Even though they may look classic with their fedoras and zoot-suit-esque attire, UK-based band LickSpittle is everything but. They’re edgy, they’re energetic, but most of all they’re fun! With their new single “Lush Hound,” LickSpittle has broken into the spotlight and combined their dynamic nearly electronica sound with a ska-band set up that is hard to beat. Bands like Spoon or Scissor Sisters can bring in a crowd with similar music tastes, but it takes a band like LickSpittle to get your feet moving on the dance floor. So if you’re in for a good time, be sure to look out for the duo as you dance your way to freedom with “Lush Hound!” I sat down and email-interviewed Kid Kudos and Jimmy Suds about their sound and about themselves:
Pick&Pen: How did you two meet?
Kid Kudos (right): Suds was working as a waitress at a cocktail bar…
Jimmy Suds (left): We met over ten years ago through mutual friends and immediately hit it off but have always had other bands and projects ‘on the go’. We’ve talked for years about doing some music together and we finally got around to doing it.
I’m glad we waited. What we’re making now is the ‘real’ us but we would never have made it ten years ago.
PP: What inspired you to begin writing music for LickSpittle?
JS: A shared love of the quirky. We both love grunge, we both love electronica, we both love Hallowe’en – the list goes on. We wanted to make music that was simple, different, catchy, made people laugh, made people dance and created an energy and a presence. We had no idea what it would sound like but they were the rules.
KK: We started doing it just for the craic initially. As Suds said, we’d always threatened to do it. Now was the time.
PP: What is your process – how do you write the lyrics and set it to music?
JS: It varies. Sometimes we get a vocal line (or lyric) in our heads and make the music to suit, but more commonly it’s the other way round. We jam, put down a rough track and then both get up and sing a load of nonsense until we have something we like. Then we put the lyrics to it…
KK: Yeah, it’s refreshing to write without any pre-conceived ideas of what we’re going for. A song just happens and evolves – it’s an organic process. Sometimes a song sounds completely different to how it began. All depends what mood we’re in that day.
PP: What bands inspire you?
KK: Crikey. I gotta say Nirvana, The Who, Jamiroquai, Them Crooked Vultures, Led Zep. So so many. At the moment a lot of young musicians inspire me. Reckless Ambition, Mattie Deterding, Jacob Allen. Names to watch out for…
JS: Anything from the older stuff like The Cure, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Reef and Orbital, through to some of my favourites of the moment like Bonobo, tUnE-YarDs, Silver Columns and The Future Shape of Sound.
PP: What type of music do you classify yourself as and why?
JS: We don’t because we don’t seem to fit a mould really. Some people say grunge, some electro-pop, some funk, some indie. We’re at our happiest (and most honoured) when we’re compared to as many artists as possible.
PP: What made you decide to go electronic?
JS: We didn’t! For some reason we get the electronic tag now and again but there’s virtually no electronic parts in there at all. I think the fact that we both love a bit of quirky electronica means those influences maybe come out somehow…
KK: The guitar amp is electronic.
PP: What inspired your look and why?
JS: Hmmm. Good question. Not sure… It just seemed ‘right’. So many of our reviews say we have an energy and a swagger and I think that comes through in the look. We don’t take ourselves seriously but we like to put on a good show.
KK: Mine was more luck than judgment but I liked it. Good hat!
PP: What’s next for LickSpittle?
JS: Finish the album, put the live band together, play some live gigs near the end of the year, and ultimately, world domination.
KK: Ha ha. Not necessarily in that order. Can’t wait to write some more tunes and definitely do some live shows. It’s all about the live shows, and I’ve got to get more use out of that hat.
PP: What’s the first album you ever bought?
KK: I think it was Nirvana’s Bleach. Blew me away after the big hair rock of the 80s. After that I think I spent every spare penny on albums. And still do!
JS: I had a load of cassettes when I was young which were often bought for me (I remember Michael Jackson ‘Bad’ being probably the first album) but the first CD I bought was Megadeth – Rust in Peace.
PP: Where do you go to find new music and why?
JS: Everybody on the Mostar Records label is close and like a tight-knit family so we get to hear about some incredible new bands from there, but otherwise through live gigs, recommendations etc. We’re surrounded by music so it somehow seems to find us…
I have a lot of students at my Music School and they always want to learn something new and challenging. It exposes me to music I may have never heard otherwise. Thanks students.
PP: What is one thing you can do that’s pretty unique?
JS: Anything from my circus days really – breathing fire, taming lions, swallowing swords, enjoying the ‘Lycra and moustache’ look. You know, that sort of stuff.
KK: I can speak 17 languages. All of them made up on the spot.
PP: What is your drink of choice and why?
JS: If it’s alcoholic I like an obscure Scottish beer called Innis & Gunn. For something soft, you can’t beat a Dr. Pepper. But also, being British, I do like a good cup of tea.
KK: Ooh tea, definitely. On a night out though I will go for a White Russian or maybe a good brandy. Mother beer is never too far though.
PP: If you could play with any band, still around or not around, who would you choose and why?
KK: I think I’d join the Foo Fighters. Partly for the music, partly for the amazing live shows, but mainly because I have a man-crush on Dave Grohl.
JS: The Beatles. No question. Just imagine it…