Ugly Kid Joe – guitarist Klaus Eichstadt – EXCLUSIVE interview

Ugly Kid Joe
Ugly Kid Joe is back with their latest release Stairway to Hell, after being “away from the scene” for over ten years. Read the exclusive interview with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt!

Ugly Kid Joe

Ugly Kid Joe is back with their latest release Stairway to Hell, after being “away from the scene” for over ten years.

Longtime Ugly Kid Joe fans will be happy to know that the new EP features frontman Whitfield Crane, Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman (guitars), Cordell Crockett (bass) and Shannon Larkin (drums).

It was great news to hear that the band was back making music together, years after their hit single “Everything About You” was released. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new ‘Stairway to Hell’ EP, and have to admit, my fingers were mentally crossed before hitting play. Luckily I was turning the volume up louder and getting more excited about the EP with each song. Whit’s voice sounds great, the band rocks and the overall production is superb!

Read the EXCLUSIVE interview with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt!

Jenny May: What was the songwriting process for your latest release Stairway to Hell? Did you write with Whit or did you write separately or with the band?

Klaus Eichstadt: Yes, yes, and yes. Some with Whit, some separately on our own, and some stuff the whole band together. We try everything.

Did the band have an idea, before you started recording Stairway to Hell, what sound you were going for?

Heavy hard rock with the same old attitude with the humor and sarcasm. And may the best SONGS win.

The credits show the EP being produced by Ugly Kid Joe/Mixed by Dave Fortman who also engineered some tracks, is that correct? What is it like working with longtime bandmate/guitarist Dave Fortman (produced Evanescence, Slipknot, Mudvayne, more) as your mixer/engineer? Did he have a lot of input during the recording?

Yes. It was the best: Funnest dude to work with and brilliant! He was making a lot of the final calls and he got some great sounds and is a great mixer.

Ugly Kid Joe – “I’m Alright” video:

There is certainly a lot of experience brought to the table in Ugly Kid Joe. Have you noticed a difference in your bandmates, and your skills and confidence (on stage/studio) since getting back together?

They are all great at what they do, even better than before, and for me it just made me way more confident both in the studio and especially live. It is a great experience to make music with these guys.

What are the band members schedules like for the next couple of years? Is everyone available for Ugly Kid Joe or are there other commitments that will take priority first? How does that affect your scheduling for shows, recording, appearances? (Is Shannon Larkin busy with Godsmack, other band member projects etc.)

Well, yes it’s tricky. Shannon’s day job is Godsmack but he will make time for us whenever possible and we appreciate his band being so cool about it. Dave is pretty busy producing and mixing but he has handed the live torch over to Sonny Mayo (Amen, Sevendust, Hed PE, Snot) who is killing it! We got a great drummer named Zac Morris who will tour with us whenever Shannon can’t. So we’ve got it pretty much covered. All combinations work great!

Is the band working on a new Ugly Kid Joe album?

We are kicking around ideas, riffs, etc.

What are some other projects that you’re involved with outside of the band, musically or otherwise?

At this moment I’m focused on UKJ. I do have a bunch of different songs that I would love to record some day… Mañana!

Do you have a home studio? How do you feel about recording in your home studio setting vs. a new experience recording in a studio you haven’t been to before? Do you have a preference?

I don’t really have a home studio anymore… but my laptop is a great demoing tool. I like to record wherever… as long as it sounds good.

Have you recorded in many recording studios around the world? Where is one of your favorite studios and why?

Not really, mostly only in California and of course Dave’s old studio in Louisiana where we did a lot of Stairway to Hell – that was my favorite so far. I did like mixing at A & M back in the day and Sound City ruled too!

Your single “Everything About You” was such a big hit. What are your thoughts about the song?

Hmmm. Well, it broke the band and gave me a career in music, so in that sense, I love it. Sure, it would have been nice to break with something a bit heavier, but considering it’s pretty much an anti love song, I can live with that… and that little ditty helped get us around the World a few times… and the OZZY tour!

Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You video:

What is your favorite guitar(s)?

An old ESP strat which is my main live guitar, my homemade guitar from the “Everything About You” video, and my 1979 Gibson SG. I also love Les Pauls.

Who do you like to listen to when you’re relaxing?

I usually listen to the pop/hip hop stations when I’m just chillin’. I know, I know…

You guys have a great sense of humor. Do you ever go out to see live stand-up comedy? Do you have any favorite comedians?

I love live stand up! I haven’t been in a while but Chappelle kicked my ass back in the day… Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers!!!

How has the music scene in LA changed over the years?

I have no idea… seriously, I don’t EVER go out in LA. EVER.

Thank you!


For the latest tour dates, music and more, please go to:

Ugly Kid Joe Official Website

Author: Jenny May

Jenny May is the founder of Band Weblogs. Based in Oxford, England (originally from New England), Band Weblogs was created in 2005. With a passion for music, Jenny May has performed with bands in the US and the UK, her music has appeared in films, she was a vocal coach for the Yamaha Rock School and has worked on music projects with musicians such as Jon Fishman (Phish), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) and Cisco Adler (Shwayze). Jenny is currently publishing music news, conducting exclusive interviews and writing music commentary for Band Weblogs and writing, recording and performing music with duo Purple May.