On 9th May 2008 at 13:09 Anonymous 7067 wrote...
The Kooks are so great... I went to see them play live and they were awesome!
Has anyone heard of The Hot Melts?! They kinda sound like The Kooks... really great sound!
The Kooks: eat healthy and enjoy their humus. Ben Daure speaks wih Luke Pritchard to find out more.
We are sat backstage in the Cockpit with The Kooks, who look well and fighting fit, ready for the night's show. They have surrounded the humus and are digging into it like there is no tomorrow, dispelling the common "beer everywhere and the band laid out drunk on the floor" image as they quietly stand around eating healthy snacks and chat. I manage to get a moment with Luke, the singer of The Kooks, to ask about recent events with the band and their music.
What would you be doing if you weren't a Kook?
If I weren't a Kook? Oh I don't know [short pause] Erm, I'd probably be travelling or something, yeah, I don't think I would have gone to Uni or anything like that. I would probably have gone to America or something. I have a few friends out there that live in like, Berkeley. I'd be doing music no doubt about that though.
What have the last couple of months been like for you guys?
Oh yeah, it's been really cool, we feel like we have been working hard for quite a while and to get something back from it is really nice, but there are down sides to it too.
It's just very gruelling sometimes, you have to do lots of shit like videos and interviews [laughs]. I mean it's not all bad but it can just get a bit gruelling. I mean I can't complain you know, it's everything that we wanted and I think that we have done it the way we wanted to do it, with our music and everything. We really wanted to bring out our record and not shove it down people's throats or anything and I think we have managed to do that. We have allowed people to listen to our record without forcing it upon them [short pause] I don't know though, I mean it's very hard because you're in a band, but I like to think that it's a word-of-mouth thing. Although we are not in the same sort of league as the Arctic Monkeys with that sort of thing, it feels kind of natural for us, that we are kind of here and it's happening.
Speaking of that, when The Kooks are out playing arenas who is going to support you?
Fucking anyone! In fact, Tony had a great idea - bring some old blues musicians with us on tour rather than some band that's signed: something a bit different. I mean I think that we have elements of that in our music anyway, but there is this place in London that I go to sometimes that is this blues bar. They have these kind of cool sort of old reggae blues musicians who are great. Yeah, you know what I mean, they end up just getting on the bus after and fucking off and playing another gig, and I think we would want someone like that.
You mentioned doing music videos earlier on, what's it like doing them?
Oh it's pretty horrible man, you know you have like 14, 15 hour days where you're sat around usually cold. I mean it's not all bad; the first few videos were horrible because they were just performance based. I mean I think the first one came out well and it was nice that we did it; we did it with this director who is a friend of mine and it was nice to be kind of creative at the end of the day but [long pause] it's very wierd man. I mean you spend all day playing the same fucking song, but we find that hard. The new video though, "Na´ve", I got a phone call from this director and he had this really cool idea that we should film it ourselves, not in a really lo-fi way. I mean we are going to have a shoot as well, but it's going to be about this girl, but it's going to be very natural...
It's very hard though because it's almost like the more you progress, I suppose, then the more things you have to do that make you lose your grip with why you're doing it.
We're lucky because there are the 4 of us together so we're always going to mean it, but sometimes there are those things that make you lost sight that you're a fucking musician not a monkey. It's like when you're doing interviews all day, I mean interviews are great but you get some people that will rip the piss out of you, not in a nice way, or when people ask you what's your favourite colour and you're trying to talk about music and they're going on about your favourite colour or who you don't like in the band.
So ... on to the question about your music ...
[laughs out loud] Yeah [continues to laugh]
How is the release of your new album going?
Well, really well, like I say we are really pleased. I think we brought it out at the right time, like there is a really good resurgence of music at the moment and there are a lot of bands. I mean what we have laid out is pretty simple but it's very honest and not bullshit. We're very happy with the results, well not the results but you know what I mean, the outcome has been great.
Do you get bombarded on the streets by fans or if not fan then old people?
[laughs] Erm no, we get heckled for having long hair but not really. I mean it's happened a few times but one time was really weird which was quite a while ago actually, I was on a train and they were sitting next to me and in a way it's really nice you know because they're all like "I like your music" but then you're just sat there and feel like such a twok.
It's really hard, especially after a gig, because people are actually quite harsh, you don't realise that, I mean it's really cool when people love your music and say thanks for a cool gig and you can usually have a decent conversation with someone. Sometimes though I'll be talking to a mate that I haven't seen for a while because we are travelling around and people will seriously grab you and be like "sign this! sign this!". If you say "just wait a minute" they will start going "fuck off" and telling people you're a cunt. So you can't really win and that's quite difficult for us to deal with.