From Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snap!
Luke Cartledge: Hiya Kate. Not trying to be cool now please – what’s your actual favourite song?
Kate Stables, aka This Is The Kit: I’m having a hard time choosing something that might not be cool. Not because I think everything I like is cool! But because I have a no shame policy. I love that James Taylor song, ‘Fire and Rain’ – that’s really cheesy…
LC: I don’t know, that’s pretty credible I think. By the standards of this column anyway.
KS: Well, I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
LC: Now we’re talking!
KS: Is that worse than James Taylor? I have no idea.
LC: It depends who you’re speaking to I suppose. But you’re speaking to me at the moment, so… yes.
KS: When I was a teenager, I had all their albums up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik ; I thought Anthony Kiedis was really handsome, and just really loved them.
LC: Do you still stand by that now?
KS: Well he’s perfectly fine-looking.
LC: Sorry, I meant do you still have a soft spot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
KS: Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, their music doesn’t move me as much as it used to – when I was a kid, that early, punky stuff was really exciting. It doesn’t move me as much now, but I think they’re possibly even more likeable now than they were before because they’ve lived life and have experience; they’ve been through some fires, and have come out the other side, wiser, I think.
LC: Was there a song that particularly meant a lot to you?
KS: ‘Get Up and Jump’ – that was a track I loved. Their version of [Steve Wonder’s] ‘Higher Ground’ and [Jimi Hendrix’s] ‘Fire’, also brilliant.
LC: Are you into karaoke at all? Talking of performing other people’s stuff.
KS: I’ve only done it once. I don’t avoid it – I just never find myself in a karaoke situation. I’d love to do it with my sister, because I think she’d be really good at it. But this was at a party, and everyone was cheering the people doing the singing. I’d just met this really amazing musician and person I really connected with called Laura, and we really liked each other, so we were just like, “Let’s do a song together!”
We ended up doing ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’ by Shania Twain, and everyone in the courtyard where this party was happening just turned their backs and sort of pretended we weren’t there. It was just the most excruciating tumbleweed moment ever – then someone else got up and did a Robbie Williams song and everyone cheered again.
I’ve always really fantasised about doing ‘Wonderwall’ at karaoke. But I know that it would be in the wrong key for me and I wouldn’t be able to sing it properly and it would be excruciatingly painful for anyone to listen to. But it’s something I just really want to do – really straining for the notes, like in church when you’re singing a hymn and it’s like, “Where do I go with this?”
LC: Is a lot of the stuff you’re talking about the music you got into as a teenager then?
KS: Yeah – that’s quite an intense age of musical absorption, listening to the Top 40 on the radio every weekend and stuff, and I had two big sisters who were a big influence. One thing that really stuck with me was a tape a friend gave me when I was 11, which I listened to for years and years. I didn’t actually know what it was until later, but it turned out to be the Velvet Underground on one side, and then Lou Reed’s Transformer on the other. That’s definitely something that influenced how I wanted to play and how I wanted to write.
LC: That’s pretty cultured for an 11-year-old.
KS: I loved some pop music too. The Shaman, ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ by Snap!, all that ’90s dancey stuff. And I’ve always been a huge Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé fan – it doesn’t get much better than ’90s R&B does it?