NEON NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS Wild Boyz
WILLIE D - VOCALS
JOEY WYLDE - BASS
VALENTINO - GUITARS
MATT STEAVANZ - GUITARS
K. LEE LAUREN - DRUMS
ACTIVE 1989 - 1994
LATEST RELEASE: I DON'T WANNA CRY NO MORE - SINGLE
Much has been said about the Wild Boyz in the years that have passed, much is wrong...
Indisputably, Wild Boyz was the largest-drawing unsigned act in Sunset history, selling more than 1,000 tickets for each and every show they played. No small feat considering the clubs on the Strip held less than 500 at full capacity. Fueled by a more focused approach to the music industry, Wild Boyz chose to arm themselves with information, education, and a steel-girder-like work ethic—along with exhaustive writing and rehearsal schedules, they hit the scene with a fervor to succeed. They definitely weren’t your typical Sunset Strip act; they were a business plan. Not in a corporate way, but in a more methodical, data-driven way. Sure, they loved the music industry as it was, they loved their fans, they loved performing, and they loved the music they listened to and wrote—all that was 100% authentic. But in truth, they were simply more of a hedge fund approach to the music industry than most bands of their genre. Better. Stronger. Smarter.
A brief history…
In the summer of 1989, drummer/songwriter K. Lee Lauren and bassist/songwriter Joey Wylde formed the Wild Boyz from the remnants of their previous band, Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray had only played a little more than a handful of gigs on the Sunset Strip between 1986 and 1988, but they sold out every performance they played, even 3-headlining gigs held at the famous 1,000-seater Country Club. This was the very same venue where, Sylvester Stallone saw the fight that inspired the motion picture, “Rocky”.
After a nation-wide talent search and with the addition of vocalist Willie D. and guitarists Valentino and Matt Steavanz, the band was ready to set “The Strip” on fire again. Willie D. was not your typical Sunset Strip type. He was southern, he was smart, he was hard-working—and he was incredibly talented. Speaking of talented, Valentino was the epitome of talent. A guitar player extraordinaire, a vocalist, a showman like no other—and more importantly, he was rock and roll through and through. Matt Steavanz, oh yeah, Matt Steavanz. Matt was not only a talented guitar player, but he was the type of guy who he oozed charisma, charm, had an A-list personality, as well as an infectious sense of humor. Oh, and yeah—boy could he play. Which leads us to Joey Wylde. Joey was the musical genius of the band; he was without question the musical mind of the Wild Boyz sound. He was a multi-instrumentalist, a singer, a songwriter, and a businessman. Smart, talented, and passionately invested into the musical direction of the band; Joey was the backbone that held Wild Boyz together. Finally, we have K. Lee Lauren. If Joey was the backbone, K. Lee, was the musculature of the band. K. Lee was the heart, the soul, the heartthrob, and the business and lyrical leader of Wild Boyz. With impeccable timing and a hard and heavy approach to the drums, his simple rhythms were the threading that held Wild Boyz in the groove. Possessing a keen business sense, an intelligent approach to simplifying words, and a wholehearted desire to bring Wild Boyz to life, K. Lee pushed the band to be more, to be better, and to just plain—BE.
Writing and rehearsing up to 50 hours a week for many, many months straight, and knowing they had something special, Lauren and Wylde set out to give the world what they felt was the most talented, most entertaining, and most hard-working band to ever come out of LA. Within months they were back on top, selling out every club performance they contracted to. This time, the LA Fire Marshall came calling, stating that their attendance was “too big” to be safely held at any of the LA-based clubs. So, they compromised, they would allow the Fire Marshall to segment their audience into 20-minute portions during their ‘hour-and-thirty’ minute scheduled performance. This worked well, it also enabled them to advertise their attendance records before and after every show. By this time, “The Boyz” had garnered national media attention and plenty of record label attention as well, along with numerous guest appearances from big-time players like Jon Bon Jovi, Janie Lane and members of the “who’s who” of practically every A-list musical artist in Hollywood at the time. Using two specified live performances as showcases, they attracted the attention of start-up indie label, Polaris Records, which eventually came with a major distribution deal in several countries. They were on their way – or were they on their way out? Recording their debut release, “Wild Boyz Unleashed!” for under $20,000 in 1990, opting to spend their budget on lensing a video for, “I Don’t Wanna Cry No More”, in addition to bankrolling a touring package to enable them to perform for and meet their fans, they planned and prepped the, “Unleashed! In Your City” tour, heading out onto the road in late 1991 to support, “Unleashed!” Although the Wild Boyz were very well received on tour, selling out many of their headlining gigs, as well as support shows opening for artists such as Stryper, Britny Fox & Shotgun Messiah, and even though their radio-friendly, “I Don’t Wanna Cry No More” was burning up the likes of both AOR and CHR radio, in addition to college radio stations throughout the US, and MTV was airing the video in light rotation, their days were numbered. It was now the summer of 1992 and like a thief in the night, Grunge had been crowned the new King, dominating both National radio and MTV, this new-fangled music style was everything the Wild Boyz were not. Grunge was the new future of music, leaving image-based acts like Wild Boyz to either die a slow death or to fade away gracefully. Fortunately, “The Boyz” chose the latter.
Much has been said about the Wild Boyz in the years that have passed, much is wrong. In truth, they were a rare live act, with more energy and showmanship than many a rock legend. Wild Boyz wrote the kind of music that was never intended to be taken too seriously, but they were a band that took what they did, and how it impacted their audience—very seriously!