Kingvegas is also known as John Kiehne. John plays Warr Guitar, guitar, bass and sings as well as dabbling on the drums and keyboards on occasion. John also has a strong interest in riding and working on motorcycles. Though he owns 3 bikes- his favorite is his 2007 Honda CBR600rr and he rides daily.
John was born in St. Charles, Mo on June 2, 1967. He grew up in St. Charles and graduated from Francis Howell High School in 1985. As a child John played saxophone and tuba in the school band as well as guitar and bass in high school jazz band. He started performing publicly on guitar around the St. Louis area at age 15 and went on his first national tour playing bass at age 18. Over the next few years John attended both the University of Mo. St.. Louis and Webster University as well as playing with a number of St. Louis- area groups such as Lexx Luthor, the Newsboys, Mystic Voyage and Julius Williams as well as doing a number of national tours.
In 1991 John moved to Boston and played with many rock bands and singer-songwriters on bass, Chapman Stick and Warr Guitar as well as starting his own original group Smokstik featuring his Stick and Warr Guitar playing and singing. Smokstik released a CD in 1998 entitled Bugs that is available worldwide on CD and as a download. He was also featured on albums by Jim Infantino and Lawrence Fehrlinghetti.
In 2001 John returned to the St. Louis area and has played guitar, bass and Warr Guitar as well as singing in a number of local groups including his own original group Smokstik, his cover group Kingvegas, Mixtape, Swing Cat Swing, Flextasy, resistall, the Bonhomme, the House Brothers Band and many others.
John now teaches private lessons on guitar, bass and drums as well as playing a variety of cover gigs on bass and guitar and working on original material. He is also working on an instructional series for two-handed tapping on touchstyle instruments. He released a new Smokstik album 2 in 2010 and a few new Smokstik singles in 2012. He also played guitar and sang on Three Fif’s recent single Taking the Reins. Kingvegas is currently writing and producing new original material for the next Smokstik album “One” and releasing regular singles and collaborations.
Kingvegas currently performs with the following groups:
- The Funk Truck
- The Jason Nelson Band
- Chocolate Milk (duo)
Three Fifs- Taking the Reigns (single) (2012)
Smokstik- Corn Cob Bob (single) (Supergod Recordings- 2012)
Smokstik- Fill Me Up (single) (Supergod Recordings- 2012)
Smokstik- 2 (Supergod Recordings- 2010)
Munk- Anime Sweetheart (Waxboy Records- 2001)
Dana Colley/ Lawrence Ferlinghetti- Coney Island of the Mind (Rykodisc- 1999)
Smokstik- Bugs (Supergod Recordings- 1998)
Daniel Liszt- The Midnight Broadcast (Engemics Records- 1998)
Jim Infantino- Titanic (Gadfly- 1997)