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Malcolm in the Bandshell
STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff
, Staff Writer
While the Fourth of July in Lititz is usually a star-studded event, this year’s celebration will be more than fireworks and candles. The headlining band in the all-day entertainment schedule is Kingsfoil, a York group that features Hollywood celebrity Frankie Muniz on drums.
Tracking down this band for an interview is no easy task. Their manager has been in the Caribbean for the past 10 days, the band recently finished a European tour, when they’re home they’re bouncing back and forth between their York base and Muniz’s home in Arizona, and this weekend they’ll be in Los Angeles shooting a video for their song "Grapevine Valentine."
The Record Express finally caught up with lead singer Jordan Davis Tuesday night as he was finishing demo work in York with fellow band co-founder and guitarist Tristan Martin. Kingsfoil also features Tim Warren from Hummelstown on bass, and Muniz on drums.
The July 4 crowd in Lititz Springs Park may be more familiar with Muniz’s work as the star of Fox’s hit sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," which aired from 2000 to 2006, or as Agent Cody Banks on the movie screen. After a brief career in auto racing, he traded the driver’s seat for a drum stool with Kingsfoil in April of last year.
While a collaboration between a York rock band and a Hollywood star seems unlikely, Muniz and Kingsfoil were being managed by the same company. They were introduced while Kingsfoil was auditioning drummers (their original drummer left to start a family). The chemistry was good, Muniz was interested, they recorded some songs, and a year later they’re center stage at America’s longest-running Fourth of July celebration.
Talking to Davis Tuesday night (Muniz was in Arizona and unavailable for the interview), he acknowledged that the media’s constant attention on their drummer is a bit repetitive, but he’s completely comfortable with the distraction. In his mind, Kingsfoil is four friends making music that they like; simple as that.
"It can get annoying," he said regarding the media focus. "A question that comes to mind is ‘How has your fan base changed now that Frankie is part of the group?’ That’s a very common one. It makes sense; people want to know that. Or, ‘Do you feel overshadowed?’ There are questions you get tired of answering, because it’s always the same answer. I can’t think of an interesting way to answer the same question again. It gets tedious, but only for that reason. At the same time, I’m very happy and lucky to be answering any questions at all. I’m definitely not complaining."
The short answers to those common questions: the fan base is growing, and there’s no celebrity-driven animosity in the band. He does admit that Muniz gets most of the attention from girls after the show, but is quick to point out (jokingly) that drummer attraction is an industry standard, not a "Frankie Phenomenon."
So, while the current make-up of this group that started in York 10 years ago is extremely unusual, to Davis and the other local players it just seems meant to be.
"It’s a very unique situation," he said. "There’s no doubt about it."
The transition past celebrity was seamless, Davis said, adding that he hasn’t had a TV for at least a decade so he wasn’t really familiar with Muniz’s acting career anyway. The focus now is on the band. As a self-funded indie group, they’ve been touring constantly in order to reinvest in their craft. Over the years they’ve been on the road with well-known acts like Creed and Everclear. But they also love returning to their roots, and they consider the Chameleon in Lancaster to be their hometown club, not too unlike another York favorite that hit it big a few years ago – Live.
With all the constant movement – Davis says the rock and roll lifestyle is more work than play, and he likes it that way – coming home for a gig in Lititz is a nice break.
"It’s almost a hometown show," he said. "We practice in Hershey and play in Lancaster a lot. It’s a show that a lot of our friends can come see."
Just keep in mind that when Kingsfoil takes the stage here July 4, you shouldn’t expect the Frankie Muniz show. What should you expect?
"It’s a fun day to begin with," Davis said. "Hopefully the people can take some energy from us and have an awesome Fourth."
For full details on all of the Fourth of July festivities, services and ticket prices, visit the park website at lititzspringspark.org.
For more information on Kingsfoil, and to hear some of their music before the show, visit their website at kingsfoil.com.
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