Boy Kill Boy
Paul Cook 26/11/2007
Cambridge - 15th November 2007
After some problematic sound checks GIITTV's Paul Cook joined Boy Kill Boy on their tour bus to discuss the rollercoaster ride of 2006/7, celebrity-mingling in high-flying Los Angeles, a Spinal-Tap electrocution and their biggest fan Tony-from next door.
How's the current tour going so far?
It's really going well and it's actually the first time we've been on tour now for a while - like a proper tour. December last year was our last proper tour. The idea, since we've been writing and recording loads, is to get out and do loads of gigs, because we've done lots but not that much nationwide, so we want to get out there and get a bit more intimate - not in a Barry White kind of way but you know!
Yes, this venue [Cambridge Junction] is perfect isn't it?
Yeah, but we've been having loads of electrical and feedback problems actually because the stage is new but hasn't been earthed properly. So that's been worrying me today because I can sort of envisage a sort of Spinal Tap electrocution happening to us or something and if I'm going to die I don't really want to die in Cambridge really, no offence or anything, but I'd rather be sent out on a boat like a Viking.
Have you any really memorable gigs or venues so far on this tour?
A couple - Last night we played in Stoke which is always a pretty feisty crowd. Stoke is traditionally a highlight on tours because for some reason the crowd is always absolutely fucking psychotic so we knew it would be good. But it was an extremely violent crowd which ended up in someone getting in a scrap in the mosh-pit and the police turned up to help a guy with a broken jaw and someone got done for a 'premeditated attack.' Some guy got arrested and some guy got taken to hospital. Other than that, Nottingham was really good. A really small venue and the crowd were all really revved up and we went out and “rocked it” as they say, and the crowd went totally mental and tonight should be even better because my [Kev's] parents are here with next door neighbour Tony - he's a legend, he comes to all our gigs!
So what's all this about you going over to L.A. and gate-crashing Scarlet Johansson's party?
Yeah, that was a leaving party or something; she was releasing her album of covers - Tom Waits covers which is kind of an odd concept. It's nearly as weird as that guy from Star Trek doing that classics album thing. Yeah anyway, she had like this little party and we didn't realise whose it was until we met her but it was a pleasant surprise when we did because she is absolutely incredible. Gorgeous! We had a really good time and it was two different worlds colliding so we thought we would make the most of it. We were also in this classic, famous hotel; we had like Pantera staying above us and Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass guys in the room next to us and the studio we recorded in was legendary too - The Doors recorded all their stuff there, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, Prince, name a band really!
When's the next album out?
It's hard to say really. Late January, early February something like that, it's difficult now because there's loads of bands releasing in January. We wanted to get it out in November really and because we've been away a while we wanted to sort of get amongst it and that.
So, it's been around a year and a half since 'Civilian' - How has your music changed on your forthcoming album?
It's like the old saying 'it takes ten years to write your first album and the second, only a year' and I think it's an interesting process to write a lot of songs in a short space of time but we edited through a wider amount of material to get what we wanted on the album. We've aimed for more of a feeling of space on the next album, like sonically, because it's quite important to recognise that when you start off you think if you put in eight guitars it'll sound fucking massive but in a kind of traditional way it's better to have one and get it right.
The new material so far sounds more natural than the last album, is that the case?
The new material just sounds really pure and more confident in itself without being too desperate to prove itself. With your first album there's all this shit happening and it's all go but with the new stuff is a bit more representative of how we feel now. It feels a lot more natural and it's more developed in its simplicity, some tracks that are old school in a way that's more 60's sound. Like 'Promises', the next single it has this really Boy Kill Boy 'stabbyness' to the verse and the chorus opens out and I'm actually playing chords and stuff! It's tempting to get tambourines and shakers involved but it's better nice and simple. The things we've got lined up next are going to be interesting because we kind of got lumped into this whole thing of being “they must be an emo-band” - maybe they looked at Kev's quiff!
Have there been any particular influences that have gone into the new album?
When we started to write for it, there were a lot of bands on the cusp of like post-Libertines bullshit in my opinion, but it just sounded too like jingly jangly crap. It's tempting to say 'fuck it, we can do that, let's do that' and as soon as you think that you're just fucked basically! And at the same time there was the Nu-Rave thing whatever the hell that is which sort of incorporated dance music into the guitar world or something. Ironically we used synthesisers on the first album which made people say “yeah, a load of synthesisers, whatever” then that all came back around really. Now, it's totally acceptable, maybe even essential to have them in your music and we've always done it in our music. We could have done the whole indie-pop thing and probably done it better but we wanted to do what we felt was true and honest to us really.
What are you listening to at the moment, any new music you like?
The support band with us tonight, Haunts are really great, we really like their stuff. Haunts, not The Haunts though, they hate that. Even the posters on this tour had The Haunts on them and so they tore off the 'the' and put “The Boy Kill Boy” and so we tore off Boy and made Boy Haunts Boy and then it all went a bit out of control from there. There's also a band, well a guy, called Ali Love and he's just doing something a little bit different, which we really love. Ali Love's music is so unusual to listen to nowadays because it's like modern Michael Jackson music or something.
CSS and Klaxons also, we've listened to a lot and I bough the album begrudgingly and thought I've got to listen to it and absolutely loved it! We saw them live though and we thought it was a lot of style over content and it actually gave me a headache! I see them as being like hip hop albums because it's all so well produced that when you hear it live it's just really disappointing.
- Kev, the bassist's dad and next door neighbour Tony then enter the bus and leave quickly realising he's disturbing an interview, after which lead singer Chris moans about the doddery old sod! -
We like the fact that a band can perform an album nowadays that actually sounds like the album and we really like to feel connected to our music and to look back on it its really good and something to be proud of it.
How did your recent appearance on Soccer A.M. go?
Initially, they got in touch and we thought “brilliant we'll go on that” but then it was one of those things where you've probably got in late from a night out before and got to get up early on Saturday morning and they pick you up and go down there and have a laugh all morning.
Who do you support then?
Kev- Well I support Man United because I'm from Essex!
Chris - Me and Chaz particularly, don't really understand anything beyond the days of Kevin Keegan but we're pretty honest about that. Chaz likes Leyton Orient because they invited us to a game and we got in very pissed and had a great time!
Pete - I think at my school you were either creative or good at sport.
Chris - Yeah it was the same at mine. I remember once we had a band rehearsal the same day we had football practice and I was like “but I've got a band rehearsal that day” and the teacher said “I'm fucking sick of this band bullshit, you're either on the team or in this namby pamby band thing” and I basically said “Fuck off then, I quit” and that was that.
Kev - And I quit the team because some special needs kid was given my spot out of pity and I so I started playing bass!
Boy Kill Boy's new single 'No Conversation' is on release nationwide now and 'Promises' will be out early next year as will new their second album 'Stars and the Sea.'