The Kills

The Kills

JEFF the Brotherhood, Hunters

Sat, February 11, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY

$32.50 advance / $35 day of show

Sold Out

This event is all ages

The Kills
The Kills
Jamie Hince and his musical partner Alison Mosshart believe that your art is something you live, rather than something you merely do. Therefore, the conventional approach to recording an album - write some songs a bit like your last songs, book flashy studio and ear candy-providing producer, be professional and get home in time for tea - is not an option for them. The Kills make music that sounds like the stripped-to-the-bone nub of the crux of the sex and death and madness at the heart of the very best rock ‘n’ roll. And the only way to pull that off is to put themselves through the creative, physical, financial and emotional mangle. “It was definitely a journey,” confirms Alison, with the sanguine air of one who believes that anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. “We wrote so many records before we got to this one. It took a few failed attempts and different situations and going to different places and running out of money in order for us to get it together and write the right record.”

The Kills formed in 2000 when a boy from Andover, England and a girl from Florida, USA met in a South London hotel. “It was like we’d lived parallel lives”, Jamie recalls. Both had been to art college, the boy had just left a punk-pop band called Scarfo and the girl wanted to leave a punk-pop band called Discount, and both were disillusioned with the musical scenes they were part of. “We had these bedrooms on different sides of the Atlantic which were full of artworks and films and music that we’d made for no-one to listen to. We had so many things in common. It was at a time that if you spent a lot of time making art and dressing up you got beaten down for being pretentious. Everything was about being down to earth. And we both just felt this relief when we met each other.”

Alison was so convinced that this was the creative partner she’d always been searching for that she decamped from Florida to Jamie’s flat in South London. Inspired by a mutual obsession with The Velvet Underground, ‘70s London and New York punk, they formed a duo called The Kills, rejected everything they’d begun to hate about being in a rock band, got themselves signed to Domino Records and made a spectacularly sexy garage-punk album called Keep On Your Mean Side in 2003. Buoyed by the deserved critical acclaim for this and their incendiary early live shows, but also nonplussed by the fact that they were, once again, in a proper band with a record deal, they made a completely different, yet equally spectacular second album in 2005 called No Wow. A minimalist pop masterpiece, it was one of those records that made some into Kills fans for life, but most utterly confused. “No Wow’s really special to me,” reckons a defiant Jamie. “I was listening to lots of Cabaret Voltaire and Suicide, and wanted to make something stripped-down, and was determined not to make another garage-rock record like the first album. We were trying to make a Suicide record. More like a commercial suicide record…”

So, in light of that, is Midnight Boom, which has some goddam catchy tunes and features the beat-making skills of SpankRock producer Alex Epton aka Armani XXXchange, a conscious attempt to make a more commercial record? “Absolutely not,” responds Jamie, with something approaching horror in his voice. “We were just enjoying ourselves. I know we’re seen as dark, brooding, twisted and semi-gothic - but we’ve never felt like that. Midnight Boom is more in keeping with what me and Alison were doing when we first met. More tongue-in-cheek and less conceptual. People do tell me that Midnight Boom is more accessible. But the way I was brought up in music, words like accessible and commercial are still insults to me. Ha!”

“We wanted to make something very different from No Wow and Keep On Your Mean Side. I’d always talked it up in interviews that I wanted to be really forward-thinking and dispense with all influences. So I was determined to do that on this record. We’d toured No Wow for 14 or 15 months, and started work on the new record in January 2006. At first we ended up with an albums-worth of folky acoustic songs. We might put that out in the future, but I knew this wasn‘t what I wanted for this record. What kicked us off in another direction was a film I found called “Pizza Pizza Daddio” which is a sixties documentary about kids in inner-city schools in America, observing all the songs that they were singing in the playground. We just started building rhythms around those and had this concept of coming up with modern-day playground songs. Cos they’re really quite dark. Cutting people’s thumbs off, kicking people in the face, throwing ‘em down stairs. I kinda liked it. So I got this old MPC-60 hip hop drum sequencer and just started making rhythms on that. And these playground songs ended up as Midnight Boom. “Cheap & Cheerful” was the first playground song we came up with and then it developed from there. “Alphabet Pony” is based around that, too.”

With the basics down, The Kills started recording in Los Angeles, but they were discouraged by their environment.The pair decamped to Key Club in Benton Harbour, Michigan, where they’d recorded No Wow. Alison and Jamie’s best friends run the studio and it’s there where the Midnight Boom title came from. “That moment when the moon comes up and everyone goes to bed… it almost seems like time doubles. You can get so much more work done and you feel that magic happens. We worked from midnight to ten in the morning and slept all day. That’s just how we like to do it. I get anxious during the day. I need to get lost in a record,” explained Alison.

After 2 months in the studio, writing and recording, and experimenting with the drum programming, Jamie felt he needed a “veteran of beats”. The Clipse and SpankRock had made 2 of their favourite records of that year, so their subsequent producers were called upon to assist with the sound The Kills were after. Tips on how to make the rhythms more violent and gritty were lent and the record began to take a solid form.

Midnight Boom is a reminder that no-one makes erotically-charged rock ‘n’ roll like The Kills, even though they have never been romantically linked. Perhaps people wouldn’t believe their platonic relationship because Kills songs seem to drip with themes of hedonistic sexual freedom. Or maybe not having sex is the secret to the perfect sensual-musical marriage. “We’re aware that that’s how it comes across,’ Jamie concedes. ‘We get so many comments about the live shows, about it being sexually tense and sexually charged. But, honestly… that just came out of nerves! When there’s two people onstage of different genders, and you’re scared to death and don’t want to look at the audience so you stare at each other instead, that’s just how it comes out.”
“We’re both quite shy and secretive,” agrees Alison. “Which is why we don’t need other people when we’re working. We’re just control freaks.”

The Kills have come a long way since dreaming about bringing romance and sex and glamour back to rock ‘n’ roll in a flat in South London.
JEFF the Brotherhood
JEFF the Brotherhood
JEFF consist of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall - an explosive 2-piece of 1970's inspired post-punk-riff-rock. No throwback act, JEFF's unending consistency makes their bare-bone rawness a contemporary calling card. Fall of 2010 will see the release of their sixth full-length. Known as a tireless live act, JEFF The Brotherhood have co-billed tours with Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Shonen Knife, Screaming Females and Ty Segall. And they are also the founding members of the infamously defunct Be Your Own Pet.

"JEFF The Brotherhood seem like the type of boys that would steal both your whiskey and your sister's virtue, and still earn a standing invitation to play your basement." - Village Voice

"Boozy and Ballsy" -

"Just try to get through one of their sets without stomping your foot and pumping your fist." - Nylon Magazine
Equal parts Motorhead, Sonic Youth and maybe the early Misfits, Hunters boast an aggressive, raw style of punk. Since February, they've been rising through the ranks, thanks to a 2-song offering mixed by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019