Alison "VV" Mosshart says that fan requests have led the Kills to release an expanded edition of the duo's first album, "Keep On Your Mean Side," which is due out May 5.
"No one can find that record -- I felt like I keep hearing that from a lot of people," Mosshart, who's doing double duty these days with the all-star band the Dead Weather, tells Billboard.com. "Everybody felt like it was a good time to do [the album] again. We're still touring, still doing [2008's] 'Midnight Boom.'
"Personally, ['Mean Side'] is my favorite. It was the beginning, you know? It was just the most beautiful time of being in this band. No one had ever heard of us. We were just in Jamie [Hince]'s room, writing and recording stuff. I've become very sentimental about it."
The new version of "Mean Side" -- originally released by Rough Trade, now coming out on Domino -- includes several cover songs, including Dock Boggs' "Sugar Baby," Jonathan Fire*eater's "The Search For Cherry Red" ("That's one of Jamie's favorite bands ever," Mosshart says) and Captain Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie." "Beefheart is one of the bands Jamie and I bonded over," Mosshart remembers. "We still listen to him a lot."
The expanded "Mean Side" also provides a bit of a stop-gap for The Kills as the group is in the midst of a North American tour that wraps up May 22 in Los Angeles and as Mosshart hits the road with the Dead Weather when its first album, "Horehound," drops in June. But even though that group expects to be touring through the summer and into the fall, Mosshart says The Kills are already starting to plot out their fourth album.
"We went to try to get it done this year," she says. "There's ideas. I've got some lyrics and stuff. Usually all I ever bring is a bit of that. That's always kind of the way we do it -- we just get together and start writing and see where we're both coming from. Jamie's listening to a lot of really old reggae music, and I'm sure touring with [the Dead Weather] will give me some new ideas, too.
"We're in the business of inspiring each other. I'm sure he'll do something that'll blow my mind, and hopefully I'll do the same for him."