The Kills' Alison Mosshart has a model musical career

Growing up in small-town Florida, Alison Mosshart was fascinated with iconic celebrity images, but she never once imagined herself as potential rock star material. She was happy that way.

“I mean, I always took pictures of myself, like I think most girls do — just kind of dress up and play different characters and photograph myself,” remembers the singer, who left the States for London eight years ago to join U.K. guitarist/vocalist Jamie Hince in a blues-punk duo dubbed the Kills. The band plays Popscene in San Francisco Thursday.

“But photogenic? I never really thought of myself like that.” It's with awe and amusement that she's welcomed doing professional modeling.

Onstage, the shy Mosshart's face is often hidden beneath her dark tresses, as she stands sideways, facing Hince when she warbles and wails. But her beauty is now high-profile in fashion shoots like the one she just wrapped for the Lindberg clothing line, alongside Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan.

“I don't know how these things come up, but they do,” she says. “I just get asked to do them, and every once in a while there's one which I don't think is too offensive, and I'll do it. Plus, it's a nice extra source of income when you're not playing gigs. And honestly, it's funny to me, because these companies have got more money than you could imagine, and they don't ask you to do very much — just hang out in a studio for about five hours. It's pretty crazy.”

Mosshart is in such demand, she can't recall all her assignments. But despite the extra work, she says, “an average day for me is pretty much doing stuff for the Kills.”

The platonic team (Mosshart has a beau of two years; Hince has been dating supermodel Kate Moss) put a Herculean amount of time and effort into “Midnight Boom,” its upcoming third CD. For months, they traveled everywhere seeking inspiration — Michigan, Los Angeles, Mexico during hurricane season — but finally found it at home, in “Pizza pizza Daddio,” a documentary on U.S. inner-city kids from the 1960s.

Fascinated by the dark wordplay and handclap rhythms of their jump rope songs, the Kills came up with their own hopscotch chants, like “Sour Cherry,” “Alphabet Pony” and the new single “U.R.A. Fever.” The concept perfectly fits the group's stripped-down sound.

Yet the modeling gigs came in handy; The Kills literally went bust making “Boom.”

Mosshart says, “But you just get used to not having any money — that's the way that artists live. And it's not a bad thing. it's pretty much our normal standard. You get paid for your record deal once every two years, but that money goes away quite quickly once you make a record and travel.”

IF YOU GO

The Kills

Where: Popscene, 330 Ritch St., San Francisco

When: 10 p.m. Feb. 14

Ticket: $5 to $8

Contact: (415) 541-9574 or www.popscene-sf.com

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A San Francisco Unified School District program that gave would-be teachers extra training in the classroom has lost a key partner. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/2019 S.F. Examiner)</ins>
USF ends partnership with SFUSD in teacher residency program

District launched training effort to improve low retention rates for new hires

Roger Marenco, president of operators union TWU Local 250-A, speaks at a news conference outside the Muni Kirkland Yard announcing Muni will not be increasing fares on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s union leader encourages riders to say ‘thank you’ to their Muni operators

A conversation with Roger Marenco, president of Transport Workers Union of America, Local 250A

The Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center joined San Francisco city leaders and community partners in a “Campaign for Solidarity” at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021. (CraigLee/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
City launches ‘Campaign for Solidarity’ to combat racial violence

Mayor London Breed, the city’s Human Rights Commission and community leaders launched… Continue reading

It’s time to break the code of silence and end the stigmatism against infertility, which is fairly common. <ins>(Shuttterstock)</ins>
Struggles with infertility are common

We all can support friends, ask legislators to mandate appropriate insurance

Foxes, aka Louisa Rose Allen, says she taken back control of her music in recent years. <ins>(Courtesy Hollie Fernando)</ins>
Foxes back with ‘Friends in the Corner’

Pop star doing a lot ‘behind the scenes’ since 2016

Most Read