The Kut are a basement rock band from London who spend their time fighting the good fight... They have been recording their EP with producer James Lerock Loughrey, who has worked with a ton of excellent bands including White Zombie, Skindred, My Vitriol, Sonic Boom Six and many others.
We caught up with the ladies and took some time out to chat about a whole raft of things including unplugged shows, clever gorillas and mosh pits, here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
Hey, thank you for the interview! We are The Kut, we play basement rock, I guess fairly grunge influenced, riot grrrl rock.
You’re called ‘The Kut’ how did you come about choosing this name?
Hmmm, well I guess a couple of things influenced the name, there’s a road in London called The Cut, but I also have a pair of scissors on a necklace that my mum gave to me when I was about 14, so the combination of the two made the K of the Kut with the road. We’ve been told it means various other things too. Apparently it means ‘The Vagina’ in the Netherlands, or ‘Minced Meat’ in Swedish, but they were by accident. A fortunate co-incidence.
What music are you currently grooving to?
Collectively we are into a lot of 90s music, Nirvana, Deftones, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains. I’ve recently been out in the US though and listening to a lot of new bands out there. I’m also getting into City in Colour and found Nothing More at Download this year who I’ve now seen twice. We also like a lot of the acts on Criminal Records, including Argonaut and The Exits.
How has social media aided your music especially during the MTV ‘Brand New’ competition?
Things would be so much more difficult without twitter and facebook, that is for sure. I guess if you are talking about a personal level for us as a band, those things really help us and getting our music out there. The MTV poll was amazing for us, and as it was done exclusively online we couldn’t have done it any other way. Everyone was really supporting us and it has made a big difference to what we were up to, then and right now. Sure, we had email lists to rely on solely in the past, but if you aren’t on social media I guess there is probably something up with that as a band.
As an industry though, youtube has hit bands pretty hard. No-one has the time to sift through a million bands to see which few really are worth checking out. There’s more music out there as a result, some fantastic that wouldn’t have been accessible, but other stuff that is not worth the play. A great example is Germany who hadn’t really been hit by the decline in music sales. GEMA, their industry organisation for musicians rights did not hit a deal with youtube. I know this isn’t great for music fans, but if you think that every single video that gets put on youtube is instantly pirated to hundreds of sites, then it makes a dent. Musicians have to struggle to fund releases, so if organisations like youtube were paying even a fraction of the royalties they MAKE from music, the industry wouldn’t be suffering as much as it is right now.
Please Explain ‘No Trace’ as a song and video, who directed this and where was this shot?
No Trace was one of those songs that had been floating around in my head for a while. It was kind of about the idea that you can have conflicting emotions. Somewhere that you wanted to be, but also that you wanted to run as far away from as possible. We’d already booked into the studio to record and just before it happened the song just clicked. We’d never actually played it before heading into the studio. Although I play guitar and sing in the band I’ve also been a drummer for around 10 years, and the drums were the missing link here. The minute I got that beat in my head the track was right there and we decided to put it on the EP. Alison’s bass really sealed the deal, it was exactly what the track needed and she literally came up with it on the spot in a few minutes. Amanda put the drums down in the studio and our producer James [LeRock Loughrey] knew exactly where we were going with it. We actually shot the video before the final mix was done, but we knew what we wanted in the video. We came up with the storyline and it was directed by Robert O’Meara.
Which band made YOU want to get a band together?
That’s a tough one. I’ve always loved bands and music. I went to my first gig by JAMES at age 9 and saw the whole behind the scenes of a big venue. It was incredible. At the time I was playing the violin and piano and writing songs. None of those instruments hit me, but just being part of the experience was enough. I knew I loved to sing and write songs. I’d been singing to groups of people in my parents hotel in Blackpool from the age of 4. In a way I got into music because I loved doing those things rather than the other way around. My dad was always a big supporter of me doing music. At school we used to make up band names and say who was going to play what. My first band was called ‘Burn’, followed by ‘Blue Orange’ – we’d never had a rehearsal, it was just a fun game to play.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
I’d definitely like to live with a gorilla that can do sign language. I’m really into psychology and there are conflicting theories about whether animals are capable of creative language or not. It would be great to put those theories to the test and get a totally biased personal interpretation of that. However, the fact I can’t do sign language, apart from a few swear words, might actually irritate said gorilla to the point of tearing my face off. I hear they do that from time to time.. Does the gorilla come with a hockey mask?
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Ah wow, that’s a tough one. Mind you, I love everything by the Deftones. Maybe White Pony could go down that route, or Blood Sugar Sex Magic by RHCP. Also, Introduce Yourself by Faith No More, or Pretty Hate Machine – NIN. There’s not many albums you can listen to start to finish and love every single song, I think that makes for a great album – all killer no filler.
What is your Saturday Night and Sunday Morning records?
Yowzers, I’m listening to a lot of Pendulum right now. As a band we usually get something like Alice in Chains, Linkin Park, Faith No More, Deftones, Hole, Brody Dalle and a few others on. I guess it gets away with Saturday night merging into Sunday morning
Tell me a fascinating fact about you or one of your band members?
Hmmm, totally opting out! Our bass player Alison is a doctor with a specialist interest in Neurology. Go Ali !
You’re signed to Criminal Records, how did this come about and what advice would you offer new bands trying to get signed?
We work closely with Criminal Records and they take more of a management role in what we do. They were also really involved in getting us heard by USA Warner when all that was kicking off, so I’d just say that having some independence and working with a good team is a great thing. We are also really involved in getting other bands involved on the label, so sometimes that is a good route in. I’d just say, bands need to make music a real focus. There’s no fairy tales in the music industry and being good isn’t the only factor. Be true to yourself and don’t let the world grind you down. It will try.
Which guitar riff since hearing it made you want to play and even today still sounds orgasmic?
Wow, there’s so many. Ernie C from Ice T’s Bodycount was a massive inspiration to me. The solos he hits are so melancholy you can just hear the emotion dripping from them. It’s something you don’t hear so much. Of course, I love the big names like Hendrix, Tom Morrello, Slash and John Squires too, but they’ve all got their own edge. Nirvana really had it going on in that respect though, their riffs were the collective voice of the 90s.
Who designed the artwork for your EP ‘Make up’?
Echo Beat Studios designed the EP artwork. We totally loved the print they did and they made it up with our logo and EP text. A lot of their work is politically orientated or music orientated, so it was only fitting to get them in on the EP.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
Haha, probably not, we are really close. Alison is my best friend. The girls know everything there is to know.
What was the last thing you ate?
A Katsu curry!
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Hmmm, yikes.. You are killing me here. I guess I would have like to have recorded any of the Deftones tracks with them, but on guitar. Just because they are so awesome.
First gig you ever went to?
Where did you record your debut EP ‘Make Up’ and what made you choose that studio?
We worked on the three newer tracks of the Make Up EP with James LeRock Loughrey, and he picked out a couple of studios he’d worked with in the past. It meant we got to record some parts at our own studio (Cartel Studios) and then the majority of it at Stronghold studios in Kent and the Tilehouse Studios near Brighton. It was a lot of fun for us. We were connected through a friend who was doing DJ Sets from Club Criminal, Sheridan Veuve. He’s been great to work with and knew exactly where we were going with our sound.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
I’d definitely say keep an eye out on Nothing More, they are a great band from Texas, as well as Argonaut from London and The Exits from Portsmouth. Go check them ;)
What was the first record/CD you bought and where did you buy it from?
Haha, I’m sorry I really don’t remember!
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
Hmmm.. any of the bands we love would be epic. I mean if Chino Moreno or Dave Navarro did that would be pretty cool too
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
It would probably be Emily the Strange
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
At the moment we’re mid way through an unplugged set of shows, but also about to finish our Make Up video in the next couple of weeks, which has been really fun so far. I guess then it is more of the same and we will try our best not to die along the way.
Prior to leaving the ladies to get on with their chores, we threw a few quick fire questions and ran for cover....
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Headbang or Mosh Pit?
Mosh pit every time
Drum machine or the real deal?
The real deal
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Sunday roast
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Live show or Recording Studio?
Car or Motorbike?
Acoustic or Electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert De Niro
God or Google?
Fri 8th Aug: Rusty Cage @ Retro, Manchester (acoustic)
Sat 9th Aug: Links-Stock, St. Annes, Lancashire (day time acoustic)
Sat 9th Aug: Kaya Weekender, Bangor, North Wales (acoustic)
Sun 10th Aug: YR Welcome Festival, Wagon & Horses, Birmingham (acoustic)
Sat 23rd Aug: Jägermeister LIVE Weekender @ Blue Room, Blackpool
Fri 29th Aug: Worcester Music Festival, Worcester
Sat 6th Sep: ALCON, De Montford University, Leicester
Fri 12th Sep: East Cowes Beer Festival, Isle of Wight
Fri 31st Oct: Halloween Special, The Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe
We'd like to thank the ladies for taking the time to pore over our questions and wish them every success with their forthcoming acoustic shows, hopefully, we'll meet up with them again soon at one of their live shows.
Interview by Mark Wincott