CKY Rise Like A Phoenix

 

CKY are releasing a new studio album titled The Phoenix on June 16th.

cky
CKY (photo courtesy of eOne Music)CKY are releasing a new studio album titled The Phoenix, on June 16th.

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CKY rose to fame after their music video series became the soundtrack and launchpad for Johnny Knoxville, his brother Bam and the rest of the fellas in Jack Ass, who rampaged their way throughout West Chester, Pennsylvania and the world doing insane stunts for a laugh.

At one point in the 2000’s you could argue that CKY founder and drummer Jess Margera and his brother Bam were the two hardest partying brothers to ever grace a stage or a skateboard deck.

CKY and the boys in Jack Ass rode their fame to the top. Their music was featured throughout the Jack Ass tv series on MTV, multiple films and spin off shows like Viva La Bam. The band went on to sign with a major label, toured the world, reached the Billboard Top 200 charts and indulged in the rock star lifestyle that came along with it.  This album is a reflection of the past, overcoming mistakes and rising from the ashes of days gone by to create a better future.

Press release courtesy of eOne Music:

The Phoenix is a bold mission statement that hoists the flag high for big, raw, authentic, earth shaking rock n’ roll, liberated from useless pretense. CKY’s sonic rebirth sounds as incendiary, expansive, and groovy as the Joshua Tree desert where it was made, and as decadent and funky as the strip-club adjacent rehearsal room where the songs were jammed out into submission. Each song is a forceful meditation on what makes CKY so killer.


 

Chad I Ginsburg, the band’s guitarist and singer, steps into the frontman role with charisma, charm, and bravado, confidently delivering a diverse performance as he claims a position that was clearly rightfully his to own. He’s joined in enduring partnership and musical and personal chemistry by fellow CKY cofounder, Jess Margera, the drummer whose extracurricular work in projects like The Company Band (with guys from Clutch and Fireball Ministry) expanded CKY’s horizons as much as Ginsburg’s solo work has as well. The duo returned to their primary project refreshed and reenergized, with bassist Matt Deis (ex-All That Remains), who first joined CKY in 2005.

“We’re grown adults now with an eagle-eye perspective on who we are, what we do, and how to do it right,” Ginsburg declares, with matter-of-fact certainty. “None of us are out there in the clouds. We’re pretty well-grounded people that have an honest perspective on where we’re at.”

In keeping with CKY tradition, The Phoenix was recorded at the famed Rancho De La Luna studio in California, which has played host to Daniel Lanois, Queens Of The Stone Age, Victoria Williams, Fu Manchu, and Mark Lanegan, among others. The studio was founded by David Catching, touring guitarist for Eagles Of Death Metal (among many credits), and late “desert sound” visionary Fred Drake.

“It’s one thing reading about the vibe at Rancho,” Margera says of the locale where the notoriously cool 1997 collaborative musical collective series known as The Desert Sessions took place. “And then it’s another thing to actually go out there and make an album. You’re like, ‘Ok, I get it.’”

“It’s the center of something out there,” Ginsburg agrees. “There’s a magnetic pull or something that lands directly in Dave’s backyard. I was just relaxed, waking up in the morning and getting right into the music.”

The goal was to make an authentic, organic, and “real” rock n’ roll record, uncompromising in its dedication to capturing what CKY actually sounds like playing in a room together, experienced at that gut-wrenching level of artistic intensity and swinging groove. As Margera explains: “Listen to a Zeppelin or Pink Floyd song and put that up against the copy/paste albums that are just snapped into a ‘grid,’ or whatever. There’s no comparison.”

The Phoenix touches on anger, revenge, good versus evil, desperation, recovery, growth, knowledge, survival, enemies, friends, and more. There’s heavy, dark, signature CKY grooves, “fun shit,” “fancy shit,” driving and almost danceable stuff, big melodies, total ear candy, immense diversity… There are even parts that sound like maybe Quincy Jones was given the keys to Rancho De La Luna and just ran amok with the dudes in CKY.

Margera observes that it was “a perfect storm of events” that led to CKY becoming a pretty popular name. “When it’s happening, you’re not paying attention. But once you get a couple of years under your belt, you realize, ‘Holy shit, man. That was lucky as hell that happened to us!’, ya’ know?”

“We’re feeling rather lucky,” Ginsburg agrees. “We’re not taking things for granted. We’re saturated in gratitude. It’s an incredibly humbled CKY, with a fire to last another twenty years. The point is to go play rock n’ roll and appreciate everybody else who does it, too. It’s a lucky job to have.”

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