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JK NORTHRUP (King Kobra)

Guitarist JK Northrup has been a member of 80's rockers King Kobra, his own band Northrup and worked with ex-Quiet Riot vocalist Paul Shortino. With the latter the pair are working on a new album due next year through MTM.

1. What are you currently up to?

Currently am recording a new record with singer Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt). We did a record together back in 1993 called Shortino/ Northrup "Back on Track". The new album is fantastic! It is called "Northrup/Shortino II". It has a few guest artists. Singer Johnny Edwards (Foreigner, Northrup, Royal Jelly) has co-written a few songs with me and is doing a duet with Paul. There will others to be announced later. I have also been doing Mastering and recording other bands.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Certainly the highlights are that I have worked with so many huge recording stars. One of my biggest thrills was recording a song with Vinnie Appice and Tony Franklin together on a song called "Here and Gone! It was such an honor and the song turned so great. I guess one of the low points was when music changed in the early nineties. It was hard for a lot of us rockers. Fortunately, there still is a large amount of fans that still want to hear it.

3. You are currently recording a new album with Paul Shortino. How did you hook-up again and what can the fans expect on the new album?

Paul and I have been in touch pretty much every year. We always discussed doing a follow up record. Now is the time. I finished the XYZ record with Terry Ilous and even though I co-produced it, it was really Terry's record. By the time it was done I wasn't all that excited to pursue it any further. That;s when Paul and I got together and started recording. MTM Music signed us right away. Fans can expect my best work to date!! I say that with very much confidence. There isn't a weak song on it.

4. Will you be going out on tour to support the new album? How easy/hard is it to get a decent string of tour dates together?

This record would be incredible live! We'll have to see how sales are after a couple of months. I have no doubt that it will do very well.

5. The 'Back On Track' album has just been re-released. Could you take us through some highlights of the album please?

Back on Track was at first my solo record. I was going to feature several different singers. When Paul came in by suggestion of James Kottak, he totally blew my mind! He was also very impressed with my songs and we decided to have him become the singer for all of it. I am glad he did. He had more name recognition so we called it Paul Shortino featuring Jeff Northrup. Kind of ironic. The highlights again were working with such talented artists. There are also 4 bonus tracks and it was re-mastered.

6. What were the highlights of your days in King Kobra? Why did the band call it a day?

It was great working with legend like Carmine Appice. The only other highlight was my first MTV video. That was cool. Other than that...not much. The band split up when Carmine joined Blue Murder.

7. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

I got my first break when Bassist Bruce Turgon (now in Foriegnor) heard my demo. Within a couple weeks I was in L.A. recording with his band. Quiet Riot was mixing Metal Health in the same studio so I got to hang out with those guys as well. Next thing I know I am on tour with Billy Thorpe (Children of the Sun) with Bruce on bass and Frankie Banali on drums. It was awesome. We did shows with Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick and others. My main influences on guitar have always been, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, Eddie VH. Since I am self taught, I kinda went my own way after that.

8. You've covered many styles of music. Which have proved the most challenging and who would you like to work with in the future?

Music is never a challenge. It is an outlet of how I feel at that time. Although I don't think I would do well with Country music! Things have been going very well for me the past few years. I don't really have a goal to work with anyone in particular (except David Coverdale)!!!! We'll see how it goes.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I spend as much time with my three young girls. They are my life. I also love anything to do with Aliens (flying saucers), and dinosaurs. Weird Huh?? Also, American Baseball. GO GIANTS!!!

10. Message to your fans...

Thanks for being there and for all of the great e-mails! The best is yet to come, but the Northrup/Shortino album is a must. I couldn't be more proud!!

Thanks everyone.


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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