Atomic Kitten - An Introduction
All: Hi, we're Atomic Kitten...
Natasha: That's Lill...
Kerry: ...that's Natasha...
Liz: ... that's Kerry.
Natasha: And we all come from a place north west of England called Liverpool...
Kerry: ...and they talk like that.
Liz: But a lot of people come from Liverpool like Atomic Kitten...
Natasha: Sporty Spice...
Kerry: ...The Beatles...
Liz: ...do you know what I mean?
Natasha: ...great place.
Liz: We love football though, we love loads of things...
Kerry: Man United!
Liz: Everton, but there you go.
How Atomic Kitten got together:
Kerry: The way the band got together was I used to be in a band called the Porn Kings which led me to a guy called Andy McCluskey and Stuart Kershaw who you may have heard of from OMD. And he was writing some songs and they were really good songs but they were about to retire and I said you know don't waste the songs, you know, use them, they're useful, get a girl band together so they did and here we are.
Liz: I just walked into the the studio one day with my bagpipes and my cymbals on my knees and started playing and Kerry went 'gosh you're really good at playing the bagpipes but you can't sing to save your life. So if you go in a girl band we'll give you singing lessons and you'll be sorted'. So I said OK I'm in the girl band. And then we put... nine months later we put an advert in the paper for Natasha.
Kerry: Da daaaa.
Natasha: Thank you.
Kerry: You're welcome.
Natasha: I went along to the audition, I was there for about four hours. They made me sing, they showed by photos of the girls, they showed me songs that they'd already been recording and a week later I was told I was in the band so it was really, really, really quick. And then a month later we got a record deal so we've only been going as a band for five months now, we've had our record deal for four. So you know we have not bad going for three teenagers from Liverpool.
Is there room for another girl group?
Kerry: We think there is plenty of room in pop music for another girl band like Atomic Kitten.
Natasha: People say another girl band but I mean how many boy bands are out there?
Kerry: This much.
Natasha: And we're just not another girl band, we are Atomic Kitten baby, we are in your face fresh pop, out for a laugh, we're not manufactured. We do what we want to do, we don't listen to our elders.
Liz: Oh don't say that 'cos I'll get in trouble with my mum.
Natasha: OK, sorry, we listen to our elders. And we're just funky pop in your face coming at you rah rah rahhh...
Kerry: Big scary tiger like that...
What do you think of other girl groups?
Kerry: We were very much inspired by other bands like B'Witched and All Saints and the Spice Girls.
Natasha: I was very, very into the Spice Girls in a big way. I thought they were great because they were like the first girl band to come along and just give it loads and just be in your face and just like totally shock everyone and they give young teenagers the incentive to do what they want to do. You know if you've got a dream you go out and follow it which I think's absolutely fantastic.
Kerry: My musical inspiration of all people is a band and a person, it's Rod Stewart and Dr Hook. I think Rod Stewart is a very talented man and he's got a very good sex appeal for some reason, I think he's gorgeous, I don't know why. And Dr Hook, I think their songs are fantastic, they wrote them all themselves, the music, it's a live band every time they perform...
Natasha: I would say mine are Earth Wind and Fire and Quincy Jones. Although they're male the songs are fantastic, the music has such meaning to it, such feeling, and it was just feel good music, it makes you feel really happy.
Liz: I never had any actual inspirations when I was little but my mum loved the Eagles so I was brought up on the Eagles,
Childhood musical ambitions:
Natasha: I was brought up on a lot of seventies funk, motown, which is like Quincy Jones, George Benson, Earth Wind and Fire, and we'd always get up and we'd always dance and sing. I've always been into it and I started singing from the age of 12, thanks girls. When I was 12 I started singing, then when I left school at the age of 16 I went to performing arts college. I'd gone to a lot of auditions but most of them I was too young 'cos you had to be 18 to go and work abroad so when I got in the band I was over the moon and look at me know I'm absolutely over the moon.
Kerry: Ever since I was a little girl I've always... I used to dance in front of the telly when the telly used to be turned off on a Sunday afternoon. I think everybody does this, sing in the mirror with a hairbrush...
Liz: I was studying law before I got into the band.
Kerry: I was working in a chippy.
Liz: I wanted a good job, that's why I wanted to go and study law.
Are we manufactured?
Liz: I don't think it bothers us that if we were a manufactured band or not but it's just the way this idea that people have about manufactured bands that manufactured bands can't sing...
Natasha: ...they put on a total big act, but we can sing.
Liz: ...you know, they're not themselves whatever. Even if we were a manufactured band because you could say in a way we were because we never knew each other before we got into the band, it's just we weren't put together literally as a band, we sort of chose each other.
Kerry: This is just us. Come on, let's sing for them...
All (singing): So come on baby do it to me good now, do it to me slowly oh yes. Be the one and only ah ha yes and do it to me right now, right now (laughter).
Singing in harmony:
Kerry: The way we decide to sing our songs is that we don't decide...
Natasha: We all go in, sing every bit, and then they put... then our producers just stick it together, who sounds the best...
Kerry: It's who sounds the best on which bit or...
Liz: 'Cos we all have different styles.
Kerry: Yes, that's why we're so good together, we don't sound the same when we sing.
Liz: The best way to learn a harmony is if you don't have singing lessons is to actually... you know if you just get like a song or something that you like to listen to, just try and sing the harmonies to that. That's the easiest way to do it, that's how I learnt.
Natasha: I did, I learnt to 'Killing Me Softly'.
Liz: I learnt to 'Chains' actually.
Natasha: So there you go, handy hints from Atomic Kitten's Lill and Tash!
Kerry: I didn't learn anything!
Our musical style:
Kerry: The way we would describe ourselves is a pop band with a rock and roll mentality, there you go.
Natasha: With kicking attitude.
Kerry: Yeah man.
Liz: And mean pop tunes.
Kerry: Yeah man. The way that we see our music, we haven't got any certain type of music in the songs that we sing because when the album's out and you go and buy it, it's like a compilation album, all the songs are different from each other but they've all got a really good kicking attitude to them and there's the ballads on there as well. There's all kinds of songs, there's everything on there, a variety, everything that everybody's going to love.
New music for the new millennium?
Natasha: What we're doing with our music, I wouldn't way it was new.
Kerry: We're just making it better.
Natasha: Popular music's been around for years and years, it's just that our... we are more fresh, we're young feisty teenagers.
Liz: We'll have a go in the pop industry, why not, you know if they can do it we can.
Kerry: Do you know what I mean, the chance was given to us, it was there in our hands, we took it while we could. All we are is three teenage girls going out following our dreams which I'm sure that everybody watching this now wants to do, and that's what we're doing. We've no image, we do what we want and the good thing is about it, the bonus is, we've got good songs.
Are we teenage role models?
Kerry: We don't feel that we're being role models for anybody. No the the fact that we want to be, but the fact that we are teenage girls and we think that... well we're hoping that people are going to look at us as normal teenage girls like their mates that maybe they want to be like or... We're not exactly role models but they can relate to more than anything, rather than look up to.
Liz: I suppose the likes of the Spice Girls were role models because they were like a bit older than... they weren't teenagers at the time and people could say 'I want to be like so and so from the Spice Girls'. But when they look at us they say 'oh God she's like me,' or 'oh she's like my friend,' you know, because we all are the same age.
Kerry: You can like look and say 'oh I've done that, I know where she's coming from there'.
Natasha: The people who buy our music range from the ages of eight to 80. A few weeks back, about two weeks ago, we done the Smash Hits tour and the majority of the people who were there were all teenage girls going to see all the boy bands and 'cos they're all girls it's hard for us to like get our music across because there's a lot of conflict between girls and girl bands. And we went along...
Kerry: ...and they loved us!
Natasha: ...strutted our stuff on the stage and we got to the chorus and everyone started singing the words. And we walked off stage after the first night and we all started crying 'cos it was like they actually liked us and there was girls doing all the dance moves.