John Morgan Kimock talks first drum kits, Mike Gordon Band, & more

by Lizzie Morelli


Growing up in the shadow of a musical parent can be both a blessing and a challenge, especially when that parent makes a name doing what they love. Fortunately for John Morgan Kimock, his path has led him to a name of his own as well as a brand new album ‘Satelite City’, which he recorded with his father, Steve Kimock. I recently had the chance to pick John’s brain on exactly what it was like growing up Kimock, touring with Mike Gordon, and some other musical experiences as well. For now he is on the road with Kimock in support of their new album Satellite City.

When did you get your first drum set? Who gave it to you?

I think I was three or four. I got a little black one that was suited for my height. I think I had started learning beats that year but couldn’t reach the pedals. I do not remember but this gets recounted to me from time to time.

Did you grow up admiring your father (Steve Kimock) as a musician?

Oh yeah! When I got back into music in my teenage years, his band was responsible for helping me to understand things musically. I couldn’t have gotten that education anywhere else. I watched them, I would sit in on rehearsals and I would watch them play shows.

What was it like growing up Kimock?

That is tough to put into words. I am still, very much, in the middle of that, even now in my twenties.

My mom raised me and is responsible for the person I am today. I unfortunately don’t get to see her as often as I would like to. She lives out west and I am on the east coast.

My dad is responsible for bringing me into music. He has very patiently dealt with me over the course of a decade now.  At this point we tell each other what we need to hear and there’s a lot of love there, but it wasn’t always easy. Especially when we started trying to collaborate. It makes me happy to have an album under our belts though. It is a big step for us. Go get Satellite City!

Did you always think you would be a professional musician or did you have different aspirations earlier on?

I was into martial arts for a long time and didn’t really play drums. I did lots of jiu-jitsu! At one time I thought I would be doing something with that; I still might.  Jiu-Jitsu is one thing in life that can’t be replaced by anything else, and I miss the hell out of training.

How did you start playing with Mike Gordon?

I think first time we met up we played for an afternoon. Then grabbed some lunch. It was just an invitation to play and meet up for a day. In passing I glanced down and his socks were amazing, I mentioned it, but he didn’t really respond.  I didn’t think he heard me, or he seemed pre-occupied. Unknowingly though, I had his full attention, when I got home there was a package of very colorful “sox” and a thank you note waiting for me.

Mike is a very thoughtful human.

In terms of joining the band, it may have been Joe Russo who relayed it, Joe has been a advocate for me over the course of my career. He said that Mike and I might play well together, and we did.  I can’t thank him enough for that. I’ve met some of the best people since working with Mike.

What’s the weirdest thing you have ever encountered on tour?

Probably, the Oregon Country Fair.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most of the music I enjoy doesn’t include drums.

Tell us about a “this is fucking cool” moment!

The first time I listened to “The Books.” They have trained my ears. Thank you Reed Mathis!

What is your favorite place music has taken you thus far?

Music has taken me so many places. I’d have to say Vermont, though. Vermont is the home I never knew existed! Long-term bliss.

How would you describe your playing style?

Hopefully, Meaningful.

What’s next on the agenda?

Twelve day Kimock tour in support of the new album Satellite City. We’ve got Leslie Mendelson and Andy Hess with us on this run. Then I have New Years Eve with Kat Wright!  Following that, I will play Jamcruise w. Voodoo Dead & Kat Wright . Then in February, I will go back out on tour with Mike Gordon in support of OGOGO.

Why is music important?

Music heals!

Tell us a story that we haven’t heard before…

First time, which turned into many times playing with Bernie Worrell and George Porter Jr. both are incredible people. We had all gotten together Me, Steve and Bernie, and George did a gig in New York on a whim. That gig really blossomed into an unexpected relationship for me. I will treasure my relationship with those two until my last days.


Satellite City Tour – Kimock 

11/8 World Cafe Live Phila, PA

11/9 The Kent Stage Kent, OH w. Kimock

11/24 – Ardmore Music Hall – w. Gatos Blancos & Cabinet

12/15,16 – Cervantes Otherside Denver Colorado (Steve Kimock, Jeff Chimenti, John Morgan Kimock, Andy Hess, Leslie Mendelson)

12/30-31 – Higher Ground Burlington VT w. Kat Wright

1/13 – Sunshine Music Festival St. Petersburg FL

1/16-21 Jam Cruise w. Voodoo Dead & Kat Wright


Mike Gordon Winter 2018

2/09 – Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA

2/10 – Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR

2/11 – Montbleu Resort Casino, Stateline, NV

2/12 – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA

2/14 – The Independent, San Francisco, CA

2/15 – The Independent, San Francisco, CA

2/16 – Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA

2/17 – Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA

2/19 – Belly Up, Solana Beach, CA

2/20 – 191 Toole, Tucson, AZ

2/21 – The Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

2/23 – Emo’s, Austin, TX

2/24 – House of Blues, Dallas, TX



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