London-based rock duo the Kills thought they could cope with recording their latest record in the urban jungle of Los Angeles, but gave up after only a few weeks and split for the wilds of Benton Harbor, Mich.
The far-flung studio had served as their home when they recorded their previous album, 2005’s “No Wow,” and the pair quickly realized that they needed to be in the middle of nowhere to make their music.
“There were no distractions, and that provides room for creativity,” says singer Allison Mosshart. “We had to invent things to do, and that kept us on our toes.”
The result of that creativity is “Midnight Boom,” due March 18 via Domino. The band worked with Spank Rock producer Alex Epton (aka Armani XXXchange), to try and create a grittier, fuller sound. The Kills also drew inspiration from unlikely sources, such as a documentary about urban youth in the ’60s.
“We wanted to create ‘modern playground songs,’ with really upbeat melodies and dark lyrics, like kids used to sing during recess,” says guitarist Jamie Hince.
One place those songs won’t be heard is in any TV ads or trilling as cell phones ring. “I hate the ringtone thing; I think it’s destroying music,” says Hince. Mosshart concurs, “I think the use of music in ads is just ugly. It’s so sad that kids don’t notice or care anymore when their favorite band cashes in.”
Here is the track list for “Midnight Boom”:
“Cheap and Cheerful”
“Last Day of Magic”
“Hook and Line”
“What New York Used”