Talking Shit

Throwback Tuesdays: Saigon Kick - "I Love You"

Saigon Kick was arguably South Florida's biggest rock export in the early '90s, a band with some major hits that remains somewhat underrated, perhaps, because of the time at which it appeared. At first glance, the group, originally a quartet, had all the aesthetic stylings of a glam-metal act. But their first album didn't come out until 1991, the famous year when Kurt Cobain and his cohorts began their swift work of taking down arena rock.

But while Saigon Kick was more or less a "metal" band, the group always had a soulful side and a love for experimenting with big, trippy pop textures. Sure, their biggest hit, "Love is On the Way" in 1992, was a pretty straightforward power ballad. But take this song "I Love You," from the band's 1993 album Water. It has a weirdly fuzzy, spacey sound over tinkling drum beats that sounds a little like something Jane's Addiction would do.

Note, though, that this song doesn't feature the band's original

vocalist, Matt Kramer. During the recording sessions, he became unhappy

with the direction the band was taken, and quit. The band's

guitarist and other chief songwriter, Jason Bieler, then took over singing duties.

As far as a where-are-they-now of the band's four original members.... Drummer Phil Varone is now a comedian (here's his MySpace comedy page). Matt Kramer seems to still be based in Miami, according to his MySpace page, and is still writing and recording solo albums, and even published a book of poetry. Wikipedia claims bassist Tom DeFile is a massage therapist around these parts, but Google didn't turn up much, and what appears to be his Facebook page (lots of friends in Ft. Lauderdale) is woefully very private. Finally, Jason Bieler is co-owner with his brother Aaron of Bieler Bros. Records, which for a while was the home of latter-day South Florida hard rock exports Nonpoint.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo