Liverpool Barfly, March 11th 2006
Kid Ego Are:
Zakk – Vocals
Birdy – Lead Guitar / Vocals
Phil – Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Rookie – Bass Guitar / Vocals
Nickky – Drums
It was a VERY cold, half rainy/half snowy March evening. Hordes of classic rockers, metal rockers & punk rockers congregated outside Liverpool’s Barfly, waiting to be let in to what would hopefully be a warm, dry haven…with a bar!
After a short wait, I was led backstage and upstairs to a room with walls caked in posters and graffiti brandishing a wide assortment of band names and logos and pictures. It was here that Zakk and Nickky of the mighty Kid Ego were chillin’. After introductions and some discussion of the whereabouts of the rest of the band (out mingling with the fans or on a quest to find some eyeliner), the interview began…
The band have been together for just over a year. Asked how their lives have changed in that time they describe it as a rollercoaster. A good rollercoaster.
Zakk: It started with just me & Rookie in a drug-riddled squat house dreaming about having a band. Nickky, Birdy & Phil were our mates anyway, and we finally got a band together. It’s just really taken off. People enjoy what we do and we enjoy doing what we do.
Lou: So, no members have come and gone, you’re all the same from the start?
Zakk: Well, we auditioned quite a few people. It went from being a dream to like ‘we could really do this’. So it took a couple of months and we auditioned a lot of people, and finally found the right line-up. We were all best friends anyway.
Proceedings were interrupted by a charismatic, long-haired, eyelinerless guy. Rookie. He was invited in to say a few words…
Rookie: Are you recording now???
Rookie: Oh really?!!
He promptly set about closing the door behind him & joining in on the fun.
Rookie: Right everybody, I’m angry with Zakk because he’s nicked my eyeliner. I’m bitter about it now.
Zakk: Me and Rookie are like husband and wife.
It’s here that I learnt that rock boys don’t like to buy their own eyeliner. Apparently it looks like they’re stealing it. Kid Ego mothers are the ones to thank for their sons having a good supply of eyeliner. Although on this particular occasion the supply has run dry.
Lou: When I first saw a picture of Kid Ego, I instantly thought of Motley Crue. Are they a big influence?
Zakk: To be honest, when we first started the band I didn’t have that much knowledge or experience of those kind of bands, it was Rookie who influenced me. He got me addicted to them. So we agreed we’d go for a classic rock sound, and that’s what we enjoyed doing best, it’s what comes naturally.
By now we were joined by another eyelinerless guy sporting dreds, getting his band mates to sign things for their fans who were waiting patiently downstairs. It’s Phil. Again discussion turns to eyeliner, as Phil wields a felt-tip pen that he was just given on the premise that it is, in fact, eyeliner. We’re all a little dubious.
Lou: So, your debut album is out in April?
Rookie: We haven’t got an exact date for it yet…
Lou: How excited are you, about that, on a scale of one to ten?
Zakk: Me & Rook keep talking about it, because, in 12 months we’ve gone from being sat in a room thinking “aw, imagine if we had a band” to having a band and…
Rookie: A CD with our picture on it! It’s just fantastic.
Zakk: It’s very surreal, I would say.
Rookie: I think the best thing is, in the studio, to here our songs played back to us, it was the weirdest thing. The first three songs we recorded I just drove home listening to them on repeat.
Lou: So you like listening to your own music once it’s finished?
Rookie: Oh yeah, definitely!
Zakk: No, I don’t. It’s like hearing your own voice on a video recording that a family member made at a party or something.
Lou: Yeah, it’s the same when I type up these interviews, I don’t like my own voice.
Zakk: Well, it doesn’t get any better when you’re a singer!
Lou: And the album’s called Ignite The Tide. Where did that title come from?
Zakk: Well, I wrote the lyrics (to the title track) based around the general experience of being in this band. The song’s actually written in more of a poetic form, and it just describes the really surreal feeling of being with four guys on stage, who were just your mates but are now more like brothers, and it’s also about how the crowd becomes part of the band and it’s all just one big atmosphere in the room, so to speak.
And I suppose that was a good way to describe the album, as a whole.
Lou: And you’re playing the Whisky…
Zakk: Aw, go on, say it again…
Lou: You’re playing the Whisky A Go Go in LA, on July 15th, how excited are you about that?
Zakk: We still have to keep… Are we REALLY?
Phil: It’s something you think about going to, like “oh yeah, one day I’m gonna go to the Whisky”, and now we’re playing there, it’s like…wooah..
Zakk: We said that even if we don’t get anywhere with this band, all we want to do is say that we’ve stood on the Whisky A Go Go stage. And now that’s gonna happen…
We all shared a moment of awe. I tried to get an invite to the gig, but alas, I think I’ll have to wait a little longer for my time to visit the Whisky.
Lou: Does the band have a motto?
Zakk: Work hard, play hard. We always say that. We are a sleazy rock band and we do love to party, we like to have fun, we like to have a drink, we do like…ladies. But on the other hand, we look at our idols and where they went wrong… There’s not a lot of drinking that goes on before show, but afterwards we like to PARTY. We do work hard, then we play hard.
Lou: So what’s your coolest or funniest Kid Ego story?
Zakk: I don’t know if I’m allowed to say!! Just listen to the lyrics in like…half of the songs, and there’s about a million stories in there! Listen to Heartbreak Hooker. That’s about a trip…it was Rookie’s 21st birthday so me & him went to Amsterdam and had a blast.
Lou: Is there a question that you never get asked in an interview, but you’ve always wanted to answer?
Zakk: Uuuummmmm….good question!! I’m actually having to think now! Uumm…Kid Ego is speechless. Well, this is another thing! I mean, doing interviews, for us, is quite weird. We might be called Kid Ego but we have no ego. We just have fun, we don’t dis anybody, we don’t judge anybody, we don’t slate anybody else’s music, we’re just…
Lou: Nice boys? What like to rock…
Zakk: Well, you see, I don’t know if we should be called bad boys, we’re more like cheeky boys. We’re just really naughty and cheeky, we don’t slag anyone off. We try not to have fights.
Lou: You need some hot pants and stilettos, then.
Zakk: Ah, there’s a story for you! I danced with both of the Cheeky Girls in a nightclub. I was completely off my face and I told them I was a big promoter and I could get them a show at Wembley or something.
This anecdote is discussed in some detail, and I can confirm that Zakk was sandwiched between the Cheeky Girls, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t get them that gig at Wembley!
Lou: Describe Kid Ego in three words.
Phil: “Kid Ego Kid…”
Cue lots of thought
Phil: “I am Phil”
Zakk: Why are we limited to just three?
Zakk: Can’t we have 27?
Lou: No, because that just defeats the point!
At this point, Birdy walks into the room…
Zakk: Birdy, describe Kid Ego in three words.
Birdy: “Rock and roll”
Zakk: Aaww, come on!! How about….”sleaze is back”..?
Birdy: Good one.
Phil: “Have you farted”.
Zakk: How about you be generous and give us two extra words?
Lou: Ok. Describe Kid Ego in five words…
Zakk: “Sleaze is back, with avengeance”.
Lou: Do you want to add another word or two?
Zakk: Can I have another…ummm…
Lou: Ok, describe Kid Ego in a sentence…
Zakk: “Sleaze is back, with avengeance. I need a pint.”
Lou: That’s two sentences.
Phil: Use a comer.
Birdy: No, it doesn’t work.
Zakk: When did you learn punctuation in the last five minutes??!!!
Lou: Ok, any final thoughts or words you’d like to leave us with?
Phil: See you later.
Zakk: Everyone out there, right, rock n roll is alive and well. There are so many bands out there that are amazing. There’s a lot of people trying to redefine different genres of rock, this going on and that going on, we’re not dising any of that, but if there’s people out there who want some good old classic rock with a bit of a modern twist, want to come and have some fun, everyone’s welcome to come party with us, come rock out with us. We just like to have fun.
Lou: You’re just cheeky boys.
Zakk: Weee aaare the cheeeeky boooys.
All that remains to be said is that the gig that night was awesome. Kid Ego are brilliant!
(This also appeared in April 2006, issue 17)