INTERVIEW

“”Hmmm, I can tell that this watch belongs to someone who writes about music,” grins Little Death bassist Malia. She’s giving me a crash course introduction to the world of psychic powers, a subject that the LA rocker/sometime photographer knows exactly 20 pages worth of knowledge about, courtesy of her current new read. The watch […]

“”Hmmm, I can tell that this watch belongs to someone who writes about music,” grins Little Death bassist Malia. She’s giving me a crash course introduction to the world of psychic powers, a subject that the LA rocker/sometime photographer knows exactly 20 pages worth of knowledge about, courtesy of her current new read. The watch in question tells us that, at Holloway Road’s Coronet, we’re a tad early meeting the band’s singer/songwriter/guitarist, KC.

Like their English drummer Will and Canadian second guitarist Nathan, the American duo are fine company to keep. Having recently been discharged from hospital where he underwent a scheduled operation, KC, dosed up on colossal amounts of painkillers, remains in fine, charmingly nonchalant form, countering banter that flies his way from Malia, dressed head to toe in black and equally as cool as the frontman. Will is absent today for reasons unknown while Nathan is back home in Canada, fixing his visa to return to London. It’s an absence that is telling of just how much Little Death “fucking mean this band,” as Malia earnestly puts it.

“Us all being from different countries does totally hinder the band,” begins KC, still adapting to the outside world he hasn’t seen for 9 days and speaking in a hushed whisper. “I was thinking about this last night. It’s like you’re building a space shuttle‚”yeah, let’s go with that‚” It’s really hard to build a space shuttle when you’re aiming for Mars and people keep leaving your company because they have to leave the country to sort out visas or whatever. I think that’s why so many good bands form at college or when people live at home, because living life is hard enough without trying to do this massive, massive thing. Coming together in a country that doesn’t necessarily want you there is difficult.”
Malia concurs while adding a positive spin: “But having to try so hard to stick together we’ve come together and said, ‘we believe in this band, we believe in each other and I’m going to do everything I can for us to stay together.’ And when you come into it with that much energy we fucking mean it and are here to go for it!”

Point taken, on both accounts. The British government has never favoured rock’n’roll until it’s making the taxman rub his porky fingers together, causing the likes of Mick and Keith to flee the country on private jets, which they’ve paid insane tax costs on no less. But Malia is right; the constant strain forced upon Little Death by members flitting to and from their places of origin has injected their music (and most notably live shows) with a complimenting urgency and real thirst for success.

It was recent A/A limited single ‘Countdown/Tough Lover’ that first got us excited about this multi-national quartet, the latter track in particular. All chiming in the intro, ‘Tough Lover’ slips into a sweet all-American opening verse (helped by Malia’s feminine backing vocals) before stomp boxes are stamped on and Little Death become champions of a crashing, beautiful chorus. To say that it sounds like nothing we’d ever come across would not only be false but would probably make its main creator, KC, – a man who fully accepts that at every point in musical history previous material has influenced every song ever written – blush. But ‘Tough Lover’ – along with ‘Countdown’ and the remainder of Little Death’s live set favourites – has sparked many to label the band’s sound as not of any particular genre but simply as ‘sophisticated’. Which, let’s face it, is far more of an intriguing description than, ‘Nirvana crossed with Afgan Wiggs, Pavement and The Smashing Pumpkins’ – a summation that is bound to soon follow Little Death as the press learn of the bands that KC and Nathan bonded over when starting their rather sonic outfit. In any case, the latter description, I’m sure you’ll agree, is no bad thing. But back to ‘sophisticated’‚”

“We’re not sophisticated at all,” sniggers KC, against his doctor’s wishes. “I think it’s a nice way to look at it though. I mean, it’s a nicer way to say that something is complicated really. What we’ve always aimed for is a sound that is the other side of simple. Things are intricate. It doesn’t smack you in the face that there’s all these things going on but I like songs that you can hear and get into straight away but when you listen to it again you hear that there’s more going on.”

“We’ve never heard that,” laughs Malia, joining in on displaying Little Death’s modesty “but when people say that people are talking about us we’re like, ‘are you sure that they’re not talking about Moby’s band?’ cos that little fucker’s started a band called Little Death NYC‚” that little bald walking sperm.”

I’d suspected that Malia’s reading of my Casio had not displayed real psychic powers and that’s confirmed it. She’s been rumbled! If Derren Brown was in a band creating such a buzz he’d sure as shit know about it, and yet the only Little Death member who is a proud fan of BRMC (something that might surprise you when first checking them out) is totally oblivious to how soon her band’s unquestionable dedication is sure to pay off. With no small amount of irony Little Death are as far away from shaking hands with The Grim Reaper as the embryo cast of Harry Potter, ultimately because they’ve refused to die; something that we can be very grateful for. “

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