Saturday, 9 August 2014

Interview: The Lounge Kittens

A month ago I went to Knebsworth Park for Sonisphere Festival to watch bands and get drunk. Whilst I was there a certain act caught my attention. I was ready to watch Limp Bizkit, until three ladies came on the stage with stunning dresses and great voices. Turns out they were called The Lounge Kittens, a great name for a great trio, so I thought I should interview them not only for my own curiosity, but just to give you, the reader, a taste of what they're like.
~Matthew Clewley

MRD: You cover famous rock songs in a girl group style, who is influential to this style of singing?

TIMIA: While a lot of our set is Rock and Metal, there is also some Pop, Dancehall, Hip hop and Dance in there too. We like to mix it up! I suppose some of the better known originators of the '3 girl close harmony' vocal style would be The Andrews Sisters, however, I guarantee that we swear infinitely more than they did.    

Where did the wonderful idea of your trio come from?

TIMIA: Jen had suggested to me that we start a duo together for fun, to do a few low key gigs. I suggested that the songs should be our favourite rude and explicit songs or tunes that people don't usually cover- particularly not in a loungey, swing style with vocals and piano. It all fell into place when we met Zan. 

How did you all meet and form The Lounge Kittens? 

Zan: Well Timia and Jen met at university and came up with the concept of TLK, then we all met through Jen’s work as a Rock Choir leader. Both Timia and I are part of the choir and we all became friends through that. One night on a drunken evening out the girls suggested I should become a Lounge Kitten too (although it was still just an idea at this point!). Of course I said yes…….and then we didn't do anything for about six months….until Jen booked us a couple of shows and we hastily put some arrangements together!

Who are your favourite cover bands, and did those too inspire you?

TIMIA: I've always loved covers that are done a completely different style. Me first and the Gimmie Gimmies got me into punk covers, and then of course there is the "Punk Goes..." series of compilations which always provides gems. It's always been about Richard Cheese though, he's something of an idol to me and I know the other girls are big fans too.  

You are a unique cover band may I add, have you heard other artists like Richard Cheese or Selo I Ludy who add a spin on a metal cover?

TIMIA: Without Richard Cheese there would be no Lounge Kittens. We make a point of never covering any song he has done. I mean, how many Lounge Covers of 'Killing In the Name of' does the world need? One will probably do it... 

Can it be challenging writing a metal cover song in your own style?

JEN: Surprisingly, I feel the metal songs are much easier to 'Kittenize' than the more poppy sounding songs, because we could never achieve the same musical result as the original, due to us harmonising 3 female voices with just a piano for backing. It's always going to sound different. But it's always so much fun to cover metal songs, because we can completely camp them up or make them really cheeky, a complete flip!!

I saw you sing an introduction for Limp Bizkit at Sonisphere, how did those guys come to contact you? Did they see or hear your cover?

Zan: Well, we tweeted Fred Durst with our video for our cover of ‘Rollin’ back in February and he picked it up, loved it and shared it through Limp Bizkit’s Facebook page, which is obviously the main reason it's had so many hits. He came to see our show at Sonisphere and afterwards asked us if we would come out and sing Rollin on stage with them during their set – so of course we said ‘yes’ and before we knew it we were on the main stage at Sonisphere in front of 40,000 people.

JEN: We had absolutely NO idea that it was going to happen. We found out literally 3 hours before the performance that we were going to be singing on the main stage, it totally reflects how much faith Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit had in us to do the job well and get the reaction intended. We were really touched! 

How did Glastonbury and Sonisphere contact you?

Zan: We contacted them. We emailed the people that book the bands and were lucky enough to have them reply that they wanted us to play. It’s as simple as that. We are absolutely over the moon to have been booked for some of the biggest festivals in the UK this year and we've had an absolute blast playing at them.

What kind of venues will you be playing around the UK?

Zan: We’re playing all kinds of venues when we head out on tour in September and October. Cabaret venues, rock venues and loads of bars and pubs. We love to play anywhere as long as people are having a great time and singing along.

How was your time in the beautiful land of France?

TIMIA: Idyllic. Working at this pace and intensity with your best friends is incredibly fun, but also exhausting. We gave ourselves some quality time off together, just the three of us to spend time being friends and finding ourselves again as Timia, Jen and Zan because that's who we are and who we were before we were The Lounge Kittens

Do you plan on releasing more videos of covers on your YouTube channel?

JEN: Oh absolutely we do! I don't think we realised how much fun making music videos could be. It gives us an opportunity to be really creative, fun and most importantly, SILLY! We all love being silly together, making faces, making fools of ourselves and the video allows us to show our fans who we really are and what we're about. We don't take ourselves seriously, and in turn, neither do our videos. 

Do you plan on giving us original material in the near future? 

Zan: People keep asking us this! At the moment, we really love what we do and don’t see it as a stepping stone to releasing our own original music in the future. But never say never. I’m fortunate enough to work with two very talented ladies so who’s to say we won’t start writing at some point. But for now, putting our own spin on our favourite songs is definitely enough – there are still SO many songs we want to cover!