The 1980s were a magical time. Music defined us to a degree almost unimaginable these days. It brought us into a tribe that danced the night away at the clubs, then took the party into the early hours at abandoned houses and the like. There were so many empty spaces for us back then in the city—so many abandoned spaces the we could covert into dance clubs and squats. We could live alongside and beneath society, glorious night time creatures of leather, lace, and mascara.
Specimen was a constant. The opening bars of “Kiss Kiss,Bang Bang” were a siren’s call, as irresistible as it was dangerous, as delicious as it was decadent. I vividly remember the poster to “Batastrophe” hanging on the wall of the squat we lived in, like an icon framed by scarves and candles.
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is an anthem to our youth, which we hold very dear. We are lucky to have lived at a time when bands like Specimen were seemingly appearing out of nowhere to turn our worlds upside down. It is with utmost respect and reverence, therefore, that Marselle and I decided to cover Specimen’s classic.
For this interpretation of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” we wanted to preserve the song’s core identity while nudging it toward our ethereal-noir sound. Our friend Vince Iddon provided an excellent starting point for the track by recording a shredded and chemically altered guitar and bass—the epitome of the 80s alternative sound. I then re-wrote the drums to blend the arch drama of a Hans Zimmer soundtrack with the tribal insistence of early Christian Death. Maria Grigoryeva’s sweeping strings helped set the stage for Marselle’s sultry vocal take. The result is cinema-noir, music for the movies in your mind.
We hope you enjoy our interpretation of this classic.
Brian & Marselle
Specimen courtesy of the band’s Facebook page