London-based garage punks The WiDOWS are gearing up for a show at Camden Rocks ahead of the release of their new album Foreign Bodies later this year. John Clay caught up with lead vocalist Kim Le Tan to talk about Brexit, David Lynch and the recent terror attacks in his homeland of New Zealand.
John Clay: Hey Kim, how’re you doing and are you excited for the further adventures of The Widows this year?
Kim Le Tan: First of all, my thoughts are with the families of those slaughtered in Christchurch. Sickened and appalled, such are the times we live in. As far as the group goes, I’m looking forward to our upcoming shows and the release of our new album, Foreign Bodies. Rather depressing, in all honesty, that the title is proving to be so relevant.
John: It must be so hard to process the event in Christchurch. How far is your family from that part of NZ?
Kim: I’m from the North Island where my family still live. The massacre happened in the South Island. But being a small country with a sparse population, I just never imagined that such a fucked up thing could happen there. How wrong I was. Evil clearly has no boundaries.
John: The world’s media would agree with you on that last statement. The face of terror is not exclusively of colour anymore. That being said (and there’s no easy way to segue into this), let’s discuss Foreign Bodies. What can people expect from your debut album, and when will it be available for purchase?
Kim: Well, it’s quite a varied record. There’s a few garage punk tracks, like the first single ‘Brexit Chainstore Massacre’. A dash of rockabilly, some Lynchian blues. And a fair amount of ranting with falsetto harmonies (Roger (bass) and Joan (drums) can actually sing, whereas I merely intone!). Margo Broom did a fine job producing the current batch of songs, but we’re going to record a couple more to round off the album, possibly with another producer. We’ll see how it goes. The plan is to release Foreign Bodies during the summer.
John: Ooh! Loads to talk about there. It’s easy to forget that Joan and Roger have their own vocal talents. Would you ever consider allowing one of the others to sing a lead track, or is that breaking some unwritten law?
Kim: Those two have naturally high singing voices, so if we ever venture off into disco, we’re sorted!
John: Look out Bee Gee’s! Your place in history has been challenged! Tell me about these Lynchian blues?
Kim: ‘Staying Alive’ seems to have taken on a whole new, unintended layer of meaning, tragically enough. Song titles can often do that – evoke a lot in a couple of words, more so than the actual song. By Lynchian Blues, I mean there are references to the great auteur’s work in some of our songs. I’ll leave that for our listeners and fans to figure out…
John: You tease! As a fan of Lynch myself I do find interpretations of his work through other artists, particular bands intriguing. So, in closing, feel free to plug a show.
Kim: Yep, he’s one of the few who stay true to their vision, no matter how impenetrable his work sometimes appears. Gotta take your hat off to that level of commitment.
We’ve got two free tickets for our Camden Rocks show to give away. Our next gig’s the Camden Rocks all-dayer Sat 6th April at The Monarch in Camden. We’re working on a couple of new songs, hopefully at least one will be ready for the set. But it’ll mainly be material from the new album, including our probable next single, ‘Less Than Zero’ – one of our best yet, IMHO. If you want your name added to the £7 cheap list – tickets are usually a tenner – you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first 10 names on the list get a signed copy of our ‘Brexit Chainstore Massacre’ CD single on the day of the show.
Check out the video for ‘Brexit Chainstore Massacre’, shot by Vaughn Matthews and directed by Stacy Picard of HOTGOTHIC:
Interview by John Clay
Photography by Stacy Picard