KIM AND THE CREATED: GIVE LESS FUCKS
photography by alex the brown
Kim and the Created might be the most dynamic of all the bands that have come from the land of Burger/Lolipop Records, and certainly they’re a treat to behold—a radioactive but delicious piece of candy. The music grumbles like a sci-fi horror show and Kim House is the pretty monster, clad in a cat suit and thrashing around on a stage that can’t contain her mighty force. Like that classic tale of a woman grown to 80 feet tall who just can’t help trampling power lines and crushing buildings in her search for love and understanding, Kim comes from a place of vulnerability. She lets it all out on stage and it’s impossible to look away. She finishes her Echo residency with a Halloween cover-bands show tonight, and here she lets us in on her tender side.
What is your responsibility as a woman in rock?
Kim House: I am myself and use music as a way to release emotions I have trouble dealing with. It’s therapy. I don’t think ‘issues’ is a male/female thing—it’s a human thing. Just because I am a woman, people want me to be some sort of image for all women but I’d like to be an image for all people dealing with anything.
Is there any part of the establishment that you hope to destroy or conquer?
Kim House: Cliques. L.A. is one big giant high school cafeteria all over again. Who you know trumps what you do a lot of the time and it can be frustrating. Hard work vs popularity contests seems to be the challenge.
Is your performance style a form of rebellion?
Kim House: I honestly just try to release my emotions and my body on stage. Whatever happens, happens.
Have you ever gotten hurt at a show?
Kim House: I almost lost my eye at The Echo at Echo Park Rising 2014 when I jumped into the crowd into someone’s fist that completely opened my eye lid then was swollen shut. I kept playing with blood dripping down my face. I was wearing a Clockwork Orange outfit so it was all very strange.
Even with the snarling, animalistic movements, possessed faces, etc, there’s still make-up and skin-tight cat suits and playing dress-up … In your own words, can you describe how this is a form of femininity?
Kim House: I think it is really important to show that you can be ‘pretty’ and still have dark feelings or relate to many different ideals. In some ways, I am a normal person in this world and in some ways, I have feelings that make me feel different and on stage is the feeling of going through that. I hope that whoever feels that way too can recognize it in me and find someone they can relate to and that I’ve affected someone in some way. Everyone has many sides to them—it’s just how much you choose to show and I’m getting more and more comfortable letting more of myself out.
Do you feel the “Kim House” persona is still separate from you? The more you perform, do you ever feel like you have to actively turn her off?
Kim House: I do because I feel the pressure to be the exact same way on stage as when I am off stage and it’s hard because on stage is a release for me and that’s impossible to be going thru 24/7. I hope fans who relate to me on stage can relate to me off stage as well.
You were a dancer most of your life—what made you turn away from dance?
Kim House: I didn’t leave it as much as evolve into acting and theater then into music. It all flowed pretty naturally and lead me to today where I feel like I combine all of them into one with writing music, live performances, videos and so on. I like that in music I have more control over my creativity.
What were some highlights of that period of your life?
Kim House: Performing on stage of course, but I loved intense practices several days a week. Taking that many years of dance made me a stronger, driven person and I’m grateful for that time.
Why is it important to give less of a fuck?
Kim House: Well, for me, it was important to give less fucks because I was giving far too many fucks and it was killing me. I had to let go in order to keep my sanity, or least what was left of it. At some point you realize no matter what you do, it will somehow end up being negative in someone’s eyes so you might as well do and be exactly what you want and the right people will get it and you will feel finally comfortable in your own skin and head that you were completely yourself and, still, it was OK to be that way—to be you.
What does “punk feminism” mean to you?
Kim House: I think the same as it means to ‘give less fucks!’ Same answer, literally. Standing up for yourself and what you think and feel and being OK with that and strong enough to do it no matter what.
You channel dark emotions on stage—how much of it is performance and how much is personal? When bad things happen, are you like, ‘At least I can use this for a song’?
Kim House: It’s all me, my feelings, and extremely personal. It’s what I’m currently going through, dealing with, trying to make sense of. It is the ultimate release—therapy. I do use music as a way to get through things. Writing it out helps then getting to let it out psychically on stage, then being appreciated after helps too because it makes me feel OK with what’s happened. I don’t think artist have to suffer. I think there are people out there that can take a beautiful feeling and portray it to us in a way some of us can’t and that’s what they’re here for. We all have a reason.
What do you hope people get from your performance?
Kim House: Just honestly hoping they walk away feeling anything at all is what gets me going. Even if it’s scared or confused, at least they are feeling something. I’m not trying to be a role model, I am only being myself—which includes the good and the bad. I just hope that sometimes some people can relate to what I’m saying and it helps them.
As you have been touring more and more, do you see a struggle in being a woman in the music industry?
Kim House: I find that people don’t like being told what to do by a woman, or even an artist in general. I work very hard and anything I say to someone in my band or in the business side is only to try and strive for the best, but even still people take it wrong and don’t like being told what to do by me.
When you look at festival lineups, it’s almost 80 percent dude bands. Does that frustrate you? Where do you stand on the subject of classifying ‘girl bands’ and ‘boy bands?’ As a woman, do you have to be loud to be heard?
Kim House: If the bands are good, then it doesn’t make me angry. Festivals are usually groups of friends working with other groups of friends and as much as that can be a beautiful thing- I hope merit will be more of a reason for things then just ‘scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ People call the band ‘female fronted’ and one day I hope it can just be called a rock and roll punk band. I’m loud because I am loud. I think to be heard you have to never give up and make them listen.
What’s the story on “Get Go?” You recorded at Lolipop. How long did it take?
Kim House: It is about how when you’re suffering with a mental illness, though everyday is different, the feelings you have remains the same. So I say everyday feels the same from the get go. I think people who get it will understand what it’s like to wake up everyday feeling the same and not sure how to get out of the cycle or wake up to a new feeling. It’s the struggle. The music isn’t the answer right now—it’s me going through it. Maybe the next album will be the answer—who knows? We recorded at Lolipop in a few hours and several one-take tracks. Wyatt Blair recorded us and has given me opportunities in music when no one else would and I am forever grateful for that.
How many band members have you gone through in the last year? Is that a challenge to being the Kim and constantly having to create the Created?
Kim House: I have had almost 40. I like playing with different people and seeing how the songs change and having different adventures with different people. It’s pretty intense practicing nonstop but I’ve done it since day one so it’s become a way of life now. I’m addicted to change.
Los Angeles is sort of split between the hippie dippy enthusiasts and the punk rockers. Is there anywhere these two approaches converge in your eyes?
Kim House: I spent 20 years on the east coast so I think my sound is probably a result of a mix of sounds by a mix of geography. I think everyone is starting to play together and I think that’s cool … less boring at least [than] to see just one particular sound for hours. Mixing it up is way more entertaining. Now they call every single genre ‘psych,’ I guess.
Do you believe in ghosts or spirits? Have you ever had a close encounter with the third kind?
Kim House: I believe in life on other planets, and that we don’t know shit outside our tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny world. On this Earth, I believe in Karma and trying our best to make the most of it. I think we are all in for a big surprise after we die … and that could just be that we turn to dust.
Can you describe the evolution of the vision and sound of Kim and the Created, from your first show two years or so ago to now? Have you always been comfortable with your body or is it something you sought to conquer?
Kim House: I played drums because I always wanted to my entire life. I moved to the front out of wanting to push myself further as a challenge to myself. Everyday I try to push myself out of my own comfort level. I’m just changing and learning about myself—just like everyone else is. Catsuits make me feel like a truer sense of myself: I guess it’s like a character I developed that was from deep inside of me that I wanted to be more of, and that I am now becoming. Who knows what will happen next>? Art imitates life. I never stopped ever no matter what got in the way or what I was feeling. I never thought I would be doing what I’m doing now. I always hated my voice and was uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m trying to be strong for myself and I think in doing that, it can show others to do the same. Give less fucks.
BUDWEISER, DOLA AND LOLIPOP RECORDS PRESENT HALLOWEEN COVERS NIGHT WITH KIM AND THE CREATED (AS THE CRAMPS) + COSMONAUTS (AS THE CLASH) + GIRL TEARS (AS THE RAMONES) + ADULT BOOKS (AS THE MISFITS) + DEATH HYMN #9 (AS MINOR THREAT) + FEVER THE GHOST (AS THE BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP) ON MON., OCT, 26, AT THE ECHO, 1822 W. SUNSET BLVD., ECHO PARK. 8 PM / 21+ / FREE! KIM AND THE CREATED’S “GET GO” IS AVAILABLE NOW FROM LOLIPOP RECORDS. VISIT KIM AND THE CREATED AT KIMANDTHECREATED.BANDCAMP.COM.