Kong has taken the music world by storm. Credited as one of the best live acts in the U.K., Kong has certainly raised the bar for rock bands everywhere. With the release of their debut album under their belt, I felt the band was ready to answer a few questions regarding Snake Magnet (QRO review), and their perpetual usage of masks to hide their identities. This is what guitarist and lead vocalist Jon-Lee had to say.
QRO: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Jon-Lee: Me and Lulu grew up in the same town, but didn’t speak ‘til we were in our twenties. He was a punk and I was a greaser! Krem and I met on tour. We were always the last two awake, taking drugs and listening to Can.
QRO: Many (QRO included) have tried to put a label on your music, but your sound seems to defy conventional labeling. How would you describe your sound?
JL: A recent description was a kennel on fire! I like that description, but if you need a tag for your iPod, we are a punk band.
QRO: Tell us about your new album Snake Magnet?
JL: Well it was made in two days, recorded live in a huge stone house. Snoop Dogg had just been there to record. I guess that influenced the break track on the album, “Good Graphics”. We huffed a ton of balloons too!
QRO: Do you have a favourite song from the album?
JL: I can’t listen to the LP, but my favorite to play live is “A Hint of Rennit Innit”.
QRO: Who are your musical influences?
JL: Right now I’m into mariachi rhythms. The Bronx (QRO photos) have been teaching me how to play the basic patterns and they are great, but really hard to play…
QRO: Who is your favourite artist (living or dead)?
JL: Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone.
QRO: Most overrated band at the moment?
JL: I just saw Lady Gaga at The Academy. It was her first headline show with a band, but I couldn’t hear them at all! So I’ll say her band.
QRO: Best band that nobody’s ever heard of?
JL: Ox Scapula!!!!!!!
QRO: If you could share the stage with anyone, who would it be?
JL: GG Allin.
QRO: Do you find it hard to find like-minded bands to play with? What bands do you currently like and respect on the UK scene?
JL: I don’t think it matters who we play with; we’re always gonna be the square egg.
I like a lot of the Leeds’ bands, the Brudenell lot. Bands like That Fucking Tank and the rest of the squat bands up there.
QRO: What’s the best concert you have ever been to?
JL: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, 1995, Manchester. He had R/L Burnside and Doo Rag in support. Or, The Bronx in New York City; the first time I saw ‘em I lost my mind, and a shoe in the pit!
QRO: Best gig you have ever played?
JL: Our last show at Academy 3 in Manchester was pretty special. But these days it’s any gig that I’m not beat up or bleeding after!
QRO: If you could play anywhere in the world, venue wise, where would you play?
JL: Playboy Mansion, Halloween party!
QRO: What’s your idea of a good time on a Saturday night?
JL: Red wine, Wes Anderson films, females, a hot tub, and a quarter.
QRO: Musical goals as a band? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
JL: I’ll be shocked if we’re all alive at this rate.
QRO: Why do you wear masks?
JL: Look what happened to Diana!
QRO: Finally, what do you love most about music?
JL: Making it from scratch… Improvising.
QRO: Cheers for answering these questions, any last words?
JL: Boys goin’ loco!