INTERVIEW: The Lounge Kittens (09/09/2016)

Credit: Promo

Lounge cover Queens The Lounge Kittens have become firm favourites in all corners of the rock world with their performances at festivals such as Stone Free, Download and Isle of Wight, and are finally ready to release their debut record ‘Sequins & C-Bombs’. With arrangements for tracks by Bowie, AC/DC and Drowning Pool, the upcoming release from the Southampton trio have become the cheekiest and most fun cover band on the circuit. We managed to catch up with Zan (the pink one) to chat about how they pick their track listing, crowd-funding for music and more.

DP!: Your debut record ‘Sequins & C-Bombs’ is out this month, and you’ve got tracks from System Of A Down’s ‘Bounce’ to Toto’s ‘Africa’. How do you pick the songs? And, which one is your favourite?
Zan: Some of the songs we chose for the album were always going to be on the album. ‘Poison’ was the first song we ever arranged as a band, and is a fan favourite so it was always going to be the first track if we were ever fortunate to make an album. ‘Beautiful People’ we’ve always wanted to do with a big band to give it its brassy tart dues so that was always a definite. And some of the songs were not supposed to be on the album at all! We started out recording last year with the idea to lay down more tracks than we needed and the hope that the “right” tracks would become evident as we went – but each track had its own story, challenge and journey and in the end it didn’t seem fair to leave any of them off! Our personal favourites change all the time. For me, ‘Bodies’ stands out because it changed so much from the original arrangement when the girls got their personalities behind it, and ‘The Cave’ because I think it’s some of the best singing we’ve ever done. But ask me again next week and it’ll have changed haha!

DP!: Have you ever tried to arrange a song that you love but decided not to use it because you didn’t do it justice? Have you received any feedback from the original artists?
Zan: We have songs that we love that hit the reject bin all the time. Unfortunately, although we always start with songs we LOVE, many of them just don’t work as TLK arrangements. Maybe there’s not enough chord progression or the original is already so laden with harmonies there’s not a lot we can change about it. And some songs you just don’t touch – we have a rule not to attempt anything Richard Cheese has already done (and he’s done SO MANY of the great ones!) because who needs TWO lounge covers of ‘Killing in the Name’? We are lucky to have received quite a bit of feedback from the original artists, all of it positive. It’s great how many bands have got on board with TLK, even really early on. We now have bands asking us to do their songs, which is awesome!

DP!: You went through the fan pledge route for the album and have already smashed 200% of your target! Do you think involving your fanbase in creating music is the way forward? What was the most ridiculous pledge reward you considered?
Zan: For us, involving the fans is EVERYTHING and they have been absolutely mind-boggling brilliant throughout the whole Pledge campaign. Getting to meet loads of them and shake their hands and thank them individually has been so great and including them in the recording process with our behind the scenes films was a really daunting project that worked really well. I think for bands starting out these days, it’s the only way you can do it. Being in a band is expensive. The industry has changed and record labels aren’t handing out huge deals all over the place. You’ve got to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself so there’s no way we could have achieved the album without the fans. As for ridiculous pledges, well maybe we’ll save those for the next one…

DP!: The ‘Everybody Hates The Lounge Kittens’ show at Edinburgh Fringe went down a storm, how was it playing to a comedy crowd?
Zan: We couldn’t be more proud of how our first ever Edinburgh Fringe stint went but those shows are pretty intimidating. We love to get stuck into the cabaret and comedy world as much as the stadium rock world but when the balance shifts more towards the “being funny” side than the “singing at people” side there really is nothing left to hide behind. Fortunately, we have each other. I don’t know how stand ups do it!!

DP!:As well as your very own headline shows coming up in October, you’re hitting arenas with the legendary Status Quo at the end of the year! How does it feel to be playing alongside such iconic bands on such large stages? Have you been banned from playing Quo songs so you don’t steal the limelight?
Zan:Ha! I don’t think so… the debate is on as to which Status Quo song we choose! It feels bloody brilliant to be playing shows with such enormous bands and to have ticked so many huge UK venues off on the CV so early on in our career. We can’t wait to get out there really. It feels like a long time since we’ve hit the road so knowing we get to do it twice and we’ll end the year at the O2 is pretty awesome. Let’s go!

‘Sequins & C-Bombs’ is out September 16th, and you still have time to pre-order the record from PledgeMusic (here).
You can keep up to date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here) and Twitter (here).

Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)