By Vanessa Wolf
Honolulu-based Kings of Spade will once again be bringing their high-energy, urban funk, soul/blues, and rock sound to Charley’s on Friday night.
Following up a 22-city mainland tour this past March, the show is a fundraiser for their second studio album which is set for release in October of this year.
They will be sharing the stage with Tempe, AZ blues rockers, Sara Robinson and The Midnight Special and Maui’s Little Sister and The Black Sheep Nephews.
Kings of Spade is comprised of Oahu natives Kasi Nunes on vocals and drummer Matt Kato. Jesse Savio, originally from Vermont, plays guitar and and bassist Tim Corker hails from Boston.
Maui Now: How did Kings of Spade get their start?
Kasi Nunes: We formed out of a popular open mic night at Anna Bananas in Honolulu. I was a bartender. Jesse would come in every week ripping Johnny Cash tunes. I had no experience forming a band, but I knew I had to have him in it. We hand-selected the other members together.
MN: The show is a fundraiser for your new album. How would you compare it with the music you’ve become known for?
KN: We’ve been playing a lot of these songs already; we just don’t have them recorded. “The Crave” album is four years old now, so a lot of tracks have been written since then.This album has stronger hooks, more balls, and less ‘woe is me.’
MN: You’re a Honolulu band. How did you come to be a fairly regular act on Maui?
KN: WE LOVE MAUI. I wanted to branch from Honolulu so when our band brought down Goddess Alchemy from the Bay Area, I asked, “You girls wanna go to Maui?” Turns out they had a huge fan base so our very first show at Charley’s (opening for them) was a sellout. We made a lot of friends from that show so we keep coming back.
MN: What’s your favorite thing about playing Maui?
KN: Maui is so friendly and so unafraid to dance and rock-out. We are super lucky we get to stay at local jazz musicians Auntie Angela and Uncle Phil Benoit’s house in Makawao: they are the coolest. Everyone who comprised the original line-up of Freeradicals Projekt, our sister band, is family to us.
We met our first legit booking agent, Tammy Miranda, in Maui. Maui has these scene cultivators who are so enthusiastic and supportive of local music. These are the people I call with crazy show ideas or who help with gear or this or that. Everybody pulls together to make it happen.
This show, for example, includes a four-piece band from Arizona, a four-piece from Honolulu, and a Maui band on the same bill at an intimate venue. If you add up what it costs to pull it off it would be impossible without the help of people who do it simply for the love of pulling off a cool show.
MN: Do you have a favorite Maui memory?
KN: Watching Freeradicals Projekt perform for the first time. My lid flipped. I was so inspired and blown away by them. I fully fell in love with that band at first sight.
MN: How did you come to be playing (touring?) with Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special? What can local audiences expect from their music?
KN: You wouldn’t know it unless you went, but Arizona has a KILLER music scene.
SRMS had a residency at a venue that my band played at. RMS is straight-up dirty blues rock-n-roll with slide guitars, a classic feel, and an extremely talented, super sassy, raspy-voiced lead singer. They wowed me when I first saw them play and even though our tour had just started, I instantly knew they were going to be the best band I saw on that tour.
We wanted them to play at our Kickstarter launch, and it would have been a travesty to not have them hop over and play for the Maui peeps as well.
Check out these bands for yourself Friday night at Charley’s in Paia.
Doors open at 9 p.m. and the 21-and-over show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Have an idea for a fun, funny or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. – Vanessa (@mauinow.com)