• Interview: We Heart All Girl Band Kissing Cousins

Interview: We Heart All Girl Band Kissing Cousins

At Lyynks Music, we love girl led bands—so we were excited to hear L.A. all girl quintet Kissing Cousins are putting out a new EP “In With Them” on December 9, as well as commencing a month long December residency at The Satellite. And this all on the eve of their 10 year anniversary. The band started as a fun, creative outlet for singer and guitarist Heather B. Heywood, who eventually began working with drummer Beth Ziegler, and from there the project expanded to include more members. They’ve had multiple songs make it onto TV shows, including “Don’t Look Back”, which was featured on “American Horror Story “(that should tell you something about the eerie, haunting quality of their music). Initially, the music was heavily influenced by Heywood’s religious Southern upbringing, but as time has gone on, Kissing Cousins have become more of a complete collaboration among all the band’s members. Still, though the music has become a little softer, Kissing Cousins’ music hasn’t strayed too far from the dark mood they’re known for. Case in point: the official music video for “Cover Me” off the “In With Them” EP, which stars actor Eric Stoltz of Mask fame (stream the video below). Or, just take a look at the photo, above, which pretty much takes us here. Put it this way: this is music to listen to at night, possibly while swigging some booze and smoking a cigarette.

Discover Kissing Cousins’ channel on Lyynks Music.

We asked Heywood a few questions in advance of their kick off residency show tonight. Scroll below to read the Q&A and go check them out at The Satellite this month!

Lyynks Music: Kissing Cousins have been around for a decade now. Congrats! Can you tell me how you ladies settled on your current moniker? Also, did you almost pick another name? If so, what?

Kissing Cousins: Beth and I started the band almost 10 years ago when she began to play drums and I (Heather) wanted a fun all girl musical outlet for my songs. I wanted to name the band Missionettes, Beth thought of the name Kissing Cousins inspired by the Elvis movie and it seemed fitting since we are both from the south.

We read that for Kissing Cousins’ music, Heather drew from her religious Alabama upbringing. For the newest EP, “In With Them”, which is slated for a December 9th release, how did those roots combine with the current members’ contributions (in terms of writing, recording, playing live, etc). Also, what were the musical inspirations for it?

My Alabama/religious roots are more apparent on our previous records. This EP was a complete collaboration with the other girls and Ken Ramos (our producer/ Melissa’s husband). We recorded most of the songs live, which is always a challenge, but really represents how we sound. Ken knows our vibe and he was the perfect producer for these songs. He let the girls really express themselves and created a mood that is befitting to the theme. The lyrical content is loosely based on our intertwined relationships, among other things.

We also read that you recorded “In With Them” in The Day Cave in Los Angeles. Can you elaborate on that? Where is it, what was it like?

The Day Cave is the space where we record a lot of different music projects, including Q un Q and the Past Haunts. It is located in downtown Los Angeles. It is a cozy space with a lot of Juju and a fire escape: the perfect hideout in a zombie apocalypse.

How did you come up with the concept for the “Cover Me” music video?

We filmed the video for “Cover Me” at our rehearsal space where we have spent many, many hours. The space lends itself as the perfect atmosphere for a Hitchcockian [sic] psycho thriller, which is what inspired the idea for the video.

The video stars Eric Stoltz — how did that come about?

Stoltzy was in our video [for] “Don’t Look Back”, directed by Alexis [M Woodall]. She has a work relationship/friendship with him and he agreed to participate in her music video directorial debut. The concept was based upon a black widow.

You also have a December residency at The Satellite. What should we expect for the live shows?

We will be playing new songs, some oldies, multiple special guest appearances (a rumor of someone from “Glee”) and comedians MCing each Monday. We also have some fantastic DJs to induce dance parties and special sweet treats!

Since you’re an LA based band, we’re wondering what are your thoughts on the LA music scene now and where it seems to be heading? 

The LA music scene is constantly shifting and changing, that’s what makes it exciting, it’s a whirlwind. I guess it’s time for the early aughts (sic)—2000s to be revisited or maybe back to the 1930s. Who knows. But you never get bored. There are so many talented, creative people in this town. There is definitely something for everyone. We just keep making music that we like and having fun playing it.

What are some LA girl bands or girl fronted bands you are excited about? There are so many and we’re amazed at their output — lately, especially Dorothy, and of course Warpaint, etc.

Of course, we love Warpaint! Also The Bulls, Oh Boy Les Mecs, and Tülips.

Overall, how do you feel the band has evolved —what with the shifting line up, various producers, time passed since you started —to what it is today?

I think the band is ever changing with each chapter that the different girls and producers are bringing their fingerprints to the songs. I have really enjoyed working with all of the different creative minds. It is always exciting to hear what others can draw out from you and how they interpret the song musically.

We created this band for one purpose only: a fun creative outlet that we could share with our friends. Everyone who had been involved in Kissing Cousins is a dear, dear friend to me and we have had such a fun 10-year adventure!

And finally, what’s on the horizon in 2015 for Kissing Cousins?

Playing shows in support of the new EP! Hopefully touring Europe!!!

Discover and engage with Kissing Cousins on Lyynks Music.

Top photo by Bryan Sheffield

Romina Rosenow

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