Xenia Sandstrom-Mag Uidhir as the DEMON

Born in early 1970, Xenia Sandstrom-Mag Uidhir (KSEN-ya McGuire) was raised in rural Black Hawk County, Iowa  in a home next to the creek and railroad. Xenia comes from an extended family of professional musicians / music educators and cattle ranchers from the Sandhills of northwestern Nebraska.  All music was fair game in this household.  "Before I was 7 my favorite albums were Chicago at Carnegie Hall, Funkadelic Lets Take it to the Stage, Glenn Gould Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Beatles White Album, Jesus Christ Superstar (with Ian Gillan & The Grease Band), Dave Brubeck Time Out.  

"My introduction to KISS came in the mid 1970s from my babysitter  She would bring over stacks of LPs and we'd listen and air-guitar jam..  Despite our age difference, (I was 6, she was 16) I wanted to impress her.  I got my chance during a shopping trip with my mom. I really wanted a Stretch Armstrong, but I also wanted KISS Alive!  So, my mother gave me the ultimatum I could have one or the other, but not both

--- I opted for the LP.  And spent much of the rest of my First Grade listening to that album while looking at the pictures and imagining what the live show looked like."

On Playing the Demon:
"So I remember when I was 7, the three biggest things in the world were Star Wars, Rocky, and KISS. Any one of those set the mind for countless hours of daydreaming fantasies.  Now, as time has passed, I realize just how much hard work it is. Especially since we are dedicated to portraying the early active and raw KISS-- when they were all in their early 20s.  So, I spend about 1 hour before each show warming up my back and my legs and keeping them limber, going through Martial Arts forms-- and keeping hydrated. Because usually by the fourth tune we are all pretty much drenched in our own sweat.  As far as the character.  I am normally much more of a John Entwistle, stand stoically and hold everyone together type player, and I'm kind of a "prude"  SO, I just think, what would I normally do...then I do the complete opposite and it turns into "The Demon..." 

Xenia Plays: 1978 Black Gibson Ripper;  Schecter Devil Bass through a Mesa Boogie Buster 200 with SVT 810E cab. (But really, if you hand her anything with four strings, she'll make it work ;)

Xenia's Favorites
Star Sign: Aquarius
Myers-Briggs: ENTP
Lucky Number: 13
Talisman: Swan / Cygnus

Favorite Color: Burgundy, Burnt Orange (and Black, Forest Green, Midnight Blue)
Favorite pastimes: Bucking stereotypes, upsetting people's expectations, debunking superstitions....well that, and playing darts (cricket)
Favorite Drink(s)
: Black & Dark Caribou Coffee; tap water; Lupulin Como Sapien IPA; Lift Bridge Hop Dish IPA; 18 year old Macallan (or any 15 year and old Single Malt Whisky)  though I will settle for a shot of Wild Turkey Rye or Bushmills. Pinot Noir;
Favorite Food: homemade pizza topped with whatever is nearing expiration date.

Favorite Singers: Krista Sandstrom, Erika Miklosa, Kathleen Battle, Ferruccio Furlanetto
Favorite Pop Singers: Rosemary Clooney, Aretha, Ian Gillan, James Brown, John Arch
Favorite Guitarists: Les Paul, Adrian Belew, Brian May, Sharon Isbin; Syd Barrett, Mark Knopfler
Favorite Bass Players:  Jaco, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Levin, Carol Kaye, Macca, Geddy
Favorite Drummers: Zakir Hussain, Max Roach, Ringo, Gene Krupa; Bill Ward
Favorite Keyboardists: Herbie Hancock; Gonzalo Rubalcaba; Bill Evans, Marc-Andre Hamelin
Favorite Bands: The Beatles; Queen, Jethro Tull, Indigo Girls, The Who (Live); BS&T

Favorite Composers: Bach, Bela Bartok, Franz Josef Haydn, Josquin, Ravel, Vincenzo Galilei
Favorite Works of Art: "Don Giovanni" (1787) opera by Mozart / da Ponte; the late String Quartets by Beethoven
Favorite Visual Artist: JMW Turner, da Vinci
Favorite Authors: Carl SaganPlatoJohn Dewey
Favorite Naturalists: Charles Darwin and Sir David Attenborough
Favorite Maritime Vessel: Boaty McBoatface

Demon in Wadena (photo: Niki Smith)
Favorite Movies: Captain Blood; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Apollo 13, Young Frankenstein
Favorite TV Shows: Have Gun Will Travel; Trackdown; Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes; The Rifleman; Vera, Law and Order Criminal Intent
Favorite Radio Program: Pipe Dreams with Michael Barrone
Favorite Comic Book Characters: 
        DC- Wonder Woman; Marvel - Storm and Spiderman
What AD&D Character are you?  Neutral Good Half-Elf Ranger (1st Edition)
Favorite LOTR Character: Sam

Favorite Doctor: Tom Baker 
Kirk or Picard? hmmmm....thats a tough Paladin from HGWT!
Who would win a fight between Han Solo and Indiana Jones? It would be a draw, Han would shoot first, but Indy would be saved by some dumb luck, like a Gasan string drum falling over just in time to absorb the blaster fire.
Favorite Vikings: Alan Page #88; Joe Kapp #11
Microsoft or Apple? Linux
First Computer: 1983 Commodore 64 with a 300 bpm modem (it still works)
Favorite video games: Ultima IV; Sid Meier's Pirates.
First Stadium Concert: Iron Maiden, 7th Son 1988, Five Season Center, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Favorite Iron Maiden album: Killers


Seek to Understand and Always Assume Positive Intent

Convictions are more dangerous enemies to truth than lies

Critically Question your own beliefs everyday without Fear

The Un-examined Life is not worth living

Destruction is weakness ~ True Power is Creating

When not playing the Demon with KISSin Time USA
Since moving to the Twin Cities in 1993, Xenia Sandstrom-Mag Uidhir has been active as a session musician, historian, music educator, and Liberal Arts Education advocate. She holds a Master of Arts in Musicology from the University of Minnesota and B.A.’s in Philosophy and Classical Languages from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa---spent a year studying Analytic Philosophy and Welsh at the University of Nottingham, UK. 
Xenia teaches private students in Electric Bass, Classical Guitar, and beginning Piano and has taught Music History, Theory and small group ensembles at Augsburg College and the McNally-Smith College of Music co-developing the Music History curriculum for NASM accreditation. Between 2004-2008 She served as Musicologist and study guide author for the Minnesota High School Music Listening Contest and is the treasurer and webhost for the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies.
Xenia continues to sit in on sessions: the bass player for Shoop! an 11 piece vocal jazz ensemble; pit orchestra bassist for Ashland Productions in Maplewood, MN. She routinely performs as the only non-Health professional with The New Prescriptions and is an occasional chorister with the Minnesota Chorale, the symphonic chorus for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Outside of music, you can find her camping (during all four seasons) and Nordic skiing in the Minnesota State Parks. Is a Fencing Foil specialist and a practicing Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts under Master Jake Erling from The Art Martial Arts in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. she lives in Como Park  with two children, two cats and dog, 

For More on Xenia, visit:


Demon at Rockfest 2017
(Photo: Alison Mack)


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