Ugly Kids Club is a Nashville duo comprised of Steve Wilson and Aliegh Shields who recently released their six-song eponymous debut CD. They were nice enough to spend Seven Questions In Heaven with us.
Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Aliegh: We are a minimalistic electronic/guitar duo from Nashville. We try to keep it all very simple because what we choose to keep out of our music, we believe, is as important as what we decide to put in. It's a bit danceable in weird dark grunge rock sort of way.
Who are your musical influences and idols?
Aliegh: Musically, we look up to The Police, Talking Heads, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, The Kills, and anything Jack White. Though the musical landscape and definition of rock and roll is continuously changing and cross-pollinating, we feel like we are in the tradition and spirit of rock and roll. We also have a healthy amount of punk/d.i.y spirit that drives us to do everything we can ourselves and make sure we love our music first before we share it with anyone. Most of our musical heroes were pioneers and genre-benders in the same way we hope we are.
What was the first album, cassette, or CD you bought with your own money?
Steve: The first CD I remember buying was Nirvana's Nevermind, before they were on MTV. I remember the dude at Musicland complementing my purchase as "the best record in the store." True story, I actually ceremoniously smashed the disc with a hammer at a friend's house a couple years later because we were upset with how popular they had become. If that's not punk...
Aliegh: I honestly can't remember the first album i bought but I do remember the first cds I stole from my brother were Nirvana and Lauryn Hill. I've always been pretty eclectic. But my brother always thought my mom secretly smashed them because it was "devil music."
Have to know: how did you come up with the name Ugly Kids Club?
Aliegh: It's inspired by the idea of the pretty and popular kids and the ugly nerdy kids back in the high school days. We both always found that the pretty and popular kids never ended up going very far in life. Most of the time they peak in high school because they never thought about much else. The nerdy and ugly ones grew up being the ones that actually did something with their lives because they weren't concerned about what was cool. We both were sick of trying to be flashy and create whatever sells for the sake of the mass majority. We wanted to write what we liked and have something to say. So here we are choosing to be the ugly ones that don't care about what's selling but care about loving our own music and being proud of it. Hopefully people like it too. If they don't, thats ok. We do.
I love what you do with it, but what made you include the Talking Heads' "Burning Down The House" on your EP?
Aliegh: Talking Heads has been one of our favorite bands for a long time. I've always loved that song. I love what it has to say. Plus, "Burning Down the House" is a bad ass song. Why not include it? ;)
Why did you create videos for every song on the EP? Do you use visuals at your live performances?
Aliegh: For us, the audio is only half the song. Music is great, but in our world it is increasingly becoming a background activity. We thought it would be more engaging for people to check out a new band if they could view a video attached to the songs. We actually have plans for our first full-length to be a film before we release the songs individually. Plus, videos are the shit.
And we do plan on incorporating moving images into our show. Currently working on that now.
In "My Soul," you sing music is "the only lover that can save my soul." If you didn't have music, what do you think you'd be doing with your life?
Steve:I think I could see myself being a teacher or maybe work at a planetarium. We both really love space.
Aliegh: Mmmmm I'd probably be dancing or studying languages. Or be an astronaut. Or sit in a room laminating things all day.
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