Jamie Hince: What I've Learned

The Kills front man and guitarist reveals his life lessons.

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Have I ever pretended to be something I’m not? Yes. When I was a kid, we got caught nicking raspberries and I pretended to be French.

There is that sense of people thinking that if you’re on stage then you’ve got everything. When I first started seeing these little punk bands, I presumed that they were all loaded.

I had real trouble in my twenties; I was really worried that I was getting old and time was passing me by. Since I was 15, I’ve felt like that. My thirties were the same and 40 wasn’t brilliant. I’m fine now.

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Does Kate Moss ever feel like the elephant in the room when I’m doing interviews? Are you saying she’s, like, fat? I’m not stupid enough to think that there aren’t people who are interested in me more because of her, you know, and it has been – sometimes is, and will continue to be – a topic for journalists who are writing about my band. I’m not annoyed about that. She’s my wife and I love her forever.

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You need to be a libertarian in your life, but I don’t think that those same political ideologies apply to being creative. You have to be a fascist when you’re creating. Ruthless.

When I was at infant school they used to call me “The Bionic Woman” because her name was Jaime Sommers.

Harry Styles has got the world at his feet. I like Harry a lot. What do we talk about? Girls and dance moves. In fact, we talk about cars. I’ve got this white Ford Capri and he’s just bought one. Mine’s March 1969, the first month of manufacture. His is a bit later but it looks identical except that it’s got a vinyl roof.

I’ve got a cheat in Scrabble. Well, not a cheat, but a method that people would say is not that much fun. If I get T, I, O, N, or I, N, G, I’ll keep those letters and then hold out for a seven-letter word. You get a 50-point bonus for that, so you might score 120 just for something like “walking”. I love all board games, actually, apart from backgammon. I can never remember the rules.

Nobody wants to make music just as a normal bloke, playing something, then releasing it. Well, you know, Ed Sheeran, but no one else. You want to be your super-self.

I do believe in ghosts but I haven’t seen one. I can imagine that you cross over to the other side, some different dimension or whatever, but how do your clothes get there? Ghosts are always wearing clothes. And what clothes are chosen? It doesn’t always seem to be what you’re wearing when you die – when people see Elvis, he hasn’t got his trousers around his ankles. So maybe your wardrobe goes with you.

In a lot of ways, music has far more impact than party politics. It changes lives and it’s been doing that for decades. People would get beaten up for listening to jazz.

You can’t learn something about all women. Sometimes I feel that the older I get, the less of a grip I’ve got on it. I can’t give you any advice. I would feel it was fake and a bit grandiose. Did groupies ever interest me? No. I’m a pleasure seeker and I like going bananas, but that’s never appealed to me. I always thought it was a little bit naff.

I’m not pessimistic. I try not to be too realistic. It’s better to be over-positive.

When I moved to London in 1988, everyone seemed to have really different parents to mine. My parents weren’t my mates. Then I started meeting these people whose mums were going out drinking with them and they were smoking spliffs together. I didn’t feel envious of that.

I can’t stay on my feet in a scrap. I pushed this guy over once – some hipster who said something I didn’t like – and he fell on the floor. He was holding a beer and he managed to not spill a drop. That incensed me so much that I tried to kick it out of his hand. I fell over, hurt my elbow, lost my passport, smashed my teeth and had to go to the dentist. That was ages ago.

I feel really protective of Kate. That’s why, half of the time, I’m such a cunt when it comes to paparazzi. I defy anybody to see their wife being chased down the street by a bunch of fucking thugs and not get angry about it. I’d be an absolute coward if I didn’t.

Everyone would say they fight for the rights of the individual but in the end you’ve got a problem if you’ve got a society, or a community, with lots of individuals running about trying to do whatever they want. It’s going to implode. I think that the Bible is one of those things… it’s a manifesto to keep people from rebelling. I don’t believe in God.

My face does miserable or neutral and even neutral’s a little bit grim.

When I was really young I did a music project on Haircut One Hundred. I can’t for the life of me remember why. I liked that album Pelican West (1982). I still do. I wanted to be a rocker but I didn’t know what a rocker listened to. I suppose I got that from Grease or Happy Days, so I was feeling around and I stumbled upon Haircut One Hundred. My first pin-up was Debbie Harry.

I wish I’d done a lot more. I wish I’d done a lot more a lot sooner. I wish I hadn’t been so scared when I was a teenager. I don’t buy it when people say they don’t have any regrets.


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