Dead Kids interview
Dead Kids rose from the ashes of Sona Fariq when they spit in 2004 and they're still burning hot. Their pulsating unique recipe of potent conscious and deep rooted lyrics, mixed with the powerful and almost hypnotic guitar and keyboard accompaniment, is one which shouldn't be missed. Their industrially post-apocalyptic sound is grimy, ominous and enthrallingly addictive.
Contactmusic got the chance to catch up with singer Mike at the Secret Garden Party.
Contactmusic: So what you guys doing at the moment?
Dead kids: We've just finished our tour, released a limited edition single and this is like our summery jaunt. Then we're releasing a new single 'Fear in fluoride' in October, a few people have asked us if they can remix it for us too and no one's asked for money, so that's inspired me to keep asking more and more people to do it, cos no one's asking for a fee.
CM: So until they start asking for money, is that when you stop asking?
DK: Yeah but I've realised that people only ask for money for something when your people approach their people, but if you approach someone directly.. But it makes you realise that this whole music industry is filled with hangers on, you know people who hang around in your changing room and basically..
[NB The following section is not an excerpt from Eastenders but the documenting of a 'situation' that arose during the interview when a real life 'Hanger on-er' took offence to what Mike was saying about people like him. Enjoy.]
[Hanger On] Don't take the p**s.
DK: I'm not taking the p**s.
[Hanger On] I'm serious mate; don't take the p**s with me.
[Hanger On] Alright! Don't take the f**king p**s.
DK: Is that a warning?
[Hanger On] Yeah it is a warning, don't take the p**s.
DK: A direct one?
[Hanger On] Yeah.
DK: There's no need to get violent.
[Hanger On] But you're taking the p**s, aren't ya?
DK: I'm definitely taking the p**s.
[Hanger On] You asked us if you could use the dressing room, we said we don't mind. So don't stand there and take the p**s.
DK: I'm not standing I'm sitting here taking the p**s.
[Hanger On] What's the point in being arsey?
DK: I'm not being arsey. I'm talking about the problems in the music industry.
[Hanger On] Exactly and it's that kind of attitude that's the problem.
DK: I'm sorry it's me now is it? It's my fault.
CM: SO moving on to your music, where you finding ideas from generally?
DK: Generally? I dunno if I was to really say what I feel, I think I might sound like a really bad Hip-Hop artist from New York.
CM: Go for it.
DK: Yeah.. NO I refuse. [Laughs]
CM: As you've got tracks which talk about 'conspiracy in the water'.
DK: 'Fear in Fluoride' is a joke. Thing is that people take it on face value.
Fear in fluoride is about me going on about the fact that the government is poisoning our water with fluoride to make us all control zombies. But at the same time it's meant to be a deluded paranoid outlook of a writer. Basically it's a song about questioning authority. It's about questioning anything that is supposedly accepted.
I mean people always go on about punk rock and all those things but basically it's about questioning authority and I don't think enough people do it. It's like if you're drinking water out the tap willy-nilly without thinking. I think that's the most basic example of people conforming. But everyone does it; we drink it, we taste it, we suck it, we take it into our system and we ingest it and we accept it for what it is and no one would ever question it and that's what 'Fear in Fluoride is about. It's about the fear that all of sudden, that hold on a minute - authority might not be on your side. That maybe they've got a hidden agenda and maybe there is no f**king hidden agenda, maybe it's just your deluded paranoid drug addled mind.
So that's what it is, I'm not standing up and saying it's a political statement. It's just about questioning authority and that should apply to every single human being, within every single level of their lives.
CM: So what's the process with the songs? Say with 'Fear in Fluoride' did you write the music first and then the lyrics? Or did you intentionally start with this idea for the track?
DK: I had an idea for lyrics and I went round to George's house who plays keys and we sat around and listened to some lyrics and some records and we just started knocking some stuff out on the keyboard, then our drummer programmed in the drums and we took it in to a room. It's not very interesting. Me and George write the songs and we take them into a room and flesh 'em out.
CM: I mean a lot of your lyrics are almost poetical. Is that a conscious effort?
DK: It's not conscious, I mean I do write, but I think it's much braver to be a poet than it is to be a singer. I mean I'm not really into poetry, but if you stand up and say you're a poet you're asking to be ridiculed aren't you.
I mean I'm into writing yeah, I like writing, I write short stories and I'm into words, I'm into singing and communicating. I mean I'd rather communicate on this level and getting in front of 100 people, 2 people or 8000 people and just communicating on that primal level and I'm into that more than anything. You know I'm into using words to get inside someone's head
CM: Do you not think it's a shame that there is this stigma attached to poetry and writing?
DK: I mean maybe it's for a good reason, I mean I dunno. There's a lot of pretentiousness surrounding poetry. I mean if people are attacking something you've got to ask why rather than just defending it as a knee jerk reaction. There's no point in saying "Let's defend poetry!" without asking why people are attacking it.
CM: No it's true, that's a good answer.
DK: Maybe a lot of it is bullshit. I mean the worst kind of poetry is in the Big Issue when some f**king homeless person is asking you to feel sorry for him because he's homeless - "Oh and no one looks at me in the eye, because I'm sitting." f**k off you know who cares, I don't care. Maybe that's why you're homeless because you're a bad poet. Maybe if they were a better poet they'd have a very nice house.
CM: Last questions then you're playing here [Secret Garden Party] and you're playing the Brick lane festival. But what's next?
DK: Yeah Brick lane that'll be really good, that'll be decent. But then we're touring in October and we're releasing the single with remixes.
CM: Will that be a nationwide tour?
DK: Yeah it'll be nationwide and we might even start branching out into Europe.
CM: Are you getting good feedback from Europe?
CM: More so than here?
DK: No not really, not more so, I think it's easier over here. The thing is in Europe people just embrace everything, where as here people are a bit more like fold your arms and they wanna be told that it's good.
CM: I agree it's a shame really.
Interview by Adam Adshead
Look out for Dead Kids tour in October, but catch them at the following London dates:
September 9th Brixton Windmill
September 10th Brick Lane Festival
September 12th The Montague Arms
The Cat With The Cream
What I Did For Love feat. Emeli Sandé [Lyric]