Local Wire

Kingpin Entertainment Founder Talks About Organizing Skate Punk Concerts in Phoenix

Phoenicians love to combine music and skateboarding.

From Jody Foster's Army (a.k.a. JFA) to AZPX Records (and Skateboards) and beyond, skaters have been making music, supporting bands they love, and shredding empty backyard swimming pools, riding ramps, and local skate parks since the late '70s. 

Flash forward to 2016, and Valley skater Adam Richards has officially jumped into the fray with Kingpin Entertainment, a production company the 41-year-old husband and father knew he had to start. The Mesa-area native and music lover grew up skating local spots like the Wedge in Scottsdale and neighborhood launch ramps, while working his tail off to afford tickets to skate-related events.

We caught up with Richards a few days before his first official show under the Kingpin moniker, a Saturday night skate-punk show at Yucca Tap Room of epic proportions featuring Philadelphia's McRad, Los Angeles's Dead Fucking Last (D.F.L.), locals The Early Grabs, and Southern California's Since We Were Kids.

New Times: Tell us about the upcoming show.

Adam Richards: I'm super excited about the show on Saturday at Yucca. Obviously, the Early Grabs are a local favorite among ol-school skaters around the Valley, and I'm certainly no exception. Since We Were Kids is a band I kept hearing great things about, and when I saw an opportunity to have them on this bill, I was all over it. Dan Thrasher (the singer/guitarist) tells me every day how stoked he and his bandmates are to be a part of the show.

Ex-Grand Royal and Epitaph Records recording artists Dead Fucking Last is a band I've wanted to see perform since the moment I heard them. On Saturday, after 20 years of waiting, I'll finally get my chance. They've taken some time off, and now they are out playing shows again and I'm stoked. 

The headliner, McRad, played your SkaterCon International event back in January. What is it about Chuck Treece (McRad's  singer/guitar player) that makes you want to have them back out again?

Chuck Treece of McRad is the hardest-working, most prolific, down-to-earth cat you can meet. This dude is probably the most underrated musician in the game. The best thing about Chuck? He does it for the love.

I met Chuck by approaching him through social media. I was looking for bands to play the first Phoenix SkaterCon and he was very receptive. When I actually met Chuck face to face, it was like we were friends for years just picking up right where we left off.

Why start Kingpin now?

Kingpin starts now because I realize that now more than ever, people are wanting to spend less on things and more on experiences and making memories. Those you can take with you, the cool DVD you can't.

What's happening with SkaterCon? Will there be another one?

Phoenix SkaterCon 2017 is coming along. You can expect the when and where very soon, the who and why shortly after. I'm very excited for what's in store for 2017.

What else do  you have going on? Any goals for Kingpin for the rest of 2016?

Outside of Kingpin and SkaterCon, I'm pretty busy with the family life. The wife and three kids can be pretty demanding, but are also super supportive. My goals for Kingpin are to shine the spotlight on the local scene while bringing bands like DFL and McRad on as well.
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon