Mark Kasprzyk used to be known as Kazzer. That was about a decade ago. Although he got some traction with the song “Pedal to the Medal”, Kazzer was only a brief flash in the pan in mainstream music. Now years later, Mark Kasprzyk is no longer Kazzer. He’s just Kaz and he’s front and center in a new project he started called Redlight King.
For the few people out there that are familiar with Kazzer, it might be difficult to make the connection between Kazzer and Redlight King. The new music is advanced and more modern that what we heard with Kaz’s former project. To Kaz’s credit he’s still got that seemingly effortless flow, but these songs take a more introspective approach. You can definitely hear that on Redlight King’s first single “Old Man.” Not everyone will recognize Kaz on first listen, but very few won’t be able to recognize the legendary Neil Young with a sample from Young’s original song from 1972. Getting Young to sign off for use on the sample wasn’t easy. But after a relentless effort to make contact with the esteemed musician, Kaz was able to do it. In a recent interview with Alternative Addiction, Kaz explained how it happened.
“We finished it and mastered it and the process of getting the sample cleared was next. So that leads me up to try and get this cleared for this great song. I thought ‘well I just want people to hear it. I think it sounds very cool and it’s important and it’s got an icon singing in the chorus. Basically everyone said no. We got it to his manager and his manager said no. I didn’t give up because I felt like until Neil who’s the artist who wrote that song, until he says no I don’t think it’s fair that people are saying no just because he’s a legend and he’s iconic and no one touches his art. He has the biggest integrity of all of the artists ever combined, you can’t do it it’s sacrilegious. I thought it’s not sacrilegious, it’s using the inspiration and the gut feeling of what he felt back then. It’s a new song, I’m not ripping him off. I’m paying him homage. I just wanted him to hear it. He actually heard it and when he did hear it, he said yes right away. He got it. He heard the song and he totally felt it. So, there ya go. Until you hear it from the artist, you never know what they’re going to say. The worst thing they’re going to say is no.”
Redlight King’s “Old Man” is at radio now and it’s getting some great responses so far. But the song is much more than a single to Kaz, it’s a starting point for a second chance. The sample is only a part of the song, the rest of the song comes from a very dark part in Kaz’s life when he very nearly killed himself.
“I wrote that song originally with that idea just trying to be creative. I never expected much from it. At the time I was in a really dark place and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out. Part of the reason I wrote the song “Old Man” was for my old man to leave something behind for him that wasn’t all dark blaming him because I had such a falling out. I had major issues with all of that. That’s what inspired me to write the song. From then until now there have been different versions of the song because I had taken the Neil Young sample out because I just wanted that in there for inspiration. When I heard that song it made me think of my old man and I wanted to write a song like that for my old man that was very cool and very real.”
You can find Redlight King’s single “Old Man” on iTunes now. The album is scheduled to be released this summer.