Maxi and Robbie from King Adora talk about dodgy fanfiction, rumours and pet otters...
How did you form and how long have you been together?
Maxi: It was in '99, it's been about 4 years now. I met Martyn, and Martyn met Robbie, and Robbie met Dan, and it just went like that. It was kind of boring though the way we got together but kind of exciting at the same time.
Robbie: Last time we were asked this question we made it exciting, we were lying though! So if you refer back to that one... laughs Was it rehab?
Maxi: It was that Robbie was at the Rocky Horror Show, Martyn was dressed as a giant squirrel.... No, Martyn was found at a club and we just got together and went out to celebrate and there was Dan hiding in corner with a small otter on his face, under his nose and him and his little pet otter came and joined the band, but the otter ran off after about three months.
Robbie: And now to the future....
How has the tour been so far?
Robbie: Good, it's been really good, great turnout, nice to see that people still want us to play! Glasgow and London was great.
Maxi: Glasgow was the best so far, so Oxford has to compete tonight! Oxford was fantastic last time though so I've got high hopes for it, it's good, we're back in momentum now, single coming out, album coming out, when this is done and the singles out we'll be really busy and hopefully we'll fulfill what we started!
You're named after a vibrator, who chose the name and do you ever wish you had chosen something else?
Maxi: If I tell you that you're gonna insinuate things aren't you!
Robbie: It was Martyn wasn't it, definitely Nelsta...
Maxi: No you can't have regrets about anything really. Do you think it's a good name?
Yes, it's novel to say the least. There's more bands named after vibrators now, Miss Machine is one of them.
Robbie: Started a trend!
What would you say is the King Adora manifesto?
Maxi: From the start it was that we were going to be a band that actually said something,a band that means something to people, something seminal like Bowie and Bowlan.
Robbie: We wanted to do something meaningful with our lives! laughs
Maxi: We haven't done that yet then! We just wanted to make music exciting again really, and we achieved that, you can see that from our diehard fanbase, its a testament to it, it is a kind of movement really. It's still underground and it'll always be underground to a degree. People like us are never going to be accepted as a whole. We just want to make a difference, provide some kind of shelter, to the lost, maybe find some kind of salvation for ourselves.
You're known for attracting a devoted fanbase, what is the strangest present or proposal you have received?
Robbie: Strangest present we got was in a hotel room but we won't go into that!!
Maxi: We asked her to leave laughs. In Japan you get given lots of stuff....
Robbie: You get off the plane and you're given stuff like a mobile phone!Also a book telling you how to chat up people in japanese, they've covered everything there! I don't know who I'm supposed to phone in Japan though!
Maxi: I dunno, a lot of people seem to put our fans in some category, psychotic tag over their heads or something, that's only 2%, the other 98% are just people who look great and love their music basically.
Robbie: The best thing about our fans is the music they're into, you can just sit down with them and have a conversation about music!
Maxi: You know when we're in town because of the way people are dressed, the way they stand outside the venues and stuff, some of them are weird.
What has been your best gig?
Robbie:The festivals I reckon. Reading festival. Theirs always a good vibe. I think even the small venues we play have a great atmosphere. The cambridge boat race we played is little but the atmosphere was fantastic.
Maxi: Glasgow and London are always great gigs to play. Zodiac last time was the best on the last tour.
How about the worst?
Maxi: Tunbridge Wells Forum.
Robbie: Hull Adelphi!
What is your favourite song of yours and why?
Maxi: You kind of get into the new stuff more, get off on that.
Robbie: My favourite one is the new one, the last one in the set, called Nine Inches Of Pure Malice because it reminds me somewhat of myself. laughs. I assume that's where Maxi got the lyrics from!
Maxi: The new stuff I think. Drag and Depression probably.
Do you ever feel that people are superficial in their criticisms, concentrating more on your appearance than the music?
Maxi: The old style over substance accusation? Yeah but... it goes back to our whole manifesto, it's just exposing peoples fuckwit bigotry really, y'know it doesn't matter. We could have ten number ones and be as big as U2 and we could walk down the street and people would still spit at us and make nasty remarks, they don't accept the way you look, if they look the way we do then you just can't win. In a way it's style first but we couldn't give a fuck really. The music stands up for itself, we've never gone out there and played crap music, we've always had good songs. We've got both, style and substance, how about that!! What are the chances.
Why did you change the name of Bulimic to 'born to lose?'
Maxi: First of all it was a working title, it was just because it was one of the words in the song which helped me to remember what the song was. The song isn't just based around bulimia, it has other themes of addiction and themes from the perspective of women. I didn't want Bulimic to be thought of as Big Isn't Beautiful mark 2. It was just a part of the song.
What is the funniest or most worrying rumour that you've heard about yourselves?
Robbie: Some people's fantasies!
Maxi: The one about me and Robbie having an intense relationship on tour.
Robbie: Y'know if we wasn't in a band together, we've seen the worst sides if each other, if we weren't then maybe! laughs
Some of the fanfiction is pretty weird....
Robbie: Remember the one we read? Scariest thing I've read in my life! It was like 6 pages long! You don't know whether to praise them or lock 'em up do you!
Maxi: Was that the one about me and that young boy who ended up doing an overdose, and I held him in my arms tenderly..... it's all written in Milles and Boon style! laughs Very worrying!
There's a rumour that Nelsta and Dan have formed a side project called 'The Bad Boys'! Which we're looking into, see if there's any truth. Avant garde techno!
It must be a relief to finally release something, some of the 'new' songs like Born to Lose and come were described as 'new' a year and a half ago at One Live In Birmingham!
Maxi: You see in saying that though there was only one or two that we've still got. Born to Lose was one, and Come... Tokyo Honey has gone now. A couple of them might make the album. What the album was then isn't the album anymore. But it will be good to 'release' at last laughs
Robbie: That's a release in itself isn't it!
Maxi: Didn't Engelbert Humperdinck sing about that? So in the words of Engelbert... Please release me, let me go!
Are you actually signed now?
Maxi: We've signed a 2 single deal, we just want to see what happens with that. We know there's a lot of interest in the album, we just want to decide where we want to go with it. I dunno where the rumours about Mushroom came from though, I think its because we were working with the people who manage Muse, people put 1+1 together and equalled 3! It's all good though, everything's in place. A record company is just a money outlet, a bank. We'll probably do it independantly after we got bummed a bit last time. Metaphorically bummed that is!
Describe yourselves in three words...
Maxi: Lovely...worried.....female! laughs
Which do you prefer, recording, performing live, or making videos?
Robbie: Certainly not filming videos!
Maxi: Live definitely.
Robbie: Live definitely, with people being there, getting the reaction. I don't like being alone.
Maxi: Sometimes we're alone in the studio, and when we're alone sometimes things happen between the four of us that we don't mean to happen! laughs
Do you get recognised in the street?
Maxi: People recognise us and spit at you! 'You're that wanker from King Adora aren't you!'. It depends where you are. If we walk down camden we stand a chance of being recognised, but if we walked in oldham or somewhere noone would have a clue who the hell we were.
Robbie: We'll start wearing disguises laughs We could do it so people recognise us!
Maxi: Walk around with your name on your tshirt... big sandwich board with "I'm Maxi from King Adora!" written on it. laughs
Where do you get inspirations for your songs from?
Maxi: Just whatever's around you, what you're doing. Who you're with, where you go, what you see, what makes you happy, emotion generally, excitement, depression!
Do you ever feel that you're not taken seriously by the industry or by the music press? Quite often you're portrayed as being 'larger than life' or slightly gimmicky, is this frustrating for you or do you just shrug it off?
Maxi: Just shrug it off generally!
Robbie: But the people who are writing it, where are they?!? What are they doing?
Maxi: It's all jealousy really though isn't it.
What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
Robbie: That we're gay!
Maxi:That we're raving homosexuals! Did you say conception or misconception?
Maxi: Well I withdraw that then! laughs
Robbie: It's just the same with everything isn't it really, they just judge you on face value, don't look deeper.
Maxi: It's the image over music thing again. In a way we set out to piss people off so we bring it on ourselves in a way I guess.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Robbie: Martyns trousers nearly fell down on the first night onstage so that must have been a bit embarrassing!
Maxi: We managed to get them just in time though!
Robbie: He's got nothing to be embarrassed about though, he's hung like a donkey! laughs. Generally embarrassing moments are blocked out by alcohol anyway!
Maxi: We're just an embarrassment to ourselves!
What are your ambitions for the band now?
Robbie: To carry on really! Release the record and carry on, that's all we want to do.
Maxi: We want everything. I think if a band like us were to be successful then it would be a huge two fingers up to the industry, they'd all hate that so much! We're gradually gathering an army....
Robbie: Bubbling away!
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a band, is there anything that you wish you knew at the beginning that you know now?
Robbie: Become a lawyer... doctor....
Robbie: No, just play what you want to play, whatever you enjoy playing play it.
Maxi: Make sure you can write songs, and make sure you can look good. If you can do neither then just don't bother! I'm not gonna say any cliches... perservere! laughs
Robbie: Don't listen to anyones advice on it, that's it!
Maxi: Get a good manager from day one, don't sign anything! Do as we say not as we do!laughs
© 2003 Jen Thomas
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