|The Über Rock Interview: Psycho Kiss|
|Written by Lindsey Appleton|
|Saturday, 28 January 2017 04:30|
A fan favourite on the South Wales music scene, Psycho Kiss are a female fronted rock band with heavy riffs and infectious hooks. Helen's powerful vocals and stage presence are supported by the driving force that is Paul on lead guitar, Pete on rhythm, Tom on bass and Penfold on drums.
Psycho Kiss have already proved to be a hit on radio stations both nationally and internationally, first with the release of their debut album, ‘Monkeying Around’, in 2011, and then with their follow up album, ‘Bloodbath At The Disco’, in late 2013.
The band are well known for their energetic live shows and have played countless gigs around the UK, including support slots with Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Kee Marcelo (Europe), Hand Of Dimes, Inglorious, Vega and many more, including a storming set at Hard Rock Hell AOR 2015.
October 2016 saw the release of their much anticipated third album, ‘Grit’. So, we pinned Helen and Penfold down for a chat, starting with how they thought this all important album had been received:
Helen: I think (hope?) its gone down really well. Its weird because different people seem to like different elements of it.
Can you tell us a little about your recording process and how it went in the studio?
Penfold: Well, on this album we all brought some ideas together, gave them to Paul and he had a play with them. Then Paul and Tom worked on some demos. When we had the songs structures sorted, we booked into PitchBlack Studios Swansea (with the amazing Dan Angelow), where myself, Pete, Tom and Paul recorded all the music over the course of a week. Then Helen took the songs we had recorded, worked her magic on them and went into the studio to record all the vocals, Pete added some backing vocals to two of the tracks… then they were all mixed and mastered.
What does the artwork for 'Grit' signify and how does it tie in with what's being expressed musically?
Helen: All I knew was that I wanted a brave woman on the cover! The album is mainly about finding inner strength when you feel at your lowest - so I wanted artwork that showed a never give up attitude. Although it could be argued it’s a picture of a stupid woman putting herself at unnecessary risk. Ha ha ha ha!
What have you guys got lined up for this year?
Helen: We have a few gigs coming up. We are at The Duke in Neath, south Wales, on 18 February, then on 24 February we are at The Roundhouse in Birmingham supporting our good friends The Scopyons. Those two gigs will be our warm up for our spot at HRH AOR in March, which we are really looking forward to. After that we are hoping to get a UK tour together and we are already working on ideas for the next album... we like to keep busy!
What do you most enjoy about touring?
Penfold: Meeting new people and seeing how the songs work with a live audience, recording is great but you don't really know how good - or bad - the songs are until you play them live. There is something very special about seeing people sing along to your songs.
What drives you while on tour, what keeps you going?
Have you ever been tempted to leave a band member at a service station and drive off without them? If so which band member would it be and why?
Helen: I'm tempted to leave all at them at a service station every now and again. We've all got annoying habits, but we just learn to keep out of each other’s way if we can.
Have any of you ever played a prank on another band member that you can tell us about?
Penfold: A couple of years ago myself, Paul and the bass player from our first album, Jason Sims, were in Los Angeles for a music convention. We were staying in the same hotel as some fantastic musicians, and after a few beers too many Jason and myself wrapped Paul in a big duvet and threw him into the hall outside our room... All the rooms led out into an atrium, so he was trying to get out of the duvet before anyone famous saw him... He looked like a human tortilla ha ha ha! There are a few other stories but my lips are sealed
Any advice for bands that are just starting out?
Helen: Don’t worry about having the most expensive gear or sounding like your favourite band, just make sure that you're tight and playing songs that say something to you.
Penfold: Always be respectful, you will work with a lot of people during your career... some good, some bad... Always show respect and never be a dick!!