We heard that The Lounge Kittens are set to appear at DOWNLOAD Festival in June, having seen them last year at another festival in the Southwest, I wanted to chat to the ladies about their sound, their celebrity fans and most importantly, just HOW DO YOU survive a large scale music festival. Read on to see how we got on....
Your sound and style is amazing, how did you come up with it?
Jen - Thank you! Well the fundamental sound of our music is vocal based, and having worked leading and arranging for choirs I was already 'wired' for 3 part harmony. The style's always change depending on how we decide to transform the song, but ultimately we want to make it sound as interesting as possible because we have no musical accompaniment aside from the piano to fall back on. So as well as the melody with harmony, if we can sing the guitar solo, or boost up with some mouth horn (steady) solos then we will! And working with both Timia and Zan is such a blast as they will try ANYTHING I throw at them. It's been wonderful to see us all grow as a trio as well as individuals over the years, our arrangements get more and more technically challenging!
I saw you blow the roof off the Big Top at Beautiful Days Festival in Exeter last year, what can the people of Download Festival expect from you this year?
Zan - Three slightly soggy kittens attempting to bring some sparkle to the mud. There will be some singing, probably. Most likely some metal. Lots of silliness and general merriment. Oh! And silly walks! Because we're CYCLING ALL THE WAY THERE with the Heavy Metal Truants to raise money for Nordoff Robbins, Childline and Teenage Cancer Trust so we're not convinced we'll be able to walk in our high heels by the time we get to our show on Saturday. If we're wearing boots on stage you know it's cos we've got sore bottoms!!
Download is a MASSIVE event, which other bands are you looking forward to seeing?
Jen - It's such a big deal and continues to be majorly exciting every year it comes around! I cannot lie, I am most excited about seeing System Of A Down. I was such a huge fan in my teens, and I still classify 'Toxicity' as being one of my favourite metal albums ever. ALSO, it was the first metal gig I ever went to, at the Brixton Academy when I was 14 and incredibly Zan was at the same gig! We were in the same room together 10 years before we actually met!
Are you planning on adding any tracks to your Download set by acts performing at this years festival?
Timia - Naturally. Not wanting to spoil any surprises but I'd say there are good odds on a traditional Lounge Kittens megamix featuring in the set. You'll have to wait and see...
You perform covers of classic tracks by some amazing bands and I see that you’ve had some great feedback from the likes of Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot), I think my favourite was by Francis Rossi of Status Quo who said "SOME OF THE STUFF I'VE HEARD YOU GIRLS DO IS BETTER THAN WANKING", how did it make you feel when you read that elegantly put quote?
Zan - Well actually Francis said that to me on the phone haha! So it felt pretty amazing. We never dreamed that we'd ever have conversations with people from bands that we love so much, let alone that the reason we got to speak to them was so that they could compliment our work. It's just so great that so many artists have enjoyed our versions of their songs.
This might be a silly question, but how do you go about gaining approval prior to covering a bands song? Is it a legal minefield?
Zan - it's just a bit boring really! Anyone can cover someone else's song. When you perform covers live it's the venue's responsibility to ensure their PRS payments are made. For recording and releasing a song we just have to make sure we pay the correct royalties to the original songwriter.
You are described as “rock sluts in disguise”, tell me, how does a rock slut chill out after a show?
Timia - Chill out? CHILL OUT?!? There's no chilling out, sir. Usually we take our hyper sweaty post-show selves over to merch where we meet fans and do photos and then we notice the club night DJs scowling at our gear still all over the stage where they want to set up so we run back, do a hasty pack down, throw everything in the van, and get the fuck to our budget hotel where we flip for who will share a bed. Wait that's not what you wanted to hear is it? Um we swan off stage in a blaze of glitter as the sequin cannons fire and then we kickback in our tour bus pool which is like what Scrooge McDuck would have had if he was a drag queen... It's a mix of top shelf booze, sequins and wet money.
What are your top 3 tips to surviving a large music festival?
Timia - 1) Get a sleeping bag, one that fully cocoons you. 2) Get in it and enclose yourself in your tent, rock back and forth saying "there's no place like home". 3) Throw on some traditional Chinese guquin music until you stop foaming at the mouth. That might just be me....
What other festivals have you planned for 2017?
Zan - We're taking a more chilled out approach to our festivalling this year and only popping up at a couple. Download is our main UK one although we are doing another one in June. But we're not allowed to tell you yet. But it rhymes with Schmastonbury...
Lastly, if you could form a new 3 piece version of The Lounge Kittens using members of ANY band, who would be in the lineup?
Jen - Michael Starr would be me. We both sing super high and have a 'speak before we think' way of life... often resulting in being mocked via private jokes by others for the rest of time. Cher would be Zan, because Zan is basically Cher. And Cher is awesome. As is Zan. I wish Jack Dee was a singer, as he would totally take the roll of Timia! Alas! I actually think Dave Grohl would be a great Timia as he has a yummy sounding lower register but can also pack a punch in higher ranges but also can completely take the piss out of people, and himself. Screw the original TLK I want to see this line up!
Timia - Ninja and Yolandi visser from Die antwoord and me. It might just be that I want to be in Die Antwoord...
Zan - Rik, Vyvyan & Neil from the Young Ones, in sequin drag. So basically, Bad News, but with harmonies.