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Check Out Eric Kleiner’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Kleiner.

Hi Eric, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
We all started playing together about five years ago as Headlight Rivals. After years of playing with others bands in the area, we decided we wanted to do something different from our old punk roots and started a pop-rock trio. We have played hundreds of shows ranging anywhere from people’s basements to opening for big acts and everything in between. We have also toured a bit as well. However, that halted when Covid started. Previous to Covid, we put out a full-length record called “Mattson”. We are very proud of the record and can’t wait to make another one. “Mattson” was released on Kansas City’s own punk rock record label, Black Site Records! We have a few upcoming shows. Our first show back is at our home base and favorite bar on earth, Auntie Maes. We are ready to ROCK again!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Covid has been a huge struggle for us and every other band who is playing a lot of shows and touring. It’s been really hard not being able to see our friends that own venues and other bands that we love. However, besides Covid it has been very awesome and so much fun! Nothing is better than hitting the road for a tour!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Rock & Roll is our business and we specialize in pop-rock! As a band, we are known for being a three-piece, hook heavy, fuzz machine. We are proud of many things that we have done, one being that we released a record (“Mattson”) on Black Site Records and another is just having people that like our music and come out to shows. But we also like the simple things, like just having a band with three friends who get along. Around here, we set apart from other acts because we are really diverse. Even though our business is rock music, we have many songs that could cross over into different genres. We are different because we just like playing the music that we like without feeling that we have to fit into a certain group or scene. This makes it easy to play shows with bands from many different backgrounds and genres which comes in handy a lot.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Networking is very important. I think that most bands either need to hire help or form a team of people to help them run things. Social media has been very helpful for us to let people know about shows and releases we are having, especially Facebook and Instagram. Also, having friends in other bands and a label helps too. Anyone who will help promote your act is great! Though, the most important thing is making connects through other bands. Our home base is one of the first stops on I-70 for bands to come and play at if they are from the west. We have gained many friends in Colorado, which makes setting up shows and tours much easier. This is how we met our friends from the very talented Colorado bands, Pink Fuzz and The Velveteers. We are not only great buddies now, but we help each other out when we can. It’s just good to have a large support system and help when needed. It’s the best way to network.

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Image Credits

Carlos Salazar

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