Appearing as the openers on Jaret Reddick’s recent “Heartache to Hilarity” tour, the Lounge Kittens virtually turned the event into a dual headliner. It’s always good when you get a support band who really gel with the top of the bill, and The Lounge Kittens are more versatile than most having supported everyone from Steel Panther to Status Quo in recent months.
We snagged a chat with them before they strutted on stage at the O2 ABC2 in Glasgow. For ease (mine, admittedly!) I’ve compiled their answers into kitten-sized quotes…
You ladies are pretty much self-sufficient in terms of managing your musical career, aren’t you?
Yes, PR is about the only thing we don’t handle ourselves.
Bowling For Soup obviously kept an eye on what you were doing and got a few pointers…
I’m pretty sure their situation was ongoing before we even existed! But if they ever want any tips they know where to come! We can definitely tell them how to get their album into the charts for about six hours. It happened, we have the picture! We got up to number ten in the iTunes chart when all of our pre-orders went through in one big lump. We have a screenshot. It’s real; it bloody happened!
How did you find the idea of crowdfunding? Was it at all nerve-wracking?
We hit target inside of two weeks, so that was a bit of a load off. But it’s a bit nerve-wracking sitting and thinking “what can we offer people as extras?” Are they really going to pay to have a chat with us or whatever? Although we hit target quickly, the campaign was almost a year so it was a long slog of fulfilling activities. Then we had to package up all the orders ourselves, obviously. Overall it was a fabulous experience.
Did anyone purchase the private gigs?
Yes, we did three of them. They were really varied and all fun. The strangest extra we did was to Skype in on a rehearsal. We’d likely not do that again. That was very strange, as Chris and Dean – our Skype viewers – will tell you. It was very odd for everyone involved! We’ve met them since, but this was a very unusual way to meet someone for the first time. They didn’t say anything, but we can understand why. They’re part of Team Kitten now, though!
All of them. The idea was that we’d start recording quite slowly, then cherry pick with it all coming together naturally as to which songs would fit on the album. But we loved them all so much that we put them all on. They all fit on a CD so we thought why not?
Some of the songs were written and recorded on the road, but some are older. “Africa” and “Poison” we performed at our first ever gig. We updated “Africa” for the album, but they were always going to be on there and “Poison” would be the first track.
The first gig I ever went to was Alice Cooper on that tour so it was the first song on the album I wanted to listen to.
He is such a nice guy. It’s weird, though, like meeting royalty. Everyone watched us meet him at Stone Free last year! “You will meet Mister Cooper in 40 minutes… please wait… you will meet Mister Cooper in… 45 minutes…” We were waiting in the corridor on the edge of our seats, then we went in and this big wall of people were watching us have a conversation with Alice Cooper.
Before we went in we were all “We’ll ask him this… and we’ll ask him that,” then we went in and just became frighteningly polite. “It’s ever so nice to meet you. We sing your song.”
Did any of you get tempted to go all Wayne’s World and do the “We’re not worthy” thing?
Actually, we were in the middle of planning the video for “Poison” and we thought it would be a great idea to have something like that in the outro. We were going to ask him when we got in there, but as soon as we were in it just didn’t seem appropriate. He’s just so classy, we couldn’t! It just felt really naff. People must do it to him all the time. He’s an absolute gentleman with this aura around him of royalty, calm… serenity. Super zen, but warm with it.
Do you reckon you could cover any song…
So there are songs which are “un-Kittenable”?
Yes. Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”… though we’ve found a way, but not on it’s own. Spice Girls. We tried that for days, but there’s no point. Dolly Parton – you can’t beat the original. There are some artists or songs you just don’t mess with, but there are some types of song that just don’t work. Things like a lot of the 80s hair metal. There’s lots of harmonies in there already so we can’t do much with it. Or songs where there are only a couple of chord progressions repeated over and over with only a slight change for the chorus. There’s nowhere to go, nothing to work with.
Most of the songs that end up in our medleys are like that. They’re just not quite exciting enough to do all the way through. All the bits that you like shouting out from each of the songs without getting bored and wandering off. Not that the originals are boring, there’s just nothing we can change to make you go “Ooh, I wasn’t expecting that”.
Were you tempted to do the Fringe this year after your run in 2016?
We were tempted, yes, but we decided as we had such a busy year last year we needed to take the pressure off ourselves a little bit. It went well, so maybe next year.
You’re touring with Jaret so I have to ask… is there a chance we’ll get to hear that Bon Jovi cover…?
Well we’ve not been drinking yet and we only caught up with Jaret about three hours ago so we’ll have to see how much wine we get through tonight. That video is the perfect example of why we don’t drink and sing during our own shows! But we’d love to sing with Jaret as he’s super fun.
Are there any plans for a D-Bombs yet?
D-Bombs! Love it! D-Bombs and Deequins… Not as such, no. We’ve talked about recording some more, and how best to do it. Maybe albums aren’t the most efficient way of releasing things these days, especially when you’re doing all the work yourselves. What we’ve thought of is releasing either song by song or in EP form. We can just get the music out there more quickly. So many bands are turning to this kind of method these days. Even bigger acts – Mastadon have decided they’re doing an EP and Muse have said they’re not doing an album for a while, just releasing some songs.
It takes pressure off as well. If you set yourself a deadline to get an album out and don’t quite have enough as you get close, you just end up with filler. You’re doing other stuff all through that time as well. You’re on the road, trying to get on with a normal life as well… We have two new songs in the set tonight, so we are always coming up with new stuff, but to save it all up you’re looking at one release every two years whereas we could knock songs and EPs out really quickly.
Photos by Jack Barker Photography