When U.S./British two-piece band The Kills - American singer Alison Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie Hince - dropped by the studio recently to record a performance, we sat down with them. They've managed to continue creating music, and winning fans, for ten full years. In the interview below, we get their perspective on what marks a band out for longevity, and get some insight into their dynamic, their influences, and Jamie's relationship to the Three Wise Men.
On Meeting and Mentoring Young Bands
Alison Mosshart: I mean, we run into all sorts of bands that kind of have it right. And we run into bands that you can sort of tell that they probably won't be here for very long. You can just sort of tell, you can tell why people are doing what they're doing. And I have no opinion one way or the other of what's the right thing to do, I just think, you know, there's musicians out there that live and die for it, and that's it. They wake up in the morning and they feel like that's what they've got to do, and then there's other bands that are having a different journey.
Jamie Hince: But it's interesting that you can just tell the bands that are just gonna - you know, a band like The Horrors, you just know they're going to be there for a long, long time.
On Getting Back Together
AM: I think it was really nice for me to come back because I had a totally fresh enthusiasm to do a fourth record. Sometimes you can get caught in a bit of a cycle of doing a record and touring for two years, and I don't know - we shook it up a little bit.
JH: It's good to start again, I think, rather than - it's good to not just pick up where you left off. Sometimes it's good to just completely strip it down and start again. You attack it with the vitality of a new band. It's always something I like to do.
JH: I mean, obviously, when you're a performer like Alison, you put everything into whatever it is you're doing, and if you think that you come back unscathed or unchanged then you're lying to yourself. That's the point of it - the point is go through something, to drag yourself through a hedge, and the experience to have some effect on your life.
How Much Do You Know About Alison?
JH: I know it all.
AM: I don't know if you know it all.
JH: I know. I know it all. No, of course not. I mean, Alison reserves a bit of secrecy, she has a part of her that's secret, which I find really annoying. Because I'm quite happy to... I let everything out: what I am, how I'm feeling, what I'm doing, how bad things are going, how brilliant things are going, how much fun I had, how many drinks I drank, how many drugs I drugged. I just let it all out.
How Much Do You Know About Jamie?
AM: I feel like there's still things I don't know about Jamie.
JH: Never believe a liar.
JH: Just a piece of advice my father gave me. Never believe a liar.
AM: That was good advice. He's a wise man.
JH: He was one of the three wise men. Along with your dad, and our tour manager.
AM: It's just one of those massive feelings. It's kind of an incredible thing to have done this for so long, and yet it feels like we've been doing it for five minutes, which is beautiful in itself, you know?