The Kings of Chaos lineup sounds like it has come straight from Rock and Roll Heaven.
The front men are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, along with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. The Cult’s Billy Duffy and Steve Stevens of Billy Idol’s band are the guitarists, and the rhythm section is Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Matt Sorum, formerly of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, who is both the drummer and the band mastermind.
“It’s a kick-ass band,” Sorum says, laughing. “In a way, it’s testing of the highest order. Anyone who’s in this band can graduate from the University of Rock and Roll. And everyone is just on their game. It’s great to see.”
With so many A-listers in the band, some might expect a battle of egos, but Sorum says they are all on the same page. “We want to give the people the songs they love and that they are going to rock to,” he says, calling from his California home. “There is not a song in the set that’s a sleeper.”
To do that, the Kings of Chaos are happy to work together. “We are all fans of each other,” Sorum says. “I don’t want a singer to show up who doesn’t want to rehearse or has to have their own dressing room. Nah. That ain’t happening here. This is a professional rock and roll band. Everyone steps up. Everyone comes to rehearsal and sound check. The last thing you want to do is play someone else’s song wrong.”
And the multigenerational band leads to different approaches to classic material from these artists’ catalogs.
It means Linkin Park’s Bennington will get to sing some classics from The Cult. Zander not only handles some Cheap Trick standards, but also works on ZZ Top songs with Gibbons. Response to the shows — both from the band members and the fans — has been so strong that there are already plans to extend it into next year, though coordinating so many schedules is a challenge in itself.
“As a musician, you never want to become dormant,” Sorum says. “Playing other people’s music, you learn so much. It makes you a better musician.”
WHO Kings of Chaos
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Sunday, The Paramount, Huntington; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Irving Plaza, Manhattan
INFO $44.50-$124.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com