The Kills Perform The New Single ‘List Of Demands (Reparations)’ On Stephen Colbert
The rock band returns to the Late Show to play their new single.
The Kills are a British-American indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart (“VV”) and English guitarist Jamie Hince (“Hotel”). They are signed to Domino records and their first four albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, Midnight Boom, and Blood Pressures all reached the UK album chart. Ash & Ice, their fifth and most recent studio album was released on June 3, 2016 and reached the UK Top 20 album chart.
Both Mosshart and Hince played in other bands before they formed The Kills in 2001. Mosshart was previously the vocalist of Floridian punk rock band Discount, while Hince featured in the British rock bands Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power. Mosshart encountered Hince when her band was touring England where “he was staying in the flat upstairs from where I was staying” in London. Mosshart insisted on forming a band with Hince and “really persisted, and eventually we started writing and he encouraged me”. Hince supplied her with a four-track tape recorder and insisted she write music as well as lyrics while on tour with her band. The two continued to exchange music ideas by sending each other tapes. Discount disbanded in 2000, and Mosshart moved to London in the same year. Before settling on a name, Mosshart and Hince performed as “VV” and “Hotel”, respectively, Hince explaining that they “named each other off the top of our heads as a stupid romantic ode to the pop art scene”. The duo opted for The Kills as it “sounded like a band that could exist in any decade”.
Using the ideas on the tapes, Mosshart and Hince began to write minimalist songs with the aid of a drum machine. In 2001 they showcased their new songs on a demo tape; however, the pair shunned approaches from major record labels. Recording as VV and Hotel, they contributed the song “Restaurant Blouse” to the compilation If the Twenty-First Century Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It. Shortly after this they recorded their debut release, the Black Rooster EP, which saw release on British indie label Domino Records and was picked up for distribution by Dim Mak Records in the United States.
It was lo-fi in both musical and aesthetic terms. The record sleeve featured photos of Mosshart and Hince taken in a photo booth rather than professional photography. Musically, the record was a sparse, lo-fi garage rock/blues hybrid. Though the band cites Captain Beefheart, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, The Velvet Underground, The Fall, Patti Smith, Suicide and Royal Trux as immediate influences, the music press has largely compared them to The White Stripes.