My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult have been a sensation since the late 80s. If you’ve ever attended a rave, or seen the movie Cool World, you’ve probably heard their music. Their mix of high energy, sampling, deep lyrics and the occasional slower track have made their success impressive.
I had a chance to sit down with Buzz McCoy and Groovie Mann before their show for a chat, and as usual, they did not disappoint.
Stephani: Let me congratulate you on this anniversary tour! You started in 1987, right?
Groovie: We met in early 87, and I moved to Chicago in late ’87, and we just started messing around with some things, and I guess that’s when we can officially say that’s when the band started.
Buzz: We met in 86 on tour, Summer of 86.
Groovie: You were out with Twitch.
Buzz: No, you were out with Twitch, I just came to the show and drove you around.
Groovie: Oh I thought you came in to replace…
Buzz: That was ’87.
Groovie: Oh it was?! Wow!
S: I started listening to TKK in 1990, and have been a fan ever since.
Groovie: I’m sorry! We’ve warped you forever!
Buzz: We hooked you!
S: How has this tour been so far?
Buzz: It’s been great, people are digging us playing the old stuff…
Groovie: They’re really receptive to it!
Buzz: A lot of people have told us this is the best show they’ve seen us do in 20 years.
Groovie: I don’t know how to take that!
Buzz: I think its because it’s not just that we’re promoting a new album or a dance thing, it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of the original albums, it’s slow songs, fast songs, moody songs, so it’s kinda all over the place. It shows all of our characters, and…
Groovie: …emotions, musical emotions I guess it’s become now.
S: Does it take you guys back to when you were originally doing those songs and everything you had to put into them?
Groovie: Now that the set’s gelled in, more or less, there’s moments where I feel… feelings from it that make me think of the past, when we were doing it.
Buzz: But some of the songs we’ve actually never played in the past.
S: So you’re doing which albums again? I See Good Spirits, I See Bad Spirits, and…
Buzz: Confessions of a Knife, back to back, so it’s just like listening to them as you first heard them all over again, starting with Heresy and going on and on.
S: Do you get a break on stage between albums?
Buzz: Like a 30 second break, the lights go down and we kinda stand there! But you need the break to go into the next album.
S: What has been the best part so far of being on tour?
Buzz: The best part has been having all the fans just singing every word to songs. Like in San Antonio, we had a mosh pit, and everyone was singing. I mean, Groovie stopped singing at one point and they were singing “Swine and Roses” we were just like “Ok you guys sing!”
Groovie: That’s been the best part for me, the rejoicing of it all, that’s what it feels like to me. They’re in it as we are, enjoying those songs. I couldn’t ask for anything more. And the things they’ve been saying, you know, like reflections on their lives and our music and how it’s linked things together and helped them. It’s really wonderful. I never dreamed that we’d have…
Buzz: …people following us for 30 years.
Groovie: I know! We don’t even think about it and then it’s like “This is your life? Wow!”
S: What’s been the bad parts of touring this time around?
Buzz: It’s been pretty easy this year!
Groovie: For me, physical things. Just little aches and pains, nothing major.
Buzz: We just realize we’re not as young as we used to be, that’s all.
Groovie: We’re taking better care of ourselves!
S:The lineup that you take on tour, it changes pretty often, no?
Groovie: What happened this year, is that our drummer, Justin Bennett, he’s out on tour with ohGr, so we have Bradley Bills, from Chant, filling in. Arena Rock, we used her years ago and brought her in because she was available. We have a new sound guy, Evan [Shwartz]. His DJ name is Toxic Rainbow. It’s constantly changing but still the same. Mimi Star, she’s new, our bass player. She’s been with us for over 5 years, though. She’s pretty permanent. This has been the lineup except for Bradley, but he’s one of us anyway because we’ve known him for so long.
S: New music?
Groovie: New album! Next year! We’re going to get back to work on that after we do our Spring Tour.
Buzz: There’s a Sleazebox sampler we’re selling, but there’s a new track on that and it will be on the new album. Bunch of remixes, other bands…
Groovie: …and early works too!
Buzz: We’re keeping busy!
S: It’s a good thing because we need more TKK!
Buzz: What else are we gonna do, complain about our aches and pains!?
The crowd gathered, and there was a lot of energy in the room. As soon as Buzz took the stage, the crowd began cheering. The other members made their way to their positions, and when Groovie walked on stage, the crowd erupted into screams. They launched into their set with a lot of excitement. I haven’t seen them perform since 2003, and they were, oddly enough, better this time. They sounded amazing. Mimi is a beast on that bass, and I found myself fascinated watching Bills on drums.
Everyone had such a good time. It was like a homecoming in a way, because the crowd was diverse and the music meant so much to everyone. I met a guy from Pittsburgh there, and he was all dressed up in a furry coat and makeup, and he was so excited about having VIP access and meeting the band. Young and old filled that room, but the one thing they all had in common was the music.
A TKK show is like a party where you don’t know anyone, but by the end you’re best friends.