Jamie Hince may be married to a supermodel, but he finds a roomful of screaming fans way more intimidating. The British guitarist (and husband to Kate Moss) has been half of The Kills for the last decade, but he confesses that he still gets the jitters before every show. But he has a theory on that.
“I think it’s easier when you’re in a band of four or five people if you’re the bass player and your bass goes wrong, the band carries on,” Hince explains. “But with The Kills, if the guitar stops, the music stops. You’ve taken a proper tumble.”
But being part of such a small group has its benefits. When reflecting back on the four Kills albums he’s made with bandmate Alison Mosshart, Hince notes that the simplicity allowed for a lot of experimentation, especially on their early albums.
“When you’re working in a two-piece, you tend to be fascinated by what you can do by leaving things out,” he says. “So the first couple of records were really experimenting with that, and then I upgraded and bought MPC 60 drum machine that kind of kicked open the door to hip-hop, and I just went crazy on that and spent hours and hours striking my drums and really getting into it.”
Given all the time to reflect on his band’s evolution with a series of anniversary shows, Hince admits that their controversial start — in which they shunned most interviews and flouted rules about say, smoking onstage — is a far cry from where they are now as a band. Out of the shadow of the mighty White Stripes, whom they were so often compared to, The Kills can savor their own clearly defined identity. Just don’t call it garage rock, please.
“It kind of got pigeonholed into that sort of new wave, whatever it was, garage rock, whatever, which I always laughed at because we only had like a $40 drum machine that we used, and you know it was so far from garage rock,” Hince says of their first album, “Keep on Your Mean Side.”
“I know we definitely had some sort of paranoia,” he says about the band's approach to the media. “We sort of relaxed the reins a bit, really. I’m kind of happy to talk about my band now. I feel kind of confident, really. It’s not like it’s going to be taken and turned into something else.”
New album in the offing
Last year’s “Blood Pressures” garnered much critical praise, and the band is planning to head into the studio to begin recording a new album due out late 2012 or early 2013.