The Kills deliver a haunting, stripped down re-interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary 1977 hit "Dreams" on new album Just Tell Me That You Want Me:
A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, which also enlists MGMT, Lykke Li and Anthony Hegarty. Originally written by vocalist Stevie Nicks about her destructive relationship with guitarist Lindsay Buckingham, the fierce duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince bring their brand of moody charm to the track. Produced by Randall Poster and Gelya Robb, the creative team behind 2011’s Grammy-nominated Rave on Buddy Holly compilation, Just Tell Me… covers Fleetwood Mac’s radical stylist changes, from early blues exhortations to stadium-filling pop gems. Known for their gritty sound, electric performances and homemade artwork, The Kills have spent the last ten years touring Europe and America. “There is always a lot of tension on stage,” says friend and long-time collaborator Kenneth Cappello, who for the past nine years has been documenting the band’s most intense and intimate moments—a selection of his images appear here. “It’s like watching a stormy romantic relationship. Everything that is The Kills—they have lived it.” The duo helped edit Cappello’s 600 rolls of film into a new book titled Dream and Drive and took a moment during the Parisian stretch of their current tour to chat to NOWNESS.
Do you remember the first time you heard Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams"?
Nope. I guess it’s just one of those songs that you always hear
The song we were going to do was an old Peter Green song called "Man of the World." It’s so beautiful, but the problem is that Green is a bit like Syd Barrett—he has a tender heart and a fragile brain. The song sounds absolutely perfect but if you try and cover it, you’re just playing a melody really. The whole sound of it comes from the heart and the head, and the fact he was falling apart. So I started listening to loads of Fleetwood Mac songs and realized that there were big songs that no one had chosen. The first time I remember hearing "Dreams" was a really terrible cover by The Corrs. I thought, I want to reclaim it.
Fleetwood Mac were quite prolific on tour. How do you guys compare?
We have been touring for ten years so you have to get all the drama out of the way. There have definitely been horrific moments for us, but if you’re doing it ten years later you find something that gets you through. I don’t know what that is but we have managed. We love each other.
After ten years together, what are your dreams currently?
Part of the reason we are still hungry is because we never really had a manifesto or a plan. I think if we had started with a plan back in 2002 we would have been all over the place because the world has changed from all recognition. When we started, people weren’t booking bands or tours over the internet. We were writing letters to people and sending tapes. It has changed so much that I guess the dream is just to stay humble.
Kenneth Cappello has been documenting you for nine years now. How does it feel looking back at his images?
It feels like we are kids in most of those pictures. It helps with my terrible memory to have photographic evidence of all the things we have done. When I look at the photos, I can remember those gigs, being backstage, the long car rides and plane rides. It makes me really glad that he put all that time in on the road and roughed it with us for all those years.
The thing that really struck me the most were those really early shots in 2003 when we were playing in rickety old places to seventeen people. That was the magic for me. There was some incredible dreaming that we were doing to get through that. Driving for four hours from one show to another, it felt like we were carving our way through the universe. We were really trying to do something spectacular and we thought in our heads that we were taking over the world.
What’s your favorite image in the new book that resulted from those images, Dream and Drive?
That’s a really hard one, but one that I think is so cool is where we are looking into the mirror and Jamie is pretending to curl his eyelashes! Some of the live images are so beautiful. We are totally soaked in sweat and when I look at them I can absolutely feel that. I just remember how fucking hot it was and how dirty and crazy it was.
A question about your hair, Alison…do you use hairspray or is it natural?
I definitely use hair spray. Oh yeah. I use buckets of hairspray. Anything I can spray in my hair, I put it in there.