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By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
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By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Alison Mosshart confesses to being in a very good place at the moment. It's late March, and, after countless delays, her band The Kills will finally be releasing their fourth full-length, Blood Pressures, on April 1. She couldn't be more excited.
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That's mainly because with every new album there's an accompanying tour, and Mosshart says she's been jonesing for the adrenaline that comes from the stage.
Sure, her side project supergroup, The Dead Weather, gave her new ways to scratch that itch over the past couple years. But it's playing with her Kills partner in crime Jamie Hince that Mosshart is craving this very instant.
"I love where Jamie and I are right now," Mosshart says. "The separation we've had because of The Dead Weather has allowed us to bring different perspectives to each other."
Really different perspectives, turns out: Recently, Mosshart shares, Hince told her that she's "more American" now than ever. This despite the fact that the small-town Florida native has called London home ever since she moved there 12 years ago to form The Kills with Hince.
Before taking up the expatriate life, their collaboration mostly consisted of mailing tapes back and forth between London and Florida. These days, that process hasn't changed much, even if the distance between them has; the two still tend to develop their songs separately.
"I write my song lyrics and melodies on acoustic guitar, and he takes it and makes it amazing," Mosshart says. "He is quite private, and tends to bring things to me far more complete."
"Sometimes, he'll let me contribute to the words—but that's only if he has been struggling with them for months and months. I'll be saying 'I can do this! Let me help!'"
Her announcement of Hince's shyness is an interesting reveal, especially in light of Hince's recent engagement to supermodel Kate Moss, who's always in the spotlight. Maybe, though, he's able to handle his new spotlight because of both his and Mosshart's recent increased maturity—something quite evident on Blood Pressures, where the songs seem to boast smoother edges than earlier Kills material ever did. Even so, it's still a classic Kills release, running the gamut of sonic stylings. The disc contains a couple of straight-on ballads, tack piano and even a reggae rave-up.
Another thing that remains the same: Every Kills audience can count on Mosshart oozing sensuality on stage. A ferocious performer who stalks across the stage with a devil-may-care attitude, she may be the most commanding live performer in rock.
And yet one more thing won't change any time soon: Even after touring as a four-piece with The Dead Weather, Mosshart says The Kills will continue to perform as a duo, bringing no added performers with them on the road, even as their sound grows increasingly dynamic.
"When we released Midnight Boom [in 2008], we thought 'How are we ever going to do this live?'" Mosshart says. "But, of course, we did it, and perfectly. For this album we thought the same thing, and we rehearsed for a week and then we knew, 'That's how we'll do it [again].'"
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