Kurt Deimer

By: Lori Smerilson Carson

Living your life to the fullest is definitely what Singer/Songwriter/Actor Kurt Deimer embraces. He has been in some truly notable movies, has created his own horror series, recently released his latest EP last fall and is now on tour with Yngwie Malmsteen. Florida fans can see this extraordinarily talented musician and his band when they play at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 4th.

Catching up with Deimer just prior to his tour (while he was on a video set) he revealed some details about his new EP WORK HARD ROCK HARD, what fans can experience at the shows, his movie experiences, and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: Tell me about the video you’re shooting now.
Kurt Deimer: Yeah, it’s a big single I think we’ve got coming out before our support tour with direct support for Yngwie. The radio is really excited about it. Everybody, my management’s really excited. So, we’re getting this video. I shot a lot of it in Cincinnati at my studio, but now since Phil and I are both in L.A. this week, he was able to, before he heads out with Bon Jovi because he’ll be gone all of April, we wanted to get this done.

SFL Music: You have some other video’s like “Have a Cigar”?
Deimer: The “Have a Cigar” video came out, the very first video we put out, and that’s on YouTube. Then “Burn Together” with Geoff Tate. We did direct support for Geoff Tate last fall, that came out right after “Have a Cigar” and then the video for “Naïve” came out and all those are on YouTube. This is gonna be a fresh new one and they just won’t let me talk about the song or anything yet until they release it everywhere, but I can tell you it could be the big crossover of a song that you hear all over the place everywhere you go. It’s that kind of song and we’re really stoked about it. Excuse the airplanes taking off. I’m by Burbank Airport.

SFL Music: Not a problem. This will be a fun interview! So, tell me about the live shows. What can fans look forward to?
Deimer: Well, we’re direct support, so there’s always gonna be a band or two, two bands I think before us. So, we’ll be right around that 8:30, 9:00 spot, but we’ll keep everybody up to date, and we’ll do an eight song probably set and we’ll be touring in support of WORK HARD ROCK HARD, our EP that came out last November and we’re still promoting it. It features “Naïve”, “Whatcha Sayin”, “Burn Together” with Geoff Tate. We’ll be playing that album, and then this new one that I told you we’re filming the video for today and another one off the new EP, so we’re gonna kind of be getting the other EP ready to release probably after that tour, but real close to after. So, you’ll get a little taste of the new. You’ll get a taste of Work Hard, Rock Hard and we always play “Have a Cigar” live for people.

SFL Music: In your Bio, you said you liked for people to decompress.
Deimer: Yeah. You know, they work hard all day and when you come out, you want to be entertained at the show. I mean, I’m an actor and a front man in the band and when I put on a show, it’s a show. I’m limited now as direct support with what all we can do, but wait ‘til we can headline and people are gonna be even more blown away.

SFL Music: What inspired the EP? Was there a theme in mind?
Deimer: No. I mean, when Chris kind of discovered me and then brought Phil into the fold, the three of us, we’ve just been writing effortlessly. I’m getting so much off my brain that’s been stored in there for years ‘cause you know, I ran businesses and owned my own companies before I got back into music and acting. I never was an actor before, but I did music when I was young, and it’s just a collection of, there’s no real methodology to how we you know, select which song to put on other than, how will the fans perceive it? How do they all fit together in the one package of the product? Andy Gould is my manager and Paul Gargano wanted us to do a six song EP and we might stick to that format. Do six song EP’s, but we’ve got like five of ‘em teed up, ready to go. The songs that have made the cut that we think are just so awesome that the world will enjoy. So, we’ve taken this time with Covid going on just to kind of build our inventory so when we go out and perform, we can focus on putting together the best show every night. I keep the same band members. We go out and look at every show like we’re playing Madison Square Garden. You know, Phil’s playing arenas with Jon Bon Jovi. So, he’s coming off that. We’re gonna go and do the exact same type of show, but you get to see Phil that’s unleashed and he’s the writer and it’s his riffs and his solos. It’s so cool.

SFL Music: What would you say you’ve have gotten out of working with Phil musically?
Deimer: Once I got over the surreal fact that he wanted to do this with me the rest of our lives together, we’re very glad we met each other. We’ve become like best friends and brothers and he gave me an even bigger boost of confidence when you know, someone as talented as him who’s done as much as he has, believes in me enough that he wants to be a part of the project. And Chris Lord-Alge, you know, he’s a legend, wants to be part of the project. It gives you confidence to go carry out your mission and your dream. It’s so incredible. I mean, if I think about it too much it can overwhelm me, but it’s just so cool.

SFL Music: What would you say Chris has put into your music that you can take away from? A lot of artists learn new things when they’re in the studio with a great engineer and producer. What would you say he’s maybe shown you?
Deimer: Well, when he discovered me, when he agreed to mix my demo, I brought it to L.A. and that’s when he really took to me and liked my style. The biggest thing he said is, “be true to yourself. You have a unique voice. You have a message. You write great literal lyrics that we can present in different ways for people who can interpret and apply to their life. You have a real story, and don’t try to be somebody you’re not.” You know, I don’t go out and perform and try to sing out of my range or anything. I sing in my wheel house and present my music and you like it or you don’t. Not everybody likes this. I don’t like all the music I hear at this, but if you give it a chance, then you will get people that want to join the Kurt Deimer family. So, be true to yourself. He’s just a wizard, I mean, he’s a Grammy award winner. I don’t even know what else to say about him. He’s amazing.

SFL Music: You were inspired to get into music because of Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley. That’s a great variety of artists.
Deimer: Oh yeah. AC/DC, Judas Priest. I mean, I’ve seen ‘em all. I even saw Randy Rhoads and Ozzy (Osbourne) together.

SFL Music: Wow! That’s awesome.
Deimer: I just said, one day if I can do this, I’m gonna do it and if the time is right. I needed to mature as a person, as an individual. Get rid of my insecurities when I was young and I just said, someday if it happens, it’ll happen and it’s happening now. So, it’s crazy!

SFL Music: What made you decide to go into music originally when you were young?
Deimer: Going to all those shows and just saying, I don’t know if I could do it because it seemed overwhelming, but if I could ever do that, I would love to. I dabbled around in a band when I was in college at UC, but I was very insecure and I had a lot of anxiety. I wasn’t confident. I self-medicated. I decided to take a step back. I ended up getting married young. I have three beautiful boys. I got to be with them as they grew up and started my own other companies once I kept building confidence as I got into my thirties, and here I am now. They’re running themselves. My oil brand STARFIRE was gonna be featured like signage and stuff in a movie called Trading Paint in Alabama in 2017. It was September, and I went down to do a cameo in it as the owner of the company and they offered me a speaking role. Like an hour later, I had to learn my lines and I’m doing a scene with Toby Sebastian from Game of Thrones and John Travolta and Shania Twain and it didn’t bother me at all. I had so much confidence and they loved it. I’m in a movie, Halloween (in 2018). I got killed by Michael Myers. That premier, I’m like on the red carpet a year later in Hollywood. I’m like, what the hell? So, that built up my confidence. I didn’t really get back into music ‘til December of ’18 right into January of ’19. The guy I was writing with in Alabama when I was working on some film projects, a friend of mine, Ben Trexel that I did my demo with, had a few songs and I said, let me put my vocals on it ‘cause his vocals are very plain and generic, and that’s the first time I sang since I was young and got right back into it and now, here we are and getting ready to be direct support for Yngwie. I was on tour with Geoff Tate. Man, it’s just like, what the hell is happening to me? So, it’s very cool.

SFL Music: Would you say that your business background helps with your music career?
Deimer: It helps from the sense, I mean, I’ve been through a few managers now. Getting to the team I needed to get to. Coming from Cincinnati to L.A., especially when everybody in the world tells you, you can’t do it you know, that you’re rolling the dice on something that the odds are way against you. I don’t know what else to say other than I’ve taken my lumps and these folks now, Andy Gould my manager, managed Rob Zombie and Linkin Park. Paul Gargano, he manages Drowning Pool amongst others, and this team that’s come about around me now is very surreal, but it didn’t come easy and you just have to work hard. You have to get up every day. You have to believe in yourself and the more people tell me I can’t do something, the more I do it.

SFL Music: You also have Hellbilly Hollow?
Deimer: Yeah, Hellbilly Hollow, after I did Halloween, I wanted to do my own franchise, so we shot Hellbilly Hollow. It’s about to be done and post and it should be coming out this year hopefully around Halloween time. It’s kind of in the vein of The Devil’s Rejects if you’ve seen that by Rob Zombie. I’m a complete psycho. I’m introducing a new character to the horror genre and we’ve already got Hellbilly Hollow 2 written, and I’ve got some other films I’m gonna be shooting in between tours. I’ve got another horror movie I’m gonna be starring in for somebody else along with Lin Shaye that will come up later this year.

SFL Music: You’re into horror movies?
Deimer: I like all kinds of movies. I’m a very calm, laid-back dude, but when I get a camera on me, it’s like I go to places I never knew I could go and really live the character and try to really, like Hellbilly Hollow, the one you’ll see that will come out this year. A lot of what I did in that movie was just right in the moment and I think you’ll be quite surprised and tripped out by it.

SFL Music: So, it’s going to be very scary?
Deimer: Its gonna make you laugh. Its gonna make you, you’ll jump a few times. It’s not a slasher movie because I have creative ways for people’s demise, so it’s very cool. All I can say, if I didn’t know me and I didn’t know, I would like, be man, that was a cool movie. That is cool. Just, very creative kills and the story goes on. It’s gonna be a franchise. I don’t care if we do ten of ‘em. We’ll just keep it going.

SFL Music: Look forward to that. Were you inspired from being in the Halloween movie?
Deimer: Yeah. When I was on the red carpet when Halloween came out. I went to the premier and I saw it. I go, this movie’s started the same. They did the first one a long time ago. Other people did interpretations in between, but this was the next official sequel. I said, they did it. I can do it, and that’s what motivated me to want to do it, and the horror genre is a good genre to start out in because it’s got a really big following of people that are just into horror. There’s a lot of horror junkies out there. I figured that would be a great way to start, and I really found my place in it. My type of character.

SFL Music: What would you recommend to someone wanting to get into the entertainment industry? Acting or singing. What suggestions would you have for them?
Deimer: Be very careful. Don’t be naïve, which is a song on Work Hard Rock Hard is called “Naïve”. Give people benefit of doubt. Let them show you what they can do, but if it sounds too good to be true, sometimes it is, and you’ve got to find those real people who really believe in you because there’s a lot of people out there that just want to pay their bills and they’ll take advantage of you. I mean, it took me you know, since the beginning of 2019 to get to where I am which is very fast according to everybody in the industry, but it’s a long road and its hard, and its arduous and its painful, but you’ve got to be able to take the lumps and you’ve got to be able to take the negativity from a lot people in the world with the internet and all that, but just be true to your art and what your art form is and your creative process, and you will build a fan base and build it organically ‘cause the follower thing is kind of a joke. I learned that too (he laughed). You want organic followers. There’s a lot of people that get followers that aren’t even real ‘cause everybody looks at numbers now a days.

SFL Music: That’s interesting. So, you think it’s harder nowadays than maybe ten, twenty years ago?
Deimer: Yeah, the world is hard. I mean, even starting my oil company. These people said you can’t do that there’s already oil companies. Everybody always tells everybody you can’t do this. Everybody has an opinion. There’s so many negative opinions out there, but if you really believe in yourself and you stay true to yourself and you have the wherewithal inside, the fortitude that you want to become and fulfill this dream in this one life that you have, you got to go for it, and you’ve got to go for it and you got to know that it’s not gonna come easy ‘cause nothing good in life ever comes easy.

SFL Music: Is there anything else fans can look forward to? Another single?
Deimer: Yeah, we’ve got that big single coming out, and then on Father’s Day, we’ve got another big single coming out. It’s called “My Dad” which I think is going to blow people’s minds and go all over the world. We’ve got the tour coming up with Yngwie April 29th-June 5th as direct support and would love to see everybody there. We’re doing the Rainbow Room believe it or not. Fiftieth Anniversary party on April 24th. We’re one of the bands that got asked to play at that which is kind of surreal. That iconic place, and the movie should be coming out this year, and we’ve got another big tour in the works that hopefully will come to fruition after Yngwie which I’m not at liberty to talk about, but is should be that next step we need to where we can start headlining.

SFL Music: So, that’s ultimately the goal?
Deimer: Oh yeah. I mean, I’m an actor and a front man and once we can headline you know, Phil X headlines arenas with Bon Jovi, so once we can headline, Phil and I will just make magic together out there and my stage shows are gonna be off the hook.

SFL Music: He’s in your band too.
Deimer: Yeah, Phil X is my guitarist and we write everything together. Chris Lord-Alge’s my producer, mixer. Cristian Sturba is my bass player. Michale Vassos is my other guitar and vocalist and Dango’s my drummer. It was very important to me when I was young seeing bands that it’s the same guys all the time. I like bands that were the same and you saw the same guitar player. I didn’t want to be known as somebody who just plays with session musicians, so we built a real fellowship, the five of us and people can always see a consistent great performance because we’re tight and we stay together.

SFL Music: Anything you want to add?
Deimer: Anything you can tell where people can follow us on social media and all that. Everything’s under Kurt Deimer. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, subscribe and my website’s kurtdeimer.com and that’s where you can get our CD’s and merch and stay up to date with everything going on and we’re building a Kurt Deimer fam club instead of fan club ‘cause we’re a family and we’ll have a bunch of stuff coming out on that too.

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