Each member of KantiRocks has been honing their skills for decades. And it shows. KantiRocks formed in 2008 in Cedar Rapids, and has a full, rich sound.
The band features Nikki D on vocals. She brings a wide variety of musical styles to the stage. Her background includes a stint singing standards with talented area pianists Tim Daugherty and Mark Pence. Hoopla sat down with Nikki to learn more about the band.
The band name KantiRocks — where did that come from?
“Kanti” is an American Indian name, meaning “she who sings.” I discovered it in a book, which said that sometimes people can hear a message in a song, as opposed to someone just telling them a message straight out. “Rocks” is obviously the kind of music we do, and the boys really do rock. So, “She who sings — and they ROCK!” KantiRocks.
How did you get together?
Mike and I played in different bands in Cedar Rapids. I moved away, and when we were reunited Mike envisioned a musical direction and I expanded that concept in the presentation of KantiRocks. We searched for the members, interviewing talented musicians that bought in to the various concepts — female lead, clean lyrics, hard driving guitar based music. We also play only twice a month, and members needed to buy into that concept as well.
Describe the music you play?
Nineteen eighties and 90s pop metal. Our song selection sets us apart, and we hear that again and again. Lyrics are carefully screened, the music is guitar based and Marshall-amp driven. The full sound that we work on is the two-guitar format. We have two talented guitar players that can trade off lead and rhythm. Our motto is “All Killer, No Filler” While we do have a few songs that other bands do, the majority of our set list is comprised of songs that are not heard often and are technically more difficult to play.
What places are you playing these days?
KantiRocks plays at a variety of Cedar Rapids and surrounding area clubs — such as the Chrome Horse; the Red Baron, which has style and great sound; and Cedar River Landing, who gave us our first gigs. We also do private parties and family venues. Our style is hard driving but clean. People of all ages enjoy our music and energetic presentation. Your kids can come, your grandma can come, and find out they all like 80s music. The presentation from stage will be a positive environment for all.
KantiRocks has a new drummer, Dave Calhoun.