Friday, November 6

Words with: Alison Mosshart

. Friday, November 6

Around the time of Halloween and with the dark nights drawing in ever-chillier recently formed ‘super-group’ The Dead Weather have begun to make increasing sense. A thrilling headline show at London’s Brixton Academy crowned a sell out UK tour and the band also played a fancy dress show at a church in East London. Their vintage thrash blues, as documented on the debut album ‘Horehound’, feel warm and seductive. The blend of Alison Mosshart’s purr and Jack White’s Grr combining with the heavy lurch of Dean Furtita’s guitar to make something which, like all that White touches, feels both classic and modern at the same time. Speaking to Mosshart you soon learn what a powerful presence Jack White has on those around him.

“There was never an idea to form a band, the band just sort of formed itself. I’ve known Jack for probably seven years now and The Kills toured America with The Raconteurs last September and I just decided to jump on the tourbus at the end of the tour and go record something with Jack. He has a studio at his home. Jack was just setting up his label (Third Man Recordings) at this point and said “Why don’t we just go and record a single and put it out as a 7”. There was never any plans for it to become what it has at that point. We got to Detroit and in twenty four hours we’d written five songs though and there was just this incredible energy between us then I went back to Nashville to record some more then we had a record, then we did some gigs and it’s all gone from there.”

“He works really quickly, like astonishingly quickly and has tons of energy and enthusiasm so that is great to be around. I would go into the studio with him at any point in my career to record. I love for the record for what it is- an amazing three weeks of my life. I’m really proud of it and it just seems like it happened so fast. It happened really quickly but when you look at everything Jack has ever done it’s been in that amount of time. You just go in believing you can get something done and you make it happen. In a way has it been too fast? It hasn’t felt like I can’t handle it. Its felt really natural it’s just looking back it’s not how I’ve traditionally done things.”

Whilst ‘Horehound’ is a fine collection of songs they all seem to pack more of a punch and take on a new lease of life in the live arena, a statement Alison agrees with,

“I’ve lived in London for ten years and toured here a million times but I never know what to expect as UK audiences can be quite sleepy but Manchester were brilliant, they were really good. We’re used to playing the bigger venues now. When we did our first ever tour in America we tried to play little, tiny places but it got to the point where we were having to announce the shows that morning because it was getting too crazy y’know? We’re all very comfortable with it now. As for the gigs themselves? Alison describes the Dead Weather live experience, “There is definitely more of an aggression because of the audience there and they are feeding you this energy so it becomes a sort of circular thing were both sides react to each other. The show is different every night and so it should because you’re feeding off so many different factors.”

2010 is set to be a very busy year for Mosshart as she has two full albums in the pipeline. One with The Dead Weather and then back to her day job to release the fourth Kills album, the first since 2008’s ‘Midnight Boom’. First up how is The Dead Weathers second effort shaping up?

“I just want the next record to be absolutely brilliant. We’ve already started recording it and we’re playing songs from it out at shows- I can’t wait to go back and finish it off. We have fifteen new songs demos and about five or six have lyrics so far. We have three days to record some more coming up soon so after that we’ll know how the album is shaping up to sound. We want it to come out as soon as it’s done but it depends on people schedules as everyone is working on two hundred things at once right now, I mean I’m working on the next Kills record right now.”

What exactly is the current state of Kills album number four?

“It’s going great- I spent all of September in London writing it. It was so nice to get off tour and just relax into writing. Me and Jamie probably have about twelve or thirteen songs written now. The way we work is on acoustic guitars but the whole thing totally changes when we programme in the drums so whatever it sounds like now I know the end product will be nothing like it currently is. I’m hoping it will be out in early to middle of 2010 if we can get things sorted after Christmas.”

Having spent a ‘year off’ starting a band with one of the most prolific and talented men in modern music Alison has certainly been spreading her wings and showing the world what a true star she is. Having also appeared on Arctic Monkeys third album ‘Humbug’ (she sings backing vocals on ‘The Fire and The Thud’ we feel safe in saying she has the Midas touch and that with two LP’s worth of material in the 2010 pipeline you should get used to having her around- the weather forecast is good.



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