Music Interview

Killing Miranda

by Jett Black

Killing MirandaBlessed Deviant is 71 minutes, 27 seconds of hard hitting Goth-tronic and devastating dance tracks with plenty of clever programming, samples and shadow stealings woven in between the lines. Did I mention that this is Killing Miranda? Killing Miranda will take gothic rock back to radio where it belongs!

Brilliantly performed and executed for you by Killing Miranda, Blessed Deviant brings forward taboo subjects from every modern cliche talk-show to every girl's hallway gossip. In promotion of the recent release of this already popular, darkly spoken, full-length debut Killing Miranda welcomes a few too many questions from within the shadows of Nocturnal Movements.

Religious innuendoes permeate tracks found on the Blessed Deviant CD. What attraction to religion compels Killing Miranda to lyrically reflect religious perspectives?

Religion and spirituality are a current issue for me as I'm suffering a crisis of faith in many ways. The conflict between my upbringing (Christian), my inclination (thelemic) and actual viewpoint (agnostic) has really come to the boil. I can't decide whether the universe is one big cosmic joke - if it is, there's got to be some smart arse behind it…

Prevailing conservative mentalities aside, I foresee the Blessed Deviant CD inviting sensational interest in the United States, assuming that it saturates the college radio market. What are the chances that the Blessed Deviant CD will be widely distributed in the United States?

At the moment if I could live anywhere in the world I think it would be the states…sounding crazy?? I think not as I like the way American goths appreciate music…it's not so much a fashion thing. I hope that the Nightbreed USA thing will result in our records being more widely available over there…though a few people have been very helpful in getting "Deviant" out through mail order etc.

Having not yet been afforded an opportunity to attend SlimeLight, I would like to hear your thoughts regarding Slimelight in general, and also how you remember your performances at Slimelight.

Slimelight is unique really as it's the one remaining part of the UK scene which truly embraces hedonism and deviancy as opposed to "perkiness." It's a dark place with dark grooves, cool people and a genuine appreciation of "gothic" as a lifestyle as opposed to a pose.

We loved playing there 'cos unlike the gigs other promoters put on in London you get to play in front of the true London "creatures of the night" instead of the weekend warriors and kiddy goths. KM tend to be a bit snobby 'cos we reckon that of all the UK bands we've got the "best" following - not only are there plenty of them but they're all crazy, fucked up people. We get transsexuals, dealers, old Kings cross punks, one girl who to my certain knowledge is a hooker and general crazy tongue waggling nutters. The general cream of society.

KM gigs have become increasingly on the edge and weird and allot of the UK scene regard us as real mavericks, 'cos we're not into this polite view of the goth scene. We like deviancy and danger not passivity and politeness.

Mark Tansley of Intra-Venus re-mixes the final track of Blessed Deviant, Touched By Jesus. What led to this choice? How satisfied are you with this re-mix?

Mark's a hugely talented programmer and as a big fan of Suspiria it seemed natural to let him have a bash. I must say that it falls down slightly next to the original. It lacks some of the dark vibe of the original.

Each of you in Killing Miranda have previous musical experiences via other bands. Please tell our readers what other bands & projects besides Killing Miranda its members have been working with?

At the moment KM is my life - I have the musical freedom to do what I want as I didn't allow us to become pigeonholed. There may be collaborations but not side projects for me. I'm so excited about the music we're making now and each new song is more fun and more challenging to play.

We've got a track record I suppose. Both Belle and I at times have played with Nosferatu / Shadowmaker and Belle was in the ultra cool Enrapture. I dunno if you guys are familiar with Spencer Harrison from St Louis and his band Son of William, but I played in one incarnation of that band and we did really nasty industrial stuff which I loved doing.

Chris has done loads of stuff with UK goth bands like Flowers of Sacrifice and Complicity, but I liked best the stuff he did with Cathedral Lung. They did one song, Cactus Jack, where Chris was doing this Nick Cave on steroids driving bass stuff and that was brilliant.

What aspects of the music produced by Killing Miranda is "too different" for your other band interests?

Well I think that was just saying that some of the bands I was in were third rate Sisters imitators and that's what I DIDN'T want KM to become. For years I was unhappy with the lack of experimentation in bands I was in and I couldn't understand this pursuit of "that sounds like us… that doesn't" to reject good ideas and great songs because they don't fit in is crazy in my opinion.

Self-destructive vices apparently so very prevalent in modern societies receive creative exploratory attention in tracks such as Veil of Seduction, Whipping Boy and The Game. How does Killing Miranda feed your ability to explore issues of "deviant" sexual fantasies, abuses, and consequences?

One man's "deviancy" is someone else's acceptable behavior. I wouldn't say Blessed Deviant was a concept album, but at the time I wanted to address the ideals held dear by a society that itself has become rotten to the core. Perhaps in becoming perverted in the eyes of society we can rediscover our own innocence?

Why address darker subject content through Killing Miranda?

The band as a unit and the music we make lend themselves to exploring the recesses of our personalities and the underbelly of society. We always do things with a touch of humor but we're not a joke band or a gimmick…and indeed our humor isn't very English really as we're ironic rather than kitsch.

I know Britain has the reputation for humor and yes we have come up with Monty Python, The Fast show and some really cool stuff, but to the mainstream I think the UK is better known for pantomime Dames, Benny Hill and Bruce Forsyth. Sad.

How has incorporating a full band line-up altered the quality and style of Killing Miranda?

Not at all stylistically really because if KM is a dictatorship it's only in that I just don't accept that the idea of having a "sound" is anything more than a commercial consideration. Rather we will consider to explore any style we damn well feel like - if we want to do a jazz song or a death metal track we will.

How much more will Killing Miranda hope to achieve before the dawn of the new millennium?

Our new single should be out by the end of the year - as that is the first thing we genuinely wrote, developed and recorded as a band I think it will show our full potential and hopefully get us a couple of chart placings, radio play and so on. I think I'd just like to write the best music I can…really making something happen in the tunes is what gets me hard.

Who or what is the Miranda referred to by the band name?

That's a bigger secret than Colonel Sanders' coating recipe, but contains less harmful additives, unidentifiable organic material and other things you really wouldn't want to know about. Can I tell ? Ohhh…ask me again in 2001 eh? Either that or watch a few old french B&W films from the 30's and the answer may just reveal itself…

What concepts inspire Killing Miranda to develop the yet un-released track Teenage Vampire?

Being 18 is great and you wish it would go on forever don't you ? There's also a bit of "autobiographical" stuff in there, and it's about feeling invincible and full of lust for life…

How much work do you believe you have accomplished for the next release? How much more would you like to achieve before releasing it for distribution?

We've been preparing for a bunch of important gigs but along the way we've continued to work on songs as a band. The stuff we're doing is far more mature and intelligent than what we did before - we're evolving musically. Above all we're now not trying to write to any formulas and we're trying things that make use of the ability of the band as musicians.

How does the music behind Killing Miranda evolve from Blessed Deviants to your next release? And if you have chosen a title for the next release, what will you name it?

The next release will be the single (Teenage Vampire) and after that we'll be moving on to the album which is likely to be titled Transgresion by Numbers. We hope to show more consistency than Blessed Deviant now and really bring the live sound into our records a bit and let the musicians in the band really show what they can do.

"Blessed Deviants of the Slimelight" to whom The Ballad of Torrens Street is dedicated. Who are the Blessed Deviants?

There are so many cool people from Slimes that I couldn't begin to single them out! All of us there are lowlifes to outsiders - which just brings us all closer together. You look at us and our friends from one angle and you see drug users / prostitutes / transsexuals / promiscuous types / fetishists / Satanists / Pagans; but look beyond the tags and we're all just groovy people - we just wanna have a good time and be ourselves and Slimes is the place to do that.

Send in the Clowns, an instant favorite, derives meaning from what?

Baby kissing, rosette wearing, shit talking, tax cutting… motherfuckers.

The photography inside the Blessed Deviant CD insert is sensational, perhaps horrific or terrific, depending on one's perspectives. How were these many images arranged for the presentation of this album?

By the miracles of modern technology and our love for obscure and nasty films and videos. Above all we wanted imagery that was confrontational without being shocking for their own sake. KM are about horror but nor empty sensationalism…we mean it, man.

Besides the News-at-Eleven horror story of Killing Miranda's van wheel blowing to bits en route to a performance in Portsmouth, what have been the highlights of performing and travelling with Killing Miranda thus far?

For me? Just that chemistry we have on stage together…when we're flying I like to just look at people in the audience and see their reactions. We've had a very debauched year it has to be said, but sooner or later we'll have to control our more hedonistic impulses or we'll end up like the Mission or worse. Not easy as we certainly like to have funfunfun.

The weekend that this interview prints will find Killing Miranda at InFest Festival, in Bradford. What is InFest? And more precisely, where is Bradford?

Well we'll see some great bands like Apoptygma Bezerk and Spahn Ranch there and we expect a very groovy audience indeed. We've not been before but look forward to it very much.

Sunday, October 31st 1999, the last Halloween of the Millennium, will place Killing Miranda at The Carnival of Souls, Derby. Tell us also about The Carnival of Souls and Derby.

The Carnival is Nightbreed's annual festival of fetishism, frivolity and fun. 1000 odd people go to the Pink Coconut in Derby, wear sexy stuff, buy sexy stuff and listen to sexy stuff. It's all very shagadelic baby.

Channel four over here in the UK will be filming the event for TV and they're gonna be following KM round as we prepare for it.

Killing Miranda claims that "no animals were harmed during the production" of Blessed Deviant. What animals would one need to be looking for that band members might consider as pets?

I kind of like lots of animals actually but just to be sad and predictable I'm a cat person. They're great…lazy, furry and cantankerous, with big egos; just like moi.

I can see Belle having a pet python or something exotic, while Irish Dave would have anything he could eat if things got desperate. Chris is into small cuddly white fluffy cats, which is just to confuse people while he does his impersonation of Donald Pleasance in those Bond films. Alien Dave has a horse disguised as a German sheppard called Dillon. It slobbers allot.

How do you manage to make time for Killing Miranda around basic survival / employment interests? How does employment and other obligations affect how often Killing Miranda practices and performs?

Sadly in order to get by we do have to have "day jobs." Bummer. I don't mind working I suppose since unemployment can really suck (UK daytime TV is horrendous) but KM are getting close and closer to the time when we can say "fucku" to our boss type people and never have to wear a bastard tie again.

Has there been any indication that Killing Miranda might visit the United States and possibly perform here?

We're currently planning a west coast US tour for May 2000, and who knows - we may have stop offs at New York and maybe Chicago, but these may be more difficult to organize. The Californian gigs will be with a cool band from out that way called Idol Worship. We're REALLY looking forward to it…

How might raging fans best communicate with members of Killing Miranda?

Try coming to London, getting extremely drunk and looking for someone drunker - it'll be one of us. Alternatively try our email (km@killingmiranda.pair.com) and we're always happy to chat and stuff. You can probably communicate with Belle through fantasy and role play.

Thanks Again!