The Dead Boys were an Ohio based punk band which formed in 1976. The band was a direct reaction against the radio friendly arena rock which ruled the 70’s. Songs about angst, love lost, and misdirected anger is what the Dead Boys created alongside decadent and violent live shows.
In 2017 Cheetah Chrome is an older, yet no tamer punk guitarist and keeps the music of the Dead Boys alive via his kick ass live shows. At 62 years of age, Cheetah has more punk rock energy and aesthetic in his left ball sack than Blink 182 and Green Day do combined! Cheetah’s guitar tone on this particular night was shrill, harsh, and loud as f*ck!
The current Cheetah Chrome band features original Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz on drums, Jason "Ginchy" Kottwitz on guitar, Jake Hout on lead vocals, and Ricky Rat on bass. This band is the closest thing to old school Dead Boys that you will ever witness on a stage since Stiv’s passing.
“Sonic Reducer” was the show opener and the band performed a set that was high energy with no low points other than when they said thank you and good night to the crowd. Sonically, Cheetah’s band is a well oiled machine and the rhythm section holds down the intense groove while Jason and Cheetah add their treble soaked chords to the mix. Jake is an interesting frontman who acts possessed once he takes the stage; his stage presence is dangerous, dark, and unpredictable.
The Metro Gallery in Baltimore was packed for this show and the crowd proved that Baltimore still enjoys a good punk rock show.
We asked guitarist Jason K. how he got the gig as Cheetah’s guitarist and he said, “About five years ago, Cheetah sat in with my Dead Boys tribute that I had established for a one off Halloween show. He asked me to play with his solo project and I accepted.”
Jason is also a member of the band M.O.D. and on that topic he replied, “M.O.D. Just dropped a new album on Megaforce. Touring will commence in December.”
The secret to Jason’s guitar tone is, “The p-90 in my Les Paul Junior and my Hi-Tone amplifier.”
Jason’s vest featured numerous patches from classic rock acts including KISS. On the topic of KISS Jason said, “I grew up a huge Kiss fan. I was turned on to them at a very young age. A few years back, Ace Frehley signed my wrist and I had it tattooed on there.”
Jason’s response to what was his favorite Dead Boys song to perform live was, “probably I Need Lunch or High Tension Wire.”