Face to face with The Kut

The Kut Promo 1

The girls in The Kut play rock music to give you chills and non-stop headbanging fits. True, these three ladies know how to make some really great, loud rock music. The Kut have recently released their EP ‘Make Up’ and are now ready for a new chapter in their lives. Lead singer and guitarist Maha tells Rock Britain about the EP, inspirations and best gig of her life.

– Your EP ‘Make Up’ is ready. How do you feel about the EP? What makes you especially proud of this record?

– We are so happy to finally have the EP out there. It marks the end of a bit of a messed up period for us, where we were going round in a circle. It was a case of waiting on a deal to come off with Warner USA and just focusing on the live shows, but it just went on too long and we made the big mistake of not recording or releasing material. When we finally got it in our heads that this might have been the biggest mistake of all time, we were really happy to work with our producer James {LeRock Loughrey} on the three new tracks. As we are an independent band, finding the right producer and the budget to make it happen was one of the biggest reasons we didn’t make things happen sooner. James is just awesome and made the record sound just like we hoped and more. We are really happy to have it out there and in a way it’s almost like kicking out the bad luck we’ve had with it and setting in stone that we are back in action.

– How was the process of work at the EP? What was the most memorable thing while working at ‘Make Up’?

 – I think the most memorable thing, at least for me personally, was the frustration. The Make Up EP was a really long work in progress, not particularly because of the songs, as they were written and finished easy in comparison to getting them recorded and out there. It just took too long. In a way we thought about which tracks should go on a lot, and whether people would get us, especially because our song genres and styles change a lot during our live set. It was a case of which tracks to put on the EP. In the end it made sense to add in some of our previous releases too, as they never made it onto a full length. DMA was our first official single and came out on Universal at the end of 2009! We’d had a lot of success with it in terms of exposure but we weren’t sure it made sense on the record because our sound has changed in a few incarnations between that and where we are now. We just hope it all comes together and everyone who has been supporting us can get where we are coming from with the track choices.

 – What were the main sources of inspiration for ‘Make Up’?

 – I guess the majority of it is from life, when someone says something and you think about it for half an hour after they’ve gone, or the day you had when you just felt like words over a beer weren’t enough to express it. It was a mix of emotions and feelings. Some was frustration and some was kicking back and saying, you know what, this is how it is and fighting back against a lot of negative things that were happening at the time. I know we have musical influences and sure we love a lot of the same bands, but somehow that doesn’t really come into the mix when we write, it’s just about expression. I think there’s a lot to be said and if someone else can connect with what we are saying and it makes them feel something, hopefully stronger, then that is the best inspiration really.

– How did you enjoy working with James Loughrey at the EP?

 – Working with James is easily the best thing that’s happened to us. We’ve worked with a lot of different producers in the past, some of the time we took out was due to that also, and the records not sounding right or there being extra recording fees that were never part of the mix. There’s so many sharks out there and it’s nice to find a producer who is genuinely passionate about the music, rather than how much they can fleece you and when by.  He is really laid back and brings out the best of us in the studio without being forceful or negative. I think we need that. I also produce records, but when it comes to our own stuff I could never detach and then end up putting my vocals and guitar low in the mix because it’s all I’m used to hearing. We needed to step away from that, and to be able to work with James helped me to be able to detach and then let him work his magic. A lot has to be said for working with the right producer. It’s changed things a lot for us in a positive way.

– There was a hiatus from writing music in your career. In what way do you think this pause has benefited you as a band? What have you learnt from this pause?

 – That’s true, but you know I’ve never thought about what the benefit was. I know that’s the kind of positive thinking you need, but if anything maybe it was that we just had a lot of time to play gigs, make that our main thing and make connections with new people at the gigs we played over that period. A lot of the time it’s difficult to fit in new material and recording when all you have is a few hours of rehearsals for the next show. The time we took out we ended up doubling our rehearsal time, and concentrating on new music in one half of the time and the live set in the other. I guess it gave us a lot more material to work with. We used to have just a 6 song set back then because everyone wanted us to play for 30 mins, but now we have about 12 songs in our live set and play for an hour or more, although saying that, a few of the new ones were only added in in the last month or so, so maybe I’m just making that up!

– You style your sound as basement rock. What do you put in this description? What is basement rock for you?

 – I guess basement rock is a gritty grunge sound, but it was meant to be fluid between genres. There’s quite a few different genres in the mix and while we do play rock and grunge there’s definitely elements of ska and breakbeat in some of the stuff we do. Admittedly some of those elements we’ve moved on from, but we might revisit that in the future. A lot of the very early set had some funk influence with jazzy licks thrown in for the mix. We’ve left a lot of that behind us, but might re-visit some of those in the future because it feels like we skipped out a whole album whilst waiting to get in the studio.

– In the genre dominated by all-male bands, being an all-girl band is very different and unique. How does it feel?

 – Hm, that’s a tough question. I guess it just feels like being in a band.. but there are differences in that there’s no need to worry about getting changed, chatting about personal stuff or doing your hair and make up in the car on the road, or sharing a room because some bf will be annoyed or something. I love all female bands myself, like Lunachicks, L7, Veruca Salt etc , but we are just a band who happen to be female, so it’s all about the music for us. The fact we can go out there and represent for females is just a bonus but it didn’t come before the music.

– What’s your earliest music memory?

 – Well I don’t know if I remember it or if I just remember of being told about it, but at the age of 4 I made up a song called ‘one a din’ about how music had a baby and then disappeared. I used to play it and sing it on the piano which was my first ever instrument. It sometimes comes up at family occasions, but just as a joke. LOL

– What gig of those you’ve attended do you consider the best one and what made it so?

 – Haha, wow, I’d have to say Linkin Park at Summersonic in Japan was pretty epic! 80,000 great songs and a brilliant atmosphere. I love gigs in Japan. The culture is so fantastic and the crowd is so respectful and fun and appreciative of good music. I loved it!

– Ideally, what do you want to achieve with The Kut?

 – I’ve personally had 3 band related goals since the beginning of time, and they haven’t changed.. I guess I am what you could call fixated and for no apparent reason… I’d love to do an unplugged album for MTV live, most likely inspired by my love for the Nirvana Unplugged in New York album, but I’d also like us to get our music on a Levi’s ad. I remember my best friend’s cousin’s band, Stiltskin, had their song on one years back and it was so epic! I actually can’t remember the third… I suppose it would be just to get our music out there and get some vengeance for all the people who have fought the battle with us, our supporters, friends and family…. Just to bring one back home for the team and say, yeah, we did it.

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