The Moshville Times has covered your past few EPs in 2014/15, but can you give our readers a brief rundown on the band’s history. When did you get together as a band? The current line up of The Kut, how did you meet and where are you all from?
Maha – Oh wow, so (laughs), as a band we’ve been going seriously for about six years, I mean there were periods before where we weren’t as serious as a band, and in this current line up with Diana and Hannah it’s been about a year. Just keep releasing music and plugging away really.
Pretty large tour by any bands standard, how is it going so far and was it hard to set up?
Maha – I’ll start at the beginning then, it was really hard to set up, it took a lot of work and effort to try and get the shows in sequence, and obviously because we are mostly DIY, just to put that together in a way, that would make it, make sense, geographically, was a nightmare. Now we’re on it, everyone was like ‘you guys are gonna hate each other n stuff…it’s gonna be terrible’ but actually it’s been pretty fun really. These girls are really cool, every day we get a bit closer, in a really silly way….but yeah…over to you guys. (laughs) they’re like what was the question again?
Hannah – We’re not hating each other, so that’s all good.
Diana – The shows are really bonding us even closer, I would say, like I’m really connecting when you go through such an intense period and when you’re together 24 hours… yeah, I think after this tour we’ll be even closer
Maha – We already live, like, 10 minutes from each other anyway. We’ll finally get our triple bunkbed.
So on and off, it must be a bit rough, but having a flat like this above Bannermans to stay in must make it a bit easier?
Maha – Oh, it’s so great, I mean last night we played in Glasgow and it was amazing. It was the most epic welcome to Scotland! Then we leave there and setting off, and you don’t know what you’re gonna find when you get to the next place, but I know Christian had sorted out this apartment for us above Bannermans. But when we got here and having three separate rooms, living-room all that stuff, beers in the fridge and food… that’s actually much needed to be honest.
On the tour do you have a say on who supports you?
Maha – I’m not sure if we’re meant to have a say or not, but when we had all the dates out there, just before they were released, we shouted out to the bands that were on our Facebook page and was blown away by how many bands were on there and followed us. So we just said, look where are you? Sends us links and we went through and listened to every one and we just organised it into area and sent it over to Chester and be like ‘hey these three guys wanna support us there…these guys wanna support us there’ Last night we played with mates of ours called Little Hands of Silver. They are Glasgow based and have been a fan of theirs for years and done some club nights together and stuff, so when we asked if they could play, yeah great, get them on the bill. It does depend on what the promoter has in mind as well.
What are your influences, individually or as a band?
Maha – Hmmm, for me I’m massively influenced by a lot of 90’s grunge stuff really like Nirvana, Deftones, L7 and stuff like that, but then I’m really liking a lot of the more recent bands too, music didn’t stop in the 90’s, some great bands coming through. Probably guilty pleasures, probably stuff like, Alexis on fire, Bring Me the Horizon, quite a few things.
Hannah – Yeah, I mean girl band wise, if I had to stick to girl bands, like Runaways, Joan Jett. I love those, I grew up listening to those – amazing, Bass wise, I’d probably say, it’s gotta be Flea(Red Hot Chilli Peppers) isn’t it?
Maha – Oh yeah, well the Chilli’s are amazing, they’re so good and they’ve got such a great solid rhythm section there haven’t they? Flea kicking arse, the drummer is just complete solid, he’s a legend.
Diana – To be honest, with pop music actually Alanis Morrisette, these singer songwriters. When I started playing the drums, I discovered I had to challenge to hit really hard, that I need a band where I basically play like that. I also like for example The Doors, The Who and The Stones, Keith Moon is a big influence for the drumming as he’s a very visual player and expressive player.
Can you describe your music, which I’ve seen described as “Basement Rock”? I hear a lot of grunge in there like L7, Distillers, even The Go-Gos’ in your music.
Maha – It’s different, on the tour we’ve been likened to so many different bands like The Clash, Michael Jackson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kirk Hammett, Metallica, so it depends what angle you come from. Nirvana last night, it’s just amazing different things and I think you can see loads of our broader influences coming through!
Christian (Bannermans Promoter/Bass player for Warrior Soul) pops his head in.
Maha – Hey Christian, come join our interview.
Christian – Really you want me to answer some questions for you? OK go for it….
Maha – Yeah, about our sound…
Christian – Your sound? For a three piece, pretty powerful, it’s got more balls than a lot of bands out there, people are always gonna go ‘oh it’s a three-piece female band’ which I’ve been guilty of when promoting but they kick more ass than a lot of three-piece dude bands out there.
Maha – Thank you, Christian can you stay for the rest of them? (laughs)
Christian – I’ll answer one more…choose it Gary quick!!
Do you mind still being labelled as an alt/grunge all female band in a world infested with guy bands with no similar boy band labels attached in the same way girl bands do?
Christian – I do!! Warrior Soul are all dudes, for fuck sake!!
Maha – Well, I mean at some points it has been an issue, because how do we want to take our kind of brand of ‘girl power’ to the next level is it by not identifying as women? Is it by just turning up and kicking arse regardless of what our gender is? Actually now I think we’re more heading towards the idea of it, you know, yeah we are a girl band, we’re girls we play in a band. There’s loads of guy bands out there, they’re not labelled as guy bands but it doesn’t matter people label us as girl bands, I don’t think, because I think it’s empowering still.
Hannah – It gives us an edge, there’s not a lot of girl bands out there, especially girls bands doing massive tours, so I think its like ‘wow, a girl band is doing that?!’ so in a weird way it gives us an edge and something new to bring to music.
Maha – Girls should be out there doing all this stuff as well, so if we can be a good example for other bands that are out there, there are definitely girl bands out there. In the same way I was interested in picking up an instrument, because I saw performers, so if we can do that as well. A lot of people have said to us ‘we’ve never seen an all girl band’ so we can take the message out there, that would be good.
Do you feel your sound has changed any from the first EP?
Maha – You know, it’s funny because that first EP was written at the same time as the second EP in a way, it was all the same stuff and part of the same thing. I got really obsessed with trying to get an EP together that was cohesive, whereas this basement rock label kind of comes from the idea that we can be fluid, that we don’t need to be tied into one genre that sounds the same all the time. The first EP is definitely grouped together in the way it should sound quite different from the rest, so if you listen back to it, probably is the more mellow EP out of the two I would say. Then when you get to the ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ it’s more rocky, in your face, but yeah I think the thing is, we always went through phases and I used to see that as being a negative, oh the sound is always different and stuff but it’s actually kinda of, well who wants to listen to 10 songs that sound exactly the same on an album? No-one! So, yeah I guess we are always evolving in like a side ways way…rather than in a forward way.
You are signed with Criminal Records. How long have you been with them and how did it come about – was it them approaching you or vice versa?
Maha – Well, our hook up with Criminal Records is very much DIY, so we’re very much involved in everything that happens from tours to how we’re represented, no-one says to us ‘you wear this, you sing this, you do that’ but at the same time there’s no big machine that pushes us. Everything we’ve done in terms of where we are right now, is just from actually just getting out there and letting people hear our music. So, on one hand that DIY approach is really helpful but in another way, maybe the next thing we need is to work with a bigger label, and I know Criminal have been talking to other labels and trying to see what might happen for a future release really.
The thing is, in our close circles, because you know, the rock scene is really…together? So, I would say we have reach within the groups of circles that we move in. We definitely just want to get out there and that’s why we’re doing this massive tour and we really wouldn’t just take 37 dates lightly, we just want to get out there and be heard for real.
Last year’s Rock Paper Scissors EP is a follow up to 2014s Make Up EP, also produced by James LeRock Loughrey. How did you get him on-board to produce you?
Maha – Oh right, he’s a geezer! It was a friend of mine that recommended him as a producer, she worked on some tracks with him, we were just looking for a producer really and he’s done a quite bit of stuff, like with the Skindred stuff, White Zombie and Def Leppard, I’d heard mixes that he’d done not knowing much about all the other stuff and we just really liked what he was doing. He’s got like a vision for us that he wants to keep it really raw, that has been really helpful when we are going on tour because, actually we don’t have to live up to anything because the record is a tamed version of what we sound for real, it’s almost like, they’re two very similar things but they’re almost separate things as well. So, I suppose we could have over produced it and added more stuff and gone crazy, but actually just having it sound, as it just sounds, works in our favour I think.
He’s a legend, he’s actually just built a studio in his house, so when we get back from tour, looking forward to putting the new tracks down as well.
How has the response been for Rock Paper Scissors? Based on the support you have been getting from Kerrang/Scuzz etc, I assume it is good?
Maha – Oh yeah, it’s been really amazing. Scuzz have supported us with every single record we’ve had out video wise. Kerrang have been really helping, Kerrang radio as well. Even stuff in America, MTV in America, picking up ‘I Want You Maniac’ is really unexpected but amazing stuff that goes with it. Yeah, definitely, you don’t really see the impact of it other than like ‘oh yeah that’s cool they’ve featured us’ and your mates go ‘oh yeah well done’ but when you’re travelling around and occasionally you go to shows and see people are singing you’re stuff you think’ oh shit, we’ve made an impact’. I‘m not gonna say every single show on the tour is gonna be like that, but it reminds you why you’re doing it.
The recent single “Bad Man”, the last one from Rock Paper Scissors, has cool artwork by Jonathan Singleton. Did you have a vision for the cover artwork or did you leave it to Jonathan?
Maha – To be honest I found him, on Instagram, I was just scrolling through looking at different art and I just thought wow, he’s got loads of like cool art. Most of it with speech bubbles with the girl, or the guy or the character is saying something, and I just thought about Bad Man and thought that would be perfect. So, I contact him and he’s also in the army so his drawing is part time and we had interesting chats and sent me some artwork over. We’d sent things back and forward and decided on the final thing.
I just stumbled across him and am really happy, he’s now a mate on Facebook as well!
What are your plans after the current tour ends, can we expect an album soon or another EP?
Maha – What would you say, what’s your best guess?
A few of the bands like iDestroy, they’re still going through the EP stages.
Maha – The thing is, we’d like to do an album but it’s gonna be a case of who we’re gonna work with for it. We do want to do that, it’s what we want do, but I guess the thing is, yeah seeing what’s the next step. We have the album ready, it’s ready to go!
Finally, I read somewhere that you performed at the London 2012 Paralympics and Olympics. Would this be true and how did it come about?
Maha – Yeah that’s true. So basically, there was a competition scouting for acts and stuff and it was with the Teenage Rampage Foundation and we didn’t apply actually, they contacted us out the blue, do you want to play at the Olympics? Well yeah, who doesn’t want to play at the Olympics?!
So we just rocked up the first day, it was just a kind of very, very unplugged really small pitch. The guys just, were there and they heard and they were like ‘wow, this is really good’ and we were like ‘thanks we’d love to come play some more’ and they told us to come back. So we’d already played at the Olympics for this pitch all day and it wasn’t really the biggest pitch or anything, but we were like ‘sure we’ll come back’. So they kept in contact with us, we get there on the Paralympics to go and play there, but unfortunately we couldn’t take anyone because it was all sold out, so that was a bit of a downer because everyone was really excited we were going. We expected to turn up and play some kind of similar stage, like your usual club venue and we turned up and it was like a £250,000 stage that was set out, and I didn’t even know what it looked like until we got off and I saw the pitch, it was the most futuristic stage ever and we just get up there, and they just put us up there at night. It was fantastic really!
Literally did the set, I remember my guitar string broke in the middle, but the girls covered the sound whilst I went off and changed it, came back and it was great. Then it wasn’t really until I got off and I looked at the set and was like ‘woah…’
Thanks to Maha, Hannah & Diana for their time.