On a sunny Auckland afternoon in Parnell, I sat down with a light beverage and Chloe Langley, half of the self-proclaimed rockabilly two-piece Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. With foundations built on and influenced by the likes of artists such as Brian Setzer, Tom Waits and The Kills, the FPKK sound is a garage-pop, mixed-gender masterpiece, filled with stories of high school dropouts, fast cars and love gone wrong.
Formed in Wellington in 2008, what started as a casual jam session between two flatmates – Langley and Reuben Collins, soon blossomed into an anecdotal “party band, a band-aid over the more serious side-projects in their lives. After a small percussion-fueled feud – (“We fought about who should play the drums and I won, cause they’re my drums. Plus, he’s a far better guitarist than me,”) – FPKK was formed.
Their first gig was booked before they had even written any songs. Eventually becoming disillusioned with Wellington life, the duo re-located to Auckland where they can now be found playing in “…sticky rock and roll dives, the stickier the better,” according to Langley. Contrary to their title, you will be pleased to know that the band in no way supports forcing cats to run fast and kill; rather they were inspired by a 1965 movie of the same name.
“Russ Meyer was one of the first people to do sort of soft porn, with go go dancers and fast cars and stuff. We were a rockabilly two-piece when we started and it was just kind of like a perfect name.”
When we speak they are in the midst of a nationwide tour, promoting their latest single Sebastian – a double A-side featuring two of their signature, guitar- and drum-fueled hits. This song, she says, is a solid step away from their heavy, rockabilly beginnings and into their new, refined, trash/garage/pop sound. Quizzing Langley on its lyrical content I am met with a sigh and a laugh.
“I hate this question. You know when you like someone so much and spend all your time with them, and then get kinda mock angry at them? It’s a song kinda taking the piss a little bit. ‘Yep, this is a pop song, I’m taking the piss, I’m angry at you because I like you so much.’”
Ironically this tongue-in cheek pop number proved their golden ticket into NZ on Air’s Making Tracks funding.
“We’ve been doing this a while now and Ive been shortlisted for funding before, but I think its just pretty funny that when I write a mock pop song, I finally get funding.”
This money injection saw them recording for “the first time in a proper studio,” at Roundhead Studios with Nick Gaffney producing, a process that was exhilarating and new for them both. Sebastian has an accompanying video and will be followed by an EP release nearer the end of this year, which Langley says they’d love to get done on vinyl.