Thu 19th May, 2011 in Features
The Kills have been on somewhat of a hiatus since the release of their stellar third record Midnight Boom, but as Alison Mosshart describes her passion for the band and the art of music, it is clear nothing could kill her friendship with Jamie Hince, nor could such a deep musical connection be left in the weather for dead. The fourth and long awaited record is Blood Pressures, and it is an album that is sure to please the tried and true lovers of The Kills, as the pair has once again established how rock music can be silky and sensual, but still encompass a cheeky edge that hints a spirit of fun and hope amidst a sinister spell.
The album is luscious and dark, coated with much ambiguity and a distinct promise to stay true to the vintage sounds they admire and infuse through their own style. It is a confident release and an evident result of two musicians that pour immense love into their artistry.
Mosshart says that her musical partnership with Hince is very much equal, although they do have their own niche within the group – “Jamie is more music and I am more lyrics, but every time the record comes out half and half of our efforts.” As for the new album Mosshart explains “It’s about people and relationships, so in a lot of ways it is about Jamie and me. It’s about a lot of things though, mainly love, loss and the blues of rock and roll. I just hope that people are inspired by the record and that it makes sense to them. That is ultimately what every musician could want.”
When Mosshart began collaborating with Jack White as part of the humble supergroup The Dead Weather, fans of The Kills became fearful that The Kills would be no more, but Mosshart explains her time with the successful side project was a refreshing musical experiment, and something that has reinvigorated the development of The Kills latest installment to their rich back catalogue. “The album was recorded in Key Club, which is in Michigan, and it is an important place to us,” Mosshart explains, “There is nothing really around there, so we kind of locked ourselves away with art; books, photography, and things we have collected traveling and stories we have written.”
It has been a couple of years since the band was last in Australia, and Mosshart is excited about their return for Splendour in the Grass festival and showcasing new songs. “I love touring because it means I get to see all my friends. I have been doing this since I was 14 years old, so it means that the only way I get to see all these people is through touring, and it’s a great experience.”
Talking about the Splendour lineup, Mosshart casually sing Kanye’s praises in her own way. “He makes you want to step up your game, you know? He’s fascinating. I saw him play at Coachella and we had just played the day before so we watched his set. He came into the audience on a crane in the middle of the crowd and he had all these mental lights and dancers. He is something else; I mean it is not like your ordinary rock and roll show. You have to respect someone who can pull that off.
As for their own live show, Mosshart says that “the music that tells you what to do when you are on stage.” Truly a rocker with music pumping the blood through her veins, Mosshart says that her life is not for the faint hearted – “The only people that should do this are the ones that wake up in the morning and feel it is their duty. They have to do it because they love it so much. It is a hard life at times and it is not for everyone, but you need to be dedicated because it is your responsibility as an artist.”
The Kills Splendour sideshows:
Tuesday 26th July – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Thursday 28th July – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne