ uncensored guitar parts - ‘Have A Cigar’ was one of those and, yes, I just used my name in the third person! - and has evolved into writing music that would have never materialized if Kurt hadn’t sent me his lyrics in his style.”
The cover track - recorded and mixed in Lord-Alge’s studio, the same place where Pink Floyd recorded ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’ - offers a quick introduction to Kurt Deimer, but it’s the Cincinnati native’s debut EP, set for a fall release, where he really ushers us into his world and invites us to get comfortable with six original songs. He’s a beat poet for the modern age, and a throwback to a simpler time when troubadours traveled the streets and sang about what inspired them.
For Deimer, that inspiration is to make the world a better place one song at a time, singing about the ills of the 21st century and offering solutions instead of excuses. Promising change instead of cataclysm. And delivering hope instead of hubris.
America will meet his missives this fall, when Kurt Deimer supports Geoff Tate on an expansive cross-country tour that will highlight material from the forthcoming EP, which includes a duet with Tate and a trilogy of music videos directed by Scottish filmmaker Paul Boyd [Sting, Deadmau5, The Cult] that spotlight Deimer’s cinematic vision and charismatic presence.
“When people listen to my music, I want to help them decompress and feel better after a brutal day. That’s what music always did for me, and that’s what we need more of today,” says the frontman, taking another long drag off his cigarette… “After a long, hard day of work, just come to my show and jam. We need this in our lives to fight the stress. We work hard all day, we deserve to rock hard.”
And rock hard Kurt Deimer does.
Before Phil Xenidis - p/k/a Phil X - relocated to Los Angeles from Toronto, Canada in 1997, he had recorded and toured with Triumph, Aldo Nova and Frozen Ghost. Phil felt that the next stage of his career was set to flourish in this music mecca. The “big break” happened in 1999 when Phil started working with producer Scott Humphrey on Tommy Lee’s Methods Of Mayhem. Tommy Lee led to Rob Zombie and then Alice Cooper and the proverbial snowball began to roll. Through other producers such as Raine Maida and Howard Benson, the artist list grew to include Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and later down the road, Phil’s personal hero Chris Cornell.
As Phil’s name got around as a sought-after guitar player in the L.A. session scene, he co-founded a big production band called Powder, a power trio called Phil X & The Drills, and became one of the first YouTube influencers… by accident! At first, his Fretted Americana guitar demo videos were the place to go when looking for vintage guitars, but then Phil’s personality stole the show and the videos collectively hit 50 million views.
In 2011, Phil received a call from Jon Bon Jovi regarding filling in for Richie Sambora. Richie was going through a personal situation and as they say... the show must go on. From April 28 through May, Phil played 13 shows with Bon Jovi and Richie returned. In 2013, Phil was asked into the fold again and played over 80 shows but this time Richie didn’t return. In 2016, it was 2 years since Sambora officially quit and Phil was asked to become a member and recorded with the band on records ‘This House Is Not For Sale’ and ‘Bon Jovi 2020’.
Phil X & The Drills continue to record and tour and Phil finds himself fortunate and blessed to have two canvases on which to create. From month-to-month it could be from a van, shared hotel rooms and venues holding 150 to 300 fans, to arenas, stadiums and jets. More music and live shows are coming from Bon Jovi, The Drills and a new partnership with artist/filmmaker Kurt Deimer.