As the Durham trio prepare to release new jazz tinged album 'Smoking in Heaven', we talk to them about swapping instruments, skipping covers and what they're sorry about
The North London trio consist of brother Lewis and his sisters Kitty and Daisy. Having played together for years, the Durham siblings has found themselves a truly unique aesthetic and sound, which was visible on their first eponymous long player, released in 2008. The vibe was one of rockabilly and old school rock n 'roll. Anyone having attended a K,D&L gig will know it's difficult to stand still and the close connection between them and their on stage dynamic is obvious. Add to that the band's affection for swapping instruments and the family affair is full of bubbly energy and quick foot steps.
New album 'Smoking in Heaven' - of which 'I'm So Sorry' is the lead single - boasts a more jazz-led sound than its predecessor, but maintains the sibling's love of infectious rhythms. Also worth noting is the new album's lack of covers. Whereas the first album was built entirely on other people's material, 'Smoking in Heaven' only contains original material from the talented trio.
Dazed Digital: How did you get together as a band?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: We used to go to this folk club called "Come Down And Meet The Folks" in a pub called The Golden Lion. We were all still quite young. Kitty was 8, I was 12 and Lewis was 10. we went every week and one night Big Steve (the guy who ran the folk night) asked Lewis to get up and play a song with him. Kitty spotted a drum kit and decided to get up too. Big Steve then asked for them to do it again another night so i joined in playing accordion. After this more and more people were asking us to come and play at various pubs and clubs. Before we knew it we were "a band".
Big Steve went to live in America so we dragged my dad in to play acoustic guitar then eventually my mum joined on double bass. We have all been playing music at home and jamming before we can remember. We have always had instruments lying around the house and always had my dad singing to us. We actually started playing some of the songs on our first album before we heard the actual record. So I guess it's kind of like the old folk tradition were songs are just passed down the family.
DD: What are the Pros and Cons of playing with brother and sisters?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: Sometimes it is hard to get anything done or to agree on anything, but because we are family we are all equal. We do argue a lot, but we have all got better at getting along in the whole band thing. I think we are just a normal family. Yes we do argue all the time but the good thing is we won't split the band up over stupid fights. We can tell each other to fuck off and everything will be OK five minutes later.
DD: How does this album differ from the first?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: First of all there are no covers on this album. It's all original. Also we have some more different genres in there. There is still our rock n roll and blues vibe but we also have a bit of soul, ska and also a psychedelic vibe on one of the tracks.
DD: Where did the jazz twang come from?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: We all have have many music influences and are into all sorts of genres. Jazz, and Rhythm & Blues amongst them.
DD: Are you still swapping instruments?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: Yes. We all play instruments in different ways so some arrangements just work out better depending on what we are playing. Also the fact that we have had instruments lying around the house since we were baby's and were just able to pick them up and jam together means that we all like playing different instruments. We didn't learn to play one thing.
DD: The single, 'Im So Sorry', what is it about and what do you have to be sorry about?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: Lewis and Kitty wrote it as a joke song. Kind of a piss take. Which is why the lyrics are a little cheesy and sort of don't make too much sense. Kitty and Lewis were messing around and playing it one day and my dad said they should turn it into a Ska rhythm.
DD: Are you still doing a few covers?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: We haven't done any covers since the first album. but in the future we may do some. You never know.
DD: If so, how do you choose them? What do you look for in a tune to cover?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: All the covers we have done in the past have just been songs that we've listened to or played for years or great song that we've come across. We have never searched for a song to cover.
DD: Fave track on the album and why?
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: I don't have a favourite one. Every song is very different. Most of us think that "What Quid" is one of the funniest tracks to play but every song has it's own feel. It's also hard to judge your own songs when you've been playing them and listening to them so much.
'I'm So Sorry' is out April 18 and 'Smoking in Heaven' is out May 30 on Sunday Best