Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a five piece band, fronted by siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (funny that...) They recently released their latest album 'Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third' and are about to embark on an 11 date tour of the UK.
We managed to catch up with Kitty from the band where we chatted about their new album, homemade jumpsuits and family arguments, here's how we got on....
MM: Your music just cannot be pigeonholed, if you had to describe it in just three words, what would they be?
Kitty: “Shock and Roll”
MM: Staying with your music, your live set covers pretty much everything from pop, R&B, jazz, soul, blues, ska, country, rock 'n' roll and more, can we look forward to some Kitty Daisy & Lewis Dubstep arrangements in the near future?
Kitty: “Ha, I wouldn't exactly say Dubstep, but we’re always open to trying new things. Whilst recording this album we acquired an old drum machine and played around with it for a day, linking it up to a computer and mucking about. We didn't use it in the end but it’s definitely worth experimenting with bits of equipment and instruments. We also tried out a Minimoog (synthesizer) but didn't end up using it; it was a lot of fun though so maybe it’ll make an appearance on the next record!”
MM: Your new album ‘Kitty Daisy & Lewis The Third’ was produced by Mick Jones of The Clash, how did this come about?
Kitty: “Will.i.am wasn't available.....Joking! Mick’s been a fan for years and when we thought about getting a producer in, he sprung to mind. Lewis bumped into him at Notting Hill Carnival and asked if he wanted to come round to the studio (which was then at my mums house) and listen to the new stuff we had. We didn't expect him to work on the whole album but he loved all the songs and was really excited about the whole project. He’s a lovely bloke and a joy to work with. And he makes a good cup of tea.”
MM: Your mum Ingrid Weiss was the drummer in The Raincoats who were one of Kurt Cobain’s favourite bands, would you say it was because of your folks that you all got into music from such a young age?
Kitty: “Most definitely. Our dad comes from a big family in India and they were always playing and singing together. During family gatherings when we were kids our dad and uncles would get the guitars out and everyone would join in. My mum was in a band yes, but she never really talked about it when we were kids. She has a lot of records from when she was younger and would always play them at home. So basically there was always music in the house.”
MM: You recorded your new album using a 16 track analogue studio in a derelict Indian restaurant in Camden Town, did you achieve the sound you wanted or did you have to compromise anything?
Kitty: “Moving to a new studio made all the difference, it's a much larger space than our previous studio so that meant we could achieve a bigger sound. In the past we used an 8 track machine so were limited to what we could put on the record. Using a 16 track meant we could experiment more and add new things into the mix, like a string section and a harp which was so exciting! I think we did achieve the sound we wanted. There are always things you would change looking back, but I’m very proud of this album.”
MM: The new album has been rated highly by the music press and tabloids, do you think that your mix of so many genres and styles makes it easier to ‘stand out’ from the mainstream acts out there today?
Kitty: “I think that’s certainly one of the reasons, yes. Each song is completely different to the next so you never know what to expect really, I think we’re quite unpredictable. But I don't think it’s easy to stand out from mainstream bands because if you’re not a mainstream band already, you have to work extremely hard or have a silly amount of money thrown at you, unfortunately in our case it isn’t the latter. Having said that, we’ve been very lucky too and I hope that more and more people will hear our music and come to our shows. I think the only way to understand KDL really is to see us live, I think it’s the energy that draws people in.”
MM: Your stage costumes are amazing, I saw an interview where you say that you’re not ‘Jeans and T-Shirt kinda people’, do you design them yourselves?
Kitty: “Thank you! Yes we design and make them ourselves; our mum does most of the work, well on my ones anyway! Jumpsuits are the best thing to wear onstage, they’re really comfortable and most of all they’re really handy for female drummers; drumming whilst wearing a dress can be very awkward, I did it for years! I think wearing a jumpsuit onstage has given me a bit more confidence too; it’s like putting on a suit and going to work. No I wouldn't wear jeans at a proper show, as I’m writing this though I’m wearing black jeans and a Motorhead t-shirt!”
MM: You’re all multi talented instrumentalists, did you all start to learn them at the same time or did it take longer for any of you to become interested?
Kitty: “My first instrument was the drums when I was about six, my dad brought his old kit down from the attic because I asked for a drum kit for my birthday. It was either that or boxing gloves (which I think I got the following year). We had a few instruments laying around the house, like a piano, tambourine, a couple of harmonicas, guitars and a tenor banjo. I took to the tenor banjo and the ukulele when I was about seven I think, as my hands couldn't fit round the neck of a guitar. Lewis could play guitar around that age too, and Daisy took to the piano and then the drums. We did all have a piano teacher at one point, but he mysteriously quit after a couple of years, I reckon we drove him insane because none of us wanted to learn scales or anything, and I would always moan that I was missing the double bill of the Simpsons on a Friday night.”
MM: Being siblings, do you argue a lot? If so, who normally wins? I imagine it would be Daisy and Kitty ganging up on Lewis and him backing down?
Kitty: “Yes we do argue a lot! But it’s usually forgotten about five minutes later. It’s all five of us in the band, mum and dad too so you can imagine it does get heated at times. We don’t really gang up on each other; it’s usually that one person gets pissed off at another. And no, Lewis never backs down!”
MM: Your track ‘Going Up the Country’ featured on a movie called ‘Welcome to the Rileys’ featuring the late James Gandolfini, how did this come about?
Kitty: “I honestly have no idea, I guess they liked the song and popped it in the film!”
MM: Your UK tour kicks off at the end of January and ends up in London’s KOKO in Camden on February 11th, do you find that your music is received better in one town/city? If so, why do you think this is?
Kitty: “Everywhere you play is different, some audiences seem more reserved than others but luckily they’re usually rocking by the end. We hardly ever play in the UK so I’m really looking forward to the tour in Feb, especially our home show in London. We played a few shows in the UK right at the start of this tour last year, I remember the audience in Manchester being incredible. We love it when people just go wild and be as rowdy as possible! In my opinion, the audience makes the show.”
MM: Finally, why is Lewis upside down on the new album cover?
Kitty: “Good question. The whole idea of the album cover came about when my dad said that no one really looks at album covers the way they used to. If you go on iTunes the image is tiny, “roughly the size of a postage stamp” he said. So we came up with the idea to recreate the royal stamp with Daisy or me instead of the queen. It’s a small, iconic image that everybody recognizes. We took the photos and in the end decided to have all three of us on the cover. Lewis’ photo was supposed to look like the George VI stamp, which is cut off at the neck. The right way up it looked odd as mine and Daisy’s shoulders are visible and his aren’t. Lewis was playing around with it and flipped himself upside down and it just seemed to fit. So it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, it just looked better!”
We'd like to thank Kitty for taking time out to chat to us, we wish them every success for the tour and look forward to seeing them when they play at The Cavern in Exeter. Please take a moment to check out their social media channels which are all listed below.