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Kriss Ward

On The Beat with Kriss Ward

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)

This week's On The Beat features one of Kansas City's most longstanding and voracious drummers, Kriss Ward of Federation of Horsepower. Kriss will be playing his last show with Federation of Horsepower this Friday before he relocates to Austin. We sit down with him and find out where he's been and what's coming next. Catch the beat right here!

On The Beat is typically brought to you by Sergio Moreno, but has been overtaken this week by drummer and The Deli - Kansas City editor-in-chief Michelle Bacon. This weekly interview features some of the many talented drummers in the area.

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On The Beat with Kriss Ward


Kriss Ward has been one of the toughest, most animated drummers in Kansas City for several years. This Friday, September 14, he'll be playing his last show with Federation of Horsepower before he moves to Austin. We talk to Kriss about his rock n roll career in town and see what's ahead.

The Deli: How did the drums find you?

Kriss Ward: My first instrument was bass guitar, then I dedicated a lot of time to vocals before finally doing what I always wanted to do. I started playing almost 20 years ago and went right to work.

The Deli: Besides Federation of Horsepower, what other bands have you drummed in?

Kriss: I've played with The Last of the V8s, The Lustertones, Ramalamas, Phaze II, Savage 7, Bloodfeast (Misfits tribute), Funhouse (Stooges tribute) and various cover bands.

The Deli: You're one of the most powerful, emotive drummers I've ever seen around here. Where does all that energy come from, and what's your approach? 

Kriss: I'm a show drummer. I want people to get off on the beat! I just play every show like it's my last, and at my age I never know! Haha! My approach to drumming is to let fucking loose!

The Deli: What type of kits do you use?

Kriss: I play Pearl drums, always have since I started. They're durable and tough-sounding drums.

The Deli: Obligatory question: favorite drummers?

Kriss: Eric Singer, Tommy Aldridge, Cozy Powell, Bill Ward: old-school drummers that swing hard.

The Deli: Do you have any big surprises in store for the big Federation show on Friday?

Kriss: FOHP has been really busy this summer, probably busier than ever. Even though the band has released only one studio release in 10 years, we have been asked to play all over the Midwest and Texas so we don't have a lot of time to bust out many surprises. But if you've followed the band over the last 10 years, you will not be disappointed this Friday.

The Deli: What will you miss the most about playing with the guys in Federation?

Kriss: We are one big family and that's what I'll miss most.

The Deli: Do you plan to join other projects once you're settled in your new home in Austin?

Kriss: I always find myself in a project no matter where I go, it's just natural. There's no doubt that I will play in Austin, but nothing lined up right now.

The Deli: Say Gregg [Todt] calls you up in 10 years for a 20-year Federation reunion. You up for it? 

Kriss: Gregg is my big bro. We have the same rock heroes and take the same approach to the stage. The connection between the front man and the drummer is what the "rock show" is. We will play together again, I know we will.

The Deli: Is there anything you'll miss about KC music?

Kriss: I will miss Davey's Uptown. The KC scene has always been modern and artsy; Federation of Horsepower is neither one of those.

Kriss will be pounding out the beat with Federation of Horsepower at The Brick this Friday. The lineup will feature The Buddy Lush Phenomenon, followed by an evening of songs by every former and current member of Federation. This show and Kriss's brilliant drumming is definitely not to be missed.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. Her favorite food is Laksa. Ever had it? Probably not.

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Kriss Ward

Photo by Todd Zimmer

Federation of Horsepower - Stay Down





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