PREVIEW: THE KILLS

The Kills by Zackery Michael

PHOTOGRAPHY Zackery Michael
WORDS Julian de la Celle

 

 

“I think life is far too short to concentrate on your past. I rather look into the future.”
- Lou Reed
 

     They say it’s never a good idea to meet your idols, but whoever “they” are were certainly wrong. Entering from the back door of the historic Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, we make our way past the stage where Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are finishing up their soundcheck. There’s a magnetic energy between them, evident even from afar. We’re led downstairs into the vampiric lair of a backstage to set up before our interview. The walls are painted with deep reds and blacks and almost all of the doors bear a spider’s web design - a perfect setting for a shoot with The Kills.

 

FOXES: Very nice to meet you guys.
Jamie Hince: Very nice to meet you as well!

FOXES: I got you guys some gifts. 
Alison: I love gifts!

FOXES: I know that you really like Captain Beefheart, so...
Alison: Wow, Top Secret! That’s amazing, thank you!
Jamie: Fucking hell, you’re joking!

FOXES: And then, I know you really love The Velvets...it’s a flexi disc and it comes with a little newspaper as well.
Jamie: Woaaaah! Man! This is the fucking best!
Alison: That’s awesome, thank you so much! It says, “Loaded with hits.” Why don’t we ever do interviews like that, where we’re just like “It is LOADED with hits!”
Jamie: That’s fucking stunning, thank you. 

FOXES: You’re welcome! How’s the tour been? How is it   performing new songs and seeing people’s reactions?
Jamie: Yeah, it’s kind of weird because you sort of think you’re at a  disadvantage when you’re playing new songs that no one’s heard, but that’s kind of the situation you’re in when you start a band and that’s kind of the most exciting part of your journey. It feels like little secrets that we’re letting loose on people and the reactions been great so far, hasn’t it?
Alison: Yeah, it’s been fun. 

FOXES: I finally got to see you guys when you played LA last year and it was really amazing. I love seeing how you guys interact on stage; do you get nervous before going on?
Alison: Mhm! We’re nervous wrecks right now. 
Jamie: Yeah, I kind of like it though because it’s the one sort of leveler really because it doesn’t matter if we’re playing a tiny place or a huge place, we sort of have the same amount of nerves. Nerves turn into adrenaline.
Alison: Adrenaline turns into dance moves. [laughs]
Jamie: Adrenaline is a pretty important chemical in music. It sort of covers up your nerves and makes a lot of very shy people do really extraordinary things. [laughs]

FOXES: Aside from being great musicians, you’re both extremely fashionable, has fashion always been important to you?
Jamie:
 It’s always been important to me because it’s always been intrinsically linked with music. I remember starting my first year of high school and I was just mesmerized by the 16 year olds walking around in, like, donkey jackets with the stranglers on the back or red hair and you’d be kinda scared, but walking a few paces behind them, almost like a sort of girl crush.
Alison: I think when you’re a kid you have that natural instinct, or like, a crush on the way people looked like you found your gang, your tribe. I guess if you pay attention to that and you follow it that’s an important thing your whole life.
Jamie: Yeah, and I’ve said it quite a lot, but it’s always how I bought records. You know, you’d look through the records at the record shop in Newbury, which is a shitty little town that no bands visited. I’d buy these records that I’d never heard and I bought them on the strength of the artwork or how people looked, so it was always really important. 

FOXES: You had had a lot of problems with your finger, how is it now?
Jamie:
 I don’t really use it - it gets cold a lot because there’s not much blood running through it.
Alison: Really? We need to make it a little sweater. 
Jamie: [laughs] I don’t use it to play guitar anymore, but luckily I wasn’t ever the most orthodox guitar player in the first place. I always operated on this notion that ideas were more important than abilities so I’ve just changed my ideas a bit. 

FOXES: Do you find it interesting that it’s your middle finger of all things?
Jamie:
 Yeah, yeah...it’s a sad state of affairs, isn’t it?

For the full editorial and to read the full interview, grab your printed copy HERE.

 

*** Thanks to Domino Recording Co, Carina Contreras and Chloe Walsh @ Grandstand, Zackery Michael, The Mayan Theatre and The Kills!