Meet The Band
Nikki’s baby book recorded she sang all the time at 3 years old. She has been singing “professionally since she was 15. Cedar Rapids bands included the popular “TWILIGHT” and “UPSTAGE”. She dropped out of the music scene in Cedar Rapids, moving to the Dallas area and then to Louisville, where she lived for 20 years. In that time she was active on the worship team of a church, growing to an attendance of 2500 people. In Louisville, she recorded a solo Christian project: depending on You, cover and original music, as well as a CD with her sisters. She also sang commercial jingles, backup vocals for her sister, and performed a number of solo concerts in the area.
Upon reuniting with her childhood sweetheart, she moved back to Iowa. KantiRocks was the fruition of both Mike and Nikki’s love of music and their desire to play in a band together: in their teens, they were always in competing bands.
Nikki has performed some abbreviated concerts in Iowa, as well as some solo work, in particular ‘standards’ with some of the areas top pianists.
Her interests are many and varied, ranging from scrapbooking and reading, to running, biking, RAGBRI and triathlons. She loves spending time with her husband and family.
Mike is a seasoned guitar player getting back into playing in bands after taking 18 years off from the local music scene. His musical performances started at age 15, where his resume includes local bands The American Band 1974 to 1977, High Wire 1984, James Hunn and The Hurt 1985, Avalanche 1986, and The Toys 1988 to 1990.
Mike has played at most every bar in Cedar Rapids over the years, some long gone or renamed. Anyone remember The Mirror Lounge, Polly’s Penthouse, The Bank (aka Pete N Tillys aka Tailgaters) or Mike’s Place? These bands that Mike has been a part of have opened for Republican National Conventions at The Armar Ballroom, fashion shows at Killians Downtown, outdoor festivals and several Jerry Lewis Telethons held at WMT and KCRG-TV over the years. KantiRocks is a project where Mike and Nikki get to combine their energy, vast experience and musical talents into a talent rich, entertaining band.
If you ask him, Mike will tell you he has been blessed with playing with some of the area’s best musicians over the years. Mike has been in previous bands with Doug Bright of Hostage; Tim Canfield of Akasha ; Scott Bascom of R&R Boogie Band, Headliner; Mike Sexton of The Mike Sexton Band; Sid Johnson and others. Mike has always been that guy who looks familiar but you can’t quite place from what band or from what decade for that matter. His love of music spans many years with a special interest in 80s guitar driven, big hair arena style rock.
Rick is from Bloomington, Indiana and has played guitar for 25 years. He has played in several original and cover bands in the Southern Indiana area including Step Up, Mudvein, Freedom Stomp and The Trains of Mercy, to name a few…Previous bands have opened at local Indiana venues for National acts such as Night Ranger and Henry Lee Summer. Rick has also done studio guitar work at Echo Park studios, owned and operated by Mike Wachic of the John Mellencamp band who are both local to Bloomington.
Rick’s aggressive guitar style and influences include everything from Southern Rock to Metal and most of the crazy guitar stuff in between. Rick claims the southern and 80’s rock and Mike says that Rick has that Metal edge. Check out his old pics with the “cousin it” hair to his waist and tell me you don’t see the METAL!
Rick came to Cedar Rapids for work in January of 2010. The planets aligned and it turned out that KantiRocks was searching for a guitar player to join their forces. After meeting with Mike and the rest of the band they knew that Rick would be the right person to fill the shoes of their soon to be leaving, and talented guitarist. Mike and Rick instantly hit it off with contrasting and complimentary guitar styles.
The guitar storm from Indiana has now met the one in Iowa to create that wall of rampaging guitar you will hear in KantiRocks!
John joined KantiRocks in the spring of 2010 after moving from the Indianapolis, IN area where he played with independant rock band Glass Halo. His bass playing history began in middle school when his best friend bought a guitar and started putting together his first band. John volunteered to learn bass and has been playing nearly nonstop since.
The styles he has covered range from classic 70′s jams, to metal, to backup groups for highschool showchoir and musicals, to 90′s alternative rock, and now to killer tracks from the 80′s with KantiRocks.
In 2012, John and Lora welcomed to their family a future bass player named Carter. Now staying up late (early morning) will become second hand for John. John is the newest addition to the group and is enjoying rocking out with this talented group of musicians.
Dave has been in the music business for many years, starting out on the drums in his late teens and progressed into a couple different bands. After a fruitless search for a bassist, Dave decided to change over to the Bass guitar as there were a plethora of drummers and guitarists in the town he resided in. It wasn’t long before that band dissolved and Dave was left with a decision to make, “Do I stay on the Bass or do I go back to the Drums?” Dave decided to stay on the Bass guitar.
From 1986 to 2010, Dave was the thunderous sounds of many bands. Whether copying note for note what the original artist wrote for a cover song, taking it a little further and adding his own style to the mix of a cover song, or laying down the tracks to an original was an easy task for Dave. Adapting to the Bass was an extension from the drums, keeping in that window of the rhythm section of the band.
In April 2010, Dave left the band he was in to pursue a career, moving back to the drums. After one failed attempt at a start-up band, Dave saw a message on Face Book from Mike Davidson, stating their drummer, Larry, was leaving the band and if anyone was interested. Dave replied and the rest is history. Dave hope’s to be with the band for a long time to come, liking the list of songs the band performs and the talent of the musicians.
Dave is also an avid motorcyclist. He also is a facilitator for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at Kirkwood Community College. Dave really likes helping people on their journey into the motorcycling community. Along with his wife, Beth, they take their kids on day trips around Iowa and surrounding states. Never more than about four hours away in any one direction.
Dave is a happy camper.