Local band hoping to get enough votes to open for KISS at upcoming concert in Ohio

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By Stephen Thomas

UPDATE - 07/22: The Zoo Kings finished first in the voting for the eventful.com contest to open for KISS in Cincinnati. The top five artists in the voting moved forward in the contest. KISS band members then selected one of the top five to open their Cincinnati show. Unfortunately, The Zoo Kings were not selected. The Zoo Kings bassist Dave Moody thanked all the fans who voted and made the band the number one vote collector. He said the band was very appreciative of all the support.


HILLVIEW - A Bullitt Countian is hoping his community will help his band fulfill a musical dream.

Hillview resident Dave Moody and his rock band, The Zoo Kings, are shooting for the stars with an online voting contest, hoping to perform as the opening act at an upcoming KISS concert.

The Zoo Kings are entered in a contest on the eventful.com Web site. The contest is designed to select the opening act for legendary rock band KISS in Cincinnati July 30.

The top five bands will be personally reviewed by KISS with one selected as the opener. Through the first week of the contest The Zoo Kings were a respectable fourth place in the competition.

The locally- based band is comprised of Moody on bass guitar, along with singer/guitarist Bobby O and drummer Steven O’Reilly.

Both longtime working musicians, Moody and Bobby O began writing songs together as far back as 2002.

“We put this project together,” Moody said. “We had the material and were looking for a drummer. Steven is the lynch pin. The three of us bring the element of talent and songwriting, plus bang for the buck.”

Moody described Bobby O as “Rock and Roll epitomized,” referring to him as a great songwriter and entertainer.

O’Reilly was labeled as “very talented and energetic” on the drums.

“He’s a master,” said Moody. “Anybody that has seen him play will tell you the same ting.”

The Zoo Kings play what Moody referred to as “straight-up Rock,” playing primarily original songs.

“The best way I can describe our sound is desperate,” he said. “‘Nothing to lose’ is a good place to be.”

Moody referred to himself and band mates as professional musicians, meaning being a musician is their primary job.

“We’re not weekend warriors,” he added. “We play for a living.”

Moody is also a member of local band Jefferson TARC Bus, as well as the touring bassist for fellow Kentuckian Billy Ray Cyrus since 2007.

“I had played large crowds before, but they haven’t,” Moody said of his band mates. “I want them to feel that.”

The Zoo Kings felt the timing of the contest was perfect as far as hoping to make a musical statement in a tough industry. During the past month they recorded songs in the studio and developed a music video.

“This is something attainable that we can make reality,” Moody said. “We’re serious about this. Things can happen. You can do things. You have to work at it. We can make it happen. A little ol’ Bullitt County band opening for KISS.”

Moody, a North Bullitt graduate, noted that KISS was a band that left a large influence on his musical career.

“I’m a KISS nerd and I’m happy to admit that,” he added.

Moody actually met KISS bassist Gene Simmons in 2003 when his former band, Magnetic Flux, sent Simmons an album. Simmons met with the band in person to critique their potential.

“He liked us, but after further consideration he though we were too old and too tall,” Moody remembered. “You talk about the pot calling the kettle black... but it was all good.”

Despite personal success with Cyrus and local success with Jefferson TARC Bus, Moody yearns to fulfill a dream with his newest band project. He believed the eventful.com contest offered a perfect opportunity.

“It feels like the right mix of people and material at the right time,” he said. “There’s no regrets. I feel like Barney Fife with one bullet left in his gun.”

On a personal note, Moody hoped to meet Simmons face-to-face one more time.

“I want to ask him if I’m still too tall and too old,” he laughed.

To vote for The Zoo Kings go to www.wix.com/thezookings/vote.

“We need your help to make this happen,” said Moody. “If we work hard and you help us we can make this happen.”

The contest is sponsored by eventful.com and Guitar Center.


To view the new video by The Zoo Kings click here.