Cold War Kids

QMU, Glasgow, Thu 26 Apr


While many of us are quite rightly enthralled by the diversity of the current musical climate and all the breathtaking new bands it has to offer, Cold War Kids, despite being very much part of this climate, seemingly couldn’t care less. The List catches up with frontman Nathan Willett in the middle of a US tour with Tokyo Police Club. He explains why most modern acts leave him unmoved.

‘We are exposed to a lot of contemporary music by default of being in it, but the people we all listen to and who inspire us are the greats like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday and Tom Waits,’ he says in his charming Californian drawl. ‘We want to be like them,’ he adds. ‘Make music that is timeless; important now and also in 20 years from now.’

These are grand aspirations indeed but ones that have been long fermenting in the minds of this Fullerton act; four close friends who formed the band in 2004, deserting careers as substitute teachers, designers and, erm, pizza makers to follow their dream.

‘There is an unspoken understanding between us of what we want to be about musically,’ says Willett. ‘I’ve always wanted to do this but never guessed I’d be able to do it at this level so this is all pretty amazing.’ With a hugely successful debut album in the form of Robbers & Cowards and tickets for their UK tour selling fast it would seem that this quartet are already one of 2007’s triumphs, but they have no plans to sit back and relax any time soon. ‘We want to be constantly collaborating with people and pushing our sound to new levels,’ says Willett. ‘For this set of gigs we’re planning a mix of poetry, music and some real surprises. Rock bands get in such a routine that it’s important for our sanity to keep doing things that challenge us and make us uncomfortable.’

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