Knockout Kings were a pop/rock band from Fort Worth, TX, USA, which gained large popularity in the mainstream Texas music scene around the year 2005. Despite their poppy sound, they have also been largely embraced by hardcore punk scenes nationwide. The band's music is heavily influenced by music from the emo and hardcore punk genres. The Knokcout Kings Myspace page describes their music as "fearlessly poppy rock - comparable to that of Taking Back Sunday, Saves the Day and Skarhead." The band has released three EPs, the last two of which were put out on Doll House Recordings. While lyrics send a message of positivity and hope, and they have occasionally played to heavily Christian audiences, such as the Cornerstone Music Festival, the Kings say that they are not a Christian band.
Formed in 2003, the Kings began to gain popularity in the Azle, Texas music scene. The band soon gained popularity all over Fort Worth, and soon independently released the Bleeding is the Motive EP. Prominently featured on their debut EP was the satirical song "I'm Hardcore and You Are Not." While the band has not performed this song since early 2005, it was a large factor in their quick rise in popularity. In March 2005 the Kings released their critically acclaimed sophomore effort, entitled "The Lion." The release of "The Lion" saw the band abandon the tongue-in-cheek approach to songwriting that defined their previous efforts and begin writing songs highlighted by deep lyrical themes and symbolism that followed them throughout the remainder of their career.
Record Deal and Touring:
Shortly after the release of The Lion EP in March 2005, Abraham and Robertson left the band due to personal differences. After a few shows with friends filling in on bass and guitar, the Kings found permanent replacements with Cam Phillips on guitar and backing vocals and Jeff Goldin on bass. Soon the band departed on their first national tour with Austin, TX band Hundred Year Storm and Mississippi metalcore giants Fourtoomany. The first Knockout Kings tour was booked using an old fashioned D.I.Y. work ethic with the help of the internet. Upon returning from this tour, the band began to write for their next release. The incorporation of Goldin and Phillips into the writing process saw a brought a stylistic change to the band's music.
Following a performance on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 and a winter tour with Dallas hardcore act Bats and Knives, drummer Jason Speed decided to leave the band and relocate to Austin, Texas, where the girls were quote "hairier." Jon Burrow, who had traveled with the band before to sell merchandise, eventually joined the band on drums. With the final line-up set, the band recorded the The Kid's Got Heart! EP at Jacketweather Studios in Austin, TX with engineer David Dreesen. The five tracks were mastered by Nolan Brett (As I Lay Dying (band), Horse the Band). The EP was released in June 2006 on Doll House Recordings. Phillips described the new album in HM (magazine) as "a new direction" and "definitely pop-driven." Smartpunk.com awarded The Kid's Got Heart! with 3.5/5 stars. In the summer of 2006, the Knockout Kings toured the United States for several months with labelmates widows&orphans. During that tour, they performed at Cornerstone Music Festival. There they were voted the number one band on the Decapolis showcase stage, and the number two band overall for the entire showcase.
In early 2007, the band recorded again with David Dreesen at Jacketweather Studios. The song, entitled "Question Everything," was featured on "The Emo Diaries Volume 11: Taking Back What's Ours" which was released on Deep Elm Records the same year.
In spring of 2007, Juan Burpo (drums) left the band due to personal reasons. Jon is now the permanent touring drummer for the indie act PlayRadioPlay! His original fill-in replacement was Alan Summers, formerly of the band In Theory (the precursor to metalcore/electronica act Sky Eats Airplane). Later that year, a good friend of the band, Jason Merrell, took over touring drum duties, and eventually became a permanent member of the band.
In 2006, guitarist/vocalist Cam Phillips began an acoustic solo project. He distributed music online and played only a few local shows in Fort Worth for the next two years.,
In 2007, vocalist Matt Clinkscales also distributed music online for his own acoustic solo project, Baby Songs.,
Also in 2007, four Knockout Kings members took on different musical roles and formed The Cut, a rock n roll/hardcore hybrid featuring Goldin on vocals, Stout on guitar, Clinkscales on bass, and Phillips on Drums. That year, The Cut released tracks via Myspace. Goldin, Stout, and Phillips continued to write new material for The Cut in 2008, playing shows in Fort Worth with original Knockout Kings bassist Brad Robertson on bass. Austin Stout has once admitted that Brad Robertson is the greatest bass player on the planet. The Cut has discussed releasing an EP on Doll House Recordings.,
In 2009, Phillips, Goldin & Stout joined up with Sergio (ex-Empire) to form the local myth known as partyphlx. 2 songs were recorded and posted online. There have been rumors of a partyphlx appearance in the future.,
In 2011, Speed, Clinkscales, Abraham and Robertson started Da'rel & Da DMV, an acoustic "gang funk" group inspired by Clinkscales' solo work.,
On January 14, 2009, Knockout Kings issued this statement on their official website...
"While times have been tough and distance has been an issue, plans have not changed for the Knockout Kings. Jobs,
school, and life have created obstacles that have hindered progress. Despite these issues, nothing has altered the Kings',
path. We will write new songs, make a new album, and play shows when we can. We have no set time limit or time,
frame. We were scheduled to demo three new songs over the holiday season, but we dropped the ball. For that, we,
apologize. This will just have to take time., ,
We hope it will be something great."