The Kills is a rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart (“VV”) and British guitarist Jamie Hince (“Hotel”). Their first three albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, and Midnight Boom have gathered much critical praise. Blood Pressures, their fourth and most recent studio album, was released on April 4, 2011 worldwide and April 5, 2011 in the United States. They are currently on tour in the United States and Canada until May 14, 2011. From there they are touring the United Kingdom and other countries throughout the Summer and Fall. However, they will return to the United States for Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 57th.
Mosshart was previously in Floridian punk rock band Discount, and Hince was in the British rock bands Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power (the latter describe themselves as a mix of The Clash, Steeleye Span and The Rubettes). The duo first met when Mosshart heard Hince practicing in the hotel room above hers, and when Scarfo and Discount disbanded, they struck up a songwriting partnership. For months, the pair air mailed work tapes across the Atlantic; this proved to test the patience of both artists as it took days or weeks to get each other’s tapes, so Mosshart moved from her Florida home under the guidance of Lauren Antonina Herbert to London.
Wanting to cut themselves off from their pasts, Mosshart and Hince renamed themselves “VV” and “Hotel” respectively and began writing sparse, minimalist songs together with the aid of a drum machine. In 2001 they showcased their new songs on a well received demo tape; however, the pair shunned approaches from major record labels. Recording as VV and Hotel, they contributed the song “Restaurant Blouse” to the compilation If the Twenty-First Century Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It. Shortly after this they recorded their debut release, the Black Rooster EP, which saw release on British indie label Domino Records and was picked up for distribution by Dim Mak Records in the United States.
The record could not have been more of a departure from both artists’ previous bands. It was lo-fi in both musical and aesthetic terms. The record sleeve featured photos of Mosshart and Hince taken in a photo booth rather than professional photography. Musically, the record was a sparse, lo-fi Garage rock/Blues hybrid. Though the band cites Captain Beefheart, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, The Velvet Underground, The Fall, Patti Smith, Suicide and Royal Trux as immediate influences, the music press has largely compared them to another well-known boy/girl minimalist garage blues duo, The White Stripes.
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