London siblings, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis will return to Dublin tomorrow night to play a headline show at The Academy Green Room. Kitty Daisy and Lewis returned this year with their third album, aptly titled, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third. The album was produced by The Clash’s Mick Jones.
We caught up with Lewis for a quick Q&A ahead of their gig and discussed working with Mick Jones on the new album, building their own recording studio and their recent touring. You don’t want to miss them in action tomorrow night, we guarantee you!
How has touring been going? You’ve been around the UK and Europe recently
We finished that tour about a month ago, the European tour; and then we did an American tour and now we’re doing a few shows in Ireland. So we’re just doing little stints now really.
What country was the highlight of your recent touring?
I think for me, going to Japan was amazing. We’ve been there a couple of times before but never to do our own headline shows, it was always festivals. So that was pretty amazing. I think places like Germany as well. We had good gigs all over really. But I think Japan was definitely the highlight.
Are you looking forward to playing in Dublin this weekend?
Yeah it should be good. We always have a good crowd in Ireland.
How was it working with Mick Jones on your latest album Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third? How did Mick come on board?
With Mick, we had kind of known him for a while because we played at some of his nights and seen him around in clubs, pubs, things like that. Then we just sort of asked him whether he would like to produce a few songs and he said yeah. He was kind of a fan of the band anyway and then he came round and we rehearsed for a good 5 months just playing and playing while we were still building our new studio. So there was a lot of that and a lot of hanging out and talking bollocks and it was great really because he was just like another member of the family. Then when we finally completed the work on our studio and got it to a point where we could get in and lay something down when we went in, he was there every day. It was just like having your mate there, hanging out. Great having another set of ears in the room because we had never really done that before.
You recorded in an old Indian restaurant – how did you go about turning that in to a studio?
Well, with quiet a lot of modifications to the room and a lot of building work and stuff. We kind of got it to a point where we were ready to go and then we decided to do a lot more other things which is why we rehearsed a lot with Mick. When we built the studio we more or less just got it all ready and moved in all the equipment, tested it out and whatnot, all the technical stuff and then just hit record. And that was it.
Describe the latest album
For me the album is quite different from what we had done before – not really because of what Mick was doing but because we kind of already wanted to do that already and we’d come up with things like arrangements and stuff like that. So it’s kind of different in the way the song writing is and the compositions of the song, and instrumentally. It’s also recorded a lot different from the last two records which were recorded in my Mum’s back room. I guess some would say it’s more polished but really it’s just done in the same way, different techniques and stuff.
What’s your favourite track off the album?
I dunno there was kind of a gospel-y track which didn’t make it on to the album and made it as a Japanese bonus track. Mick didn’t want it on the album because he didn’t want 13 tracks. He thought that was unlucky. I was like stop let’s have 13 tracks on the album but he really didn’t want to do it so that was the track that got pulled. I think it’s my favourite because I haven’t heard it as much as the other ones.
In what way do you feel your song writing has changed over the years?
I guess you just grow up and different things happen, you’ve got more to write about. I think the way you record a song is a lot different, we used to just play it and record it like that. Whereas now with this one we did a lot more stuff to make it more of a performance piece on record, if you like. You can do the stuff in the studio that you can’t necessarily do live and that’s what we were doing more in the songwriting with this record.
Could you tell me about some of the instruments used on Kitty Daisy & Lewis The Third?
We used pretty much the same instruments that we used before except we had a proper drum kit this time; which we went out and bought because we kind of started recording and realised our drum kit was completely shit. It was falling apart and rattle-y, so we kind of bit the bullet and went in and got a proper 60’s Gretsch drum kit which was really nice to use so there was that. We did try use a Moog synthesizer on some tracks but it didn’t quite work because we didn’t really have enough time at the end but we really wanted to use it but hey there you go.
Since you grew up in this area – How much has the music scene changed in Camden over the years?
It’s changed loads, I think mainly because of the architecture of the place. Like anywhere really a lot of music venues get shut down or demolished so slowly there’s less places for music to happen. I think when I was a kid there was pubs everywhere and they all had different bands playing and stuff like that. I’m not really sure people go see bands in pubs as much any more, it’s more about going to a gig now, the big venue which is a shame because I’m not really a fan of that – I like going to a pub and rocking out to a band.
What bands/artists are you listening to at the moment?
Some good people around at the moment. There’s a guy who lives local to us, Michael Kiwanuka and I’m a big fan of his music. I just recorded an album with a young jazz band called Kansas Smittys House Band. They get the crowd rocking… Lake Street Dive, I like those guys.
After the gig in Dublin will you be taking a break from things? Will you have some down time?
Since we started building the studio it’s been non stop because we built it, then recorded and done all the other shit in between and then went on tour so kind of any time that there isn’t a gig really I just like chilling out and doing my own thing, hanging out on my own really to get a bit of peace and quiet.
Catch Kitty Daisy and Lewis tomorrow night at the Academy Green Room. There’s still some tickets on sale priced at €16.50
Check out the video for their latest single “No Action” below