Musician interviews

An Interview With The Kooks

The Kooks tease of new music, saying, “it’s our best stuff yet, it’s very much back to the basic roots of guitars and drums- a big sounding record.”


Recently releasing ‘The Best Of…’ just over ten years after the release of their debut album, ‘Inside In/ Inside Out,’ bassist of The Kooks, Peter Denton talked of the past ten years, new music to look forward to and their headlining slot at the inner city festival-Liverpool Sound City next weekend… (27th and 28th May)


Peter, who joined the band a week before ‘Inside In/ Inside Out’ was released laughs: “when I started playing with these boys it was the week before the debut came out so I hadn’t done any of the hard work,” he began, “I was quite lucky in that respect. I was just happy to be playing with a band that I actually really liked, and the success of the first record became evidently clear after about six months of playing with the boys, but at that point, I never really imagined we would be releasing a ‘Best Of’ album ten years later!”

Initially, Peter was brought into the band to cover for a week, and one year later, he was still there. Playing with the band from 2005 to 2007, he left for a year and then returned as an official member in 2008. “Every band wants to be around ten years after they start,” he said, “but I think to get to the point where we have a ‘Best Of’ is pretty incredible- to be around ten years on and still having tours out-it’s amazing- you cant wish for more than that.”


Growing up surrounded by music, Peter explained how his parents would always play music around the house, and explained how he was thankful for them forcing decent music down his throat. “My mum and dad always had music on rather than the TV,” he explained, “so when I grew up I listened to the likes of Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley, but then like Queen and Depeche Mode- just loads and loads of different stuff.”


Joining his first band when he was only sixteen years old, Peter told of how he became to be in The Kooks. “I’m a few years older than the boys, [The Kooks], so I felt like a bit of a veteran coming in,” he laughed. “The Kooks management managed my old band so it wasn’t too far from home, it was only the boys in the band that I didn’t know, but I knew everyone else, so it was quite a comfortable introduction really. I’ve always been in bands- the odd sh*t job here and there, but I’ve never been in a band that has been as successful as this one.”

The first album Peter became involved in was ‘Konk’, where he explained how some of the songs on he album were written whilst jamming during sound checks of their early ‘Inside In/ Inside Out’ tours.


With ‘Inside In/ Inside Out’ being massively popular, Peter explained how the band’s favourite record in the last ten years hasn’t actually been released yet. “It’s the fifth record that we are just about to finish,” he teased. “The new record is very much back to basics- back to the roots of the guitars, drums. A big sounding record!”


Throughout the years, The Kooks’ sound has varied from album to album. Peter began: “Every record has got something great about it, and obviously we’ve changed a lot throughout the years to keep us occupied and keep us on our toes.” He explained: “It was never really intentional to then be like, ‘right, how can we really change things up?’ It was just like, ‘this is something that are interested in and we like this kind of music.’” Around the time the album, ‘Listen’ was written, Peter told of how the band were listening to a lot of gospel music and how they had a hip-hop producer, which inevitably led them to gravitate towards that genre, and “happily so,” he said, “it wasn’t like we were forced, it was what we were listening to at that point and what we were into.”

This time, for their fifth record, the band have been working with an LA based producer, with Peter adding that this recording process in particular has been really enjoyable. “Its just a really fun experience. Unfortunately that can be taken away sometimes if you have that pressure. I mean its good to have a little bit of pressure, but it was just a really fun experience, and now we’re all a bit older, I think that when you’re working on something that you’re truly passionate about; it changes things dramatically. Everyone’s on the same page, everyone’s getting on, and that’s a massive deal. Like if one person’s not getting on with another, it’s a f**king pain-you might as well just not bother. But were all really getting on at the minute; it’s a good mentality and group spirit and you cant really beat that, and I think its reflected in the music so I can’t wait for the world to hear it.”


Although they are eager to release new music, The Kooks haven’t yet announced a release date for the next record, explaining that they are keen to enjoy ‘The Best Of…’ and don’t want to steal it’s thunder, after all, it is a pretty special achievement.


So with ‘The Best Of…’ album and ‘The Best Of…’ tour, what’s next for the band? Well, The Kooks will be headlining Liverpool Sound City on Sunday 28th May, alongside many other great artists. “I would recommend seeing The Jackals if you’re there,” he said, “They’re my mates new band and they are really worth checking out!” Performing at Sound City a few years ago, Peter explained what he enjoyed about the festival: “I really like the vibe of an inner city festival, just bopping around loads of different venues- it’s really fun and I’m looking forward to it. The line up is fantastic- its gonna be wicked.”


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