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Alison Mosshart: New Albums For The Dead Weather & The Kills
The Quietus , October 27th, 2009 09:48

Both groups planning to record new material

With the UK leg of The Dead Weather tour under way, front woman Alison Mosshart has been discussing plans for new albums from both her musical projects.

Having previewed new tracks 'Jawbreaker', 'I Can't Hear You' and 'No Horse', at recent gigs, Alison confirmed that The Dead Weather are going to record a follow-up to this year’s Horehound.

Despite her Dead Weather commitments she’s also found time to work on a new album for The Kills, as explained to The Quietus when we caught up with her last week.

I’ve heard that you’ve been playing some new tracks live, how do they differ to the Horehound songs?

AM: I guess they still have that ‘we’re still making them as we go’ feeling. They kind of change every night, but they’re really exciting. I mean there’s so much fresh energy in those new songs because we’ve only played them a handful of times and it’s really fun testing them out on a blind crowd.

Do these new tracks mean there are definite plans for The Dead Weather to be a long-term thing?

AM: There are definitely plans to do a second record, I mean we’ll see how it goes. I mean everybody’s just got a million projects on the go at once so you just can’t see. So far it’s been brilliant and we’ve made it work and everyone’s got something to do. I’ve got no idea, I never even knew I was going to be in this band, there were no plans for that so I can’t really say what’s going to happen three days from now, I’ve got no idea.

So are you still working on The Kills as well?

AM: Yeah, we’ve been writing a record this year, so I’m doing that any spare time I have off from The Dead Weather really. We should have a record out next year as well.

Is it difficult splitting your time between The Dead Weather and The Kills?

AM: It hasn’t been so far but it means no time off for me ever. But that’s ok because I really love this, this is what I do. I love working so it’s kind of perfect for me actually.

Has being in The Dead Weather changed your approach to The Kills?

AM: It’s hard to say yet, y’know? It’s definitely helped my confidence as a songwriter. It’s been interesting for me to watch a song be put together in an hour by four people in a room together jamming, so I’ve definitely learned something from that because that’s not typically the way that I’ve ever worked. And kind of being less shy.

What does Jamie Hince think of The Dead Weather?

AM: He likes them. He’s really supportive of this. I mean anything that makes me happy he’s happy with we’re both very supportive of each other in what we’re doing.

How much creative control do you have in The Dead Weather, is anyone in charge?

AM: Everybody’s really, really active in it. I mean, the only thing I’d say is that Jack produces the record from the drummer’s seat so in that respect as a producer role. But it is really quite equal, everybody wrote songs on that record in pretty equal measures so it’s a real sort of group effort.

Do some members put more into some songs than others?

AM: Yeah of course, there’s nothing like mathematical about this. Whoever’s got an idea starts something first, it’s like everybody’s feeding off each other, but some ideas start somewhere, the next time it starts somewhere else. It’s completely different every time.

Are you able to put your foot down if you need to?

AM: So far there haven’t really been any arguments about music. Well I just think that we work really well with each other, just four people and we really get along great. It’s just like we’re encouraging each other to go and do what we want to do, like this is a sort of art project for all of us to be able to do what we want so it’s brilliant. It’s always like that when you start something new. There’s a free reign really, no one’s trying to stop anyone from doing anything. If someone’s excited about something and really believes in something then that’s more important than anything else.

What are the main differences between working with Jack White and the guys in The Dead Weather and Jamie Hince?

AM: I don’t know, I mean it’d be like me asking what the differences are between your two best friends. We’re all friends, it’s like everybody works in a different way, everybody has different ideas, everybody comes from a different place. I think the main thing that’s similar is that you’re talking about five people that love music and wake up in the morning and have to do it out of necessity for themselves having to contribute to the world in that way and loving it and having a really strong appreciation for the blues. I think we’re all really linked in that way. The differences I think would be trivial; it’s just the passion to do it which is the most important.

How does touring with The Dead Weather compare to touring with The Kills?

AM: There’s a lot more people.

Do you mean like entourage, or people setting up..?

AM: There’s just more people, you know. It’s just more fun, it’s great. It’s great to be surrounded by people all the time, it’s really quite exciting. I mean the only difference is that it’s usually Jamie and I, we’re almost practically one person so it’s like being by yourself sometimes.

You’ve got quite a high profile band member in Jack White, do you think that this can sometimes attract the wrong kind of attention to the band?

AM: I don’t know, I mean Jack’s been playing music since he was a kid and a lot of people know who he is and appreciate his music so I think there’s just more of an interest in general. It isn’t a bad thing; it’s quite a well deserved thing. I mean, I don’t know, I don’t go on the internet and look at rumours, I can’t really comment on that, that’s just not my world so...

There was one particular rumour earlier this year that you and Jack got into a fist fight and you had to issue a statement saying this was untrue, do rumours like that ever affect you?

AM: I mean the only time it gets on my nerves is when someone says something that is really untrue and might incriminate somebody. I think that’s the only thing I’ve ever commented on and I did that for Jack’s sake, because I just thought I don’t want people thinking that he hits people, because obviously we didn’t get into a fight but generally I wouldn’t react to any of that bullshit. It’s just that a couple of people called me quite worried about it, so I did that but aside from that I really, I wouldn’t know unless I was called and told. I didn’t know anything about it, I’ve no idea where it came from.

So for the record, was there ever anything to even start this rumour?

AM: No.