If there were such a thing as a musical equivalent to a Grand Band Slam Halley's Comet, the Donut Kings would be it. The quirky, post-punk quartet last orbited into GBS circles in the year 2000. And with the 2012 nod for Best Noise/Experimental, founding Donut King fretman Rikk Desgres says that it appears the stars have truly aligned.
"I think the category fits us better than ever, as we have recently taken on some very odd instrumentation," he says of the decision to trade his bass for a tenor guitar, of bandmate Bob Haberern's swapping out his axe for a Chapman stick (an electric fretboard tapped with two hands) and of the addition of Mike Jekot, who will assume bass and guitar duties.
"It's a big challenge for both Bob and me, for sure," Desgres says, "but it has brought out the wonder in us, and we are having the time of our lives doing it."
The Donut Kings first rolled onto the local circuit in 1986—offering a novelty/odd-lyric bent and a unique amalgam of surf, hard rock, funk and social commentary. They have even put out an entire album of Halloween songs and been featured on the Dr. Demento show.
"Our long career as a band can only be attributed to no one telling us to stop or give up," the Valley veteran says. "People have told us to turn down... and we have... but we never stopped playing."
With the current lineup/instrumentation in place, Desgres says that the Kings plan to hold court in-studio for much of 2012—creating and honing a batch of tunes for what will soon occupy the 10th position on the band's discography.
"Who knows? Maybe we'll win again in another 12 years," Desgres offers with a chuckle. "Is there a 'Best Geriatric Rockers That Never Quit' category yet?"