Jeff Wright – Kinky Rhino and Blue Man Group

Kinky Rhino

Kinky Rhino is a garage-rock band made up of Jeff Wright and some members of Blue Man Group.

In a review of their newest single, I mentioned that their sound reminded me of that kid from my high school with the shaggy hair and leather cuff bracelets. The one that you just knew went home at 3:00pm everyday and plugged his guitar into his amp and rocked until his mom made him shut up. Jeff Wright isn’t a high school kid with shaggy hair, but he does know how to rock pretty hard. Wright has been touring with Blue Man Group while working on Kinky Rhino’s debut album. We got to chat with Wright about his most recent endeavor and what Kinky Rhino means to him.

Creative Control: Where did the name Kinky Rhino come from?

Jeff Wright: A good friend suggested it as a joke. I had a huge list of band names and he accused me of just mashing words together. I challenged him to contribute and he just blurted out Kinky Rhino. He was mocking me, but it’s the perfect name.

CC: What is your favourite thing about touring with Blue Man Group?

JW: Seeing the sights! Right now we are in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s gorgeous. I think I could live here.

CC: Describe what the transition from Blue Man Group to Kinky Rhino was like.

JW: There hasn’t been a huge transition since I am still working for BMG. I’m currently on the U.S. tour and I have the other touring musicians backing me up in Kinky Rhino whenever we can get shows booked. When this tour ends in the summer I plan on settling in L.A. for a while, driving for Uber, and finding a permanent band, that will be the big transition.

CC: Your sound has been described as “dirty,” “raw,” and “old school garage rock,” what bands do you think influenced your music to sound like this?

JW: Nirvana is probably the biggest influence. There are a lot of others, but I have loved Nirvana since I was very young. I think they are underrated as players and writers among most musicians, except for Dave Grohl, everyone knows he’s one of the greatest rock drummers ever. Kurt Cobain, however, was a genius and many people write him off as a punk who couldn’t play and think he was undeserving of his notoriety. Obviously he didn’t shred the guitar like the guys from Dream Theater or whatever, but he created things sonically that hadn’t been done. He captured huge emotions, his lyrics are extremely personal, and his vocal melodies are so absurd that they shouldn’t make sense but they work perfectly in the songs. I could go on for days. They might have sounded “dirty” and “raw,” but those guys were meticulous and they worked their asses off.

CC: How has performing with Kinky Rhino differed from performing with other bands like BMG?

JW: For me it has been completely different than anything I’ve ever done (and I’ve been in bands since I was 12) because it’s the first time I have fronted a band, written the songs, played guitar, and not been the drummer. I love it, I’m seeing the world through new eyes.

CC: Some people think the genre of garage rock is dying. Do you agree/disagree?

JW: Some people define garage rock as bands from the 60s like The Sonics, but others think The Strokes invented it. Did it die? Was it reborn? Did it not exist until 2001? I don’t know, and I don’t like getting too specific about genres, I think it turns music into trading cards. Look at metal. There are all these definitions of what makes something post-core vs. black metal vs. sludge… I don’t get it. It seems to me like that just puts limits on bands and gets their fans pissed off at them when they try something different.

 Anyway, if Kinky Rhino is, in fact, a “garage rock” band that’s fine, but I never said we were, I don’t really care, and I don’t feel like it’s up to me to decide. I just wrote a song and called it “Garage Roque” because it sounded dirty. I should have called it “Garbage Rock!” You’ll see that one on the next album, this interview has been truly inspiring.

CC: What’s next for you? 

JW: Releasing Kinky Rhino’s self-titled debut EP on 4/29 and touring with BMG until late June. When the tour ends I’m going to record a full-length album, move out west, and start looking for a permanent line up. If you want to join the band, contact me through KinkyRhinoMusic.com.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply