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The Kills


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. 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!”



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