Kiefer Sutherland Brings Outlaw Country Rock to Malone's

Kiefer Sutherland (yes, that Kiefer Sutherland) isn't just an actor, but also a barhopping country-rock musician.EXPAND
Kiefer Sutherland (yes, that Kiefer Sutherland) isn't just an actor, but also a barhopping country-rock musician.
Courtesy of Kiefer Sutherland

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the ‘80s, you probably know who Kiefer Sutherland is. You know him as Jack Bauer, or maybe as the blonde vampire kid from The Lost Boys. But what you probably didn’t know is that he’s been moonlighting as a country-tinged rock ‘n’ roll singer in grimy bars.

There’s a reason you likely haven’t heard about the Kiefer Sutherland Band yet, and that’s because the frontman is keeping it all relatively under the radar. A Google search only comes up with a handful of photos and tour dates (primarily from a fan site), but the latest tour date reveals that Sutherland and his band will be performing at Malone’s in Santa Ana on Saturday evening (along with Firemelon, Gone Wayside, the Whereabouts, and Chad Martini) — and it’s not the first time the band has graced the venue.

“We’re playing at Malone’s for nostalgic reasons,” Sutherland says. “It’s a place that really helped me when I was first getting started.”
While it would be easy for Sutherland to promote the band and play venues far bigger than a local dive bar, that’s not what he’s interested in. Sure, he’s planning on bringing the band on the road eventually (beginning in mid-February, for that matter), but that’s not to say you’ll see him headlining arenas or selling out amphitheatres anytime soon.

“I want to start (in bars) and stay there,” Sutherland says. “There are great music bars all across the country, many in places a lot of bands don’t go. I also enjoy the intimate setting. I enjoy connecting with a crowd of 200 or 400 people. I don’t get to do that when I’m filming, or even in theater.”

Considering that Sutherland doesn’t plan on taking his band to large venues, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he doesn’t see music as a full-time career anytime soon. Of course, the actor still takes his music plenty seriously. Sutherland spent last year recording an album (which is currently targeted for a March release date) with longtime business partner and music industry veteran Jude Cole, which was when this whole passion project really began to take off.

“I don’t look at it as a career,” Sutherland says. “It’s something I really love doing, and it’s a passion of mine. It’s not just the performing, as the thing I love most about the writing process is to actually hear a song played by the full band for the first time. It’s a fantastic moment. The nice pleasure for me is in not doing it to make a living.”

Sutherland knows that while his name might get some people in the door, it’s going to be the music that makes them stick around and become a fan of the band. Although outlaw country rock might not be cracking Top 40 radio anytime soon, Sutherland believes that anyone who comes to see his band perform will likely still enjoy themselves.

“It’s a rock band with certain country influences, and all of these guys are amazing players,” Sutherland says. “I try to explain where songs came from, because they’re all very personal and I think the crowd enjoys them with a little explanation. Most of the crowd hasn’t heard any of the songs before, but I think they can still expect a good night.”

The Kiefer Sutherland Band is at Malone's in Santa Ana on Saturday, January 30, 2016. The show starts at 7:30, with the Kiefer Sutherland Band scheduled to go on at 9:50. Tickets cost $20. More information is available on the event's Facebook page.

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