The Kid Vicious is loyal to bass

The Kid Vicious stays true to his eclectic style by bringing a fusion of electronic music genres to Bar Fly.

EDM producer Steven Klinger, known by the stage name The Kid Vicious, works on an unfinished track in his home studio in Minneapolis on Friday. He plans to debut new songs at a show with Flava D on Tuesday, Jan. 20th at Barfly.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

EDM producer Steven Klinger, known by the stage name The Kid Vicious, works on an unfinished track in his home studio in Minneapolis on Friday. He plans to debut new songs at a show with Flava D on Tuesday, Jan. 20th at Barfly.

Mary Reller

Local electronic dance music artist Steven Klingler — better known by his DJ/producer name the Kid Vicious — has an unclassifiable sound that mixes things up.

From Latin-inspired songs to house to dubstep, Klingler jumps around between electronic genres but always maintains the bass. Klingler’s main goal is to play something the crowd hasn’t heard before, he said.

“My biggest problem is that I like to play too many different types of music, and therefore I end up making stuff in all those different genres,” Klingler said.

He performs Tuesday night at Bar Fly for Amplitude #252.

Electronic dance music is commonly affiliated with drug use, but Klingler said he’s been completely sober since the 1990s.

“I had done all my drugs before I even went to my first rave,” he said. “You can dance to the music without being messed up.”

Klingler has recently found a variety of successes. His collaborative album hit No. 1 on the worldwide online music store Beatport. He’s had one of his remixes played by Dave Nada, “the father of moombahton,” at SXSW. And this past fall he opened at the main stage at the Safe In Sound music festival.

Alex Heiligman, Twin Cities Dubstep promoter and booking manager at Skyway Theatre, said he’s known Klingler for a few years and has watched him grow as an artist.

“He is very professional and reliable,” Heiligman said. “He has a different approach than other artists, and that makes him very well rounded and able to adapt to any situation. It gives him a unique flavor. I’d say he’s definitely one of the next up-and-coming people in the area.”

Klingler’s music career first started when he started drumming at age 10. He’s played in bands for many years, but his interest in electronic music grew after going to raves in college during the birth of the drum-and-bass genre in the 1990s.

“[Drum and bass] took the two things I loved the most, the bass and the feel of hip-hop, and it sped it up to the pace of my hyperactive self,” Klingler said.

Despite the pseudonym, most music by the Kid Vicious isn’t vicious at all, Klingler said.

“I used to go by ATN, which was supposed to be like an abbreviation for Ãâtienne, which is Steven in French, and I thought that was clever, but it was actually really confusing for people and they kept thinking it was ATM, like automated teller machine,” he said.

The Kid Vicious was a name thrown out when Klingler and a friend were brainstorming names for a clothing company several years ago, he said. It alludes to punk musician Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.

“The older I get, the less I think it’s an appropriate name. Like maybe I’ll have to switch to Old Man Vicious … or I’ll just go to TKV,” the 36-year-old said.

Originally from Maryland, Klingler moved to Minneapolis from Philadelphia to attend recording school at McNally Smith College of Music, known then as Music Tech. He’s stayed here ever since.

“I fell in love with the city,” he said. “Minneapolis is a really rad town. A lot of DJs that come here will tell us backstage that this is legitimately one of their favorite places to play,” Klingler said.

The fast-paced environment and fear of messing up are all part of the experience as a DJ/producer, Klingler said.

“You get to hit this sort of Zen moment when you’re on the stage where you get in this flow, and everything is going right, and that’s what makes it awesome,” Klingler said. “As long as I keep feeling that buzz from it, then I’ll keep doing it, and the moment that goes away I’ll set it down.”

 

What: Amplitude #252 (feat. the Kid Vicious)

When: 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Bar Fly main room, 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $3-5­­

Ages: 18+