Pin It
Favorite

Kissing Like You Mean It 

The Kissers are a five-piece group from Madison, Wis., who combine traditional Celtic sounds, punk spirit and an old-fashioned country vibe with rock and roll rhythms. They are famous in the Midwest for their "rollicking" and wild stage shows and are now starting to tour more widely to attain a larger fanbase. Their newest release, Fire in the Belly, is catchy, clever, smart and fun. It combines their diverse influences and styles into an exciting, original sound. Curious? Well head down to the B-Side this Sunday night for satisfaction -- with a kiss.

The group started out playing cover songs of favorite Irish band the Pogues, but soon realized that they had an audience for their live performances and began to develop as an original band.

Of the band's beginnings, vocalist and guitarist Ken Fitzsimmons says, "Our first show in 1998 in the basement of a friend's house on St. Pat's consisted of green beer, 'Irish' leis, and a set of 25 Pogues tunes. This is about as Irish as it gets in Madison, Wisconsin."

But sure enough, the fans came out of the woodwork.

"We landed a weekly Monday night slot at a local bar and began building our original repertoire," explains Fitzsimmons. "With one album out [Fire in the Belly], another one due this fall, and a seemingly unending tour schedule [32,000 miles this year alone], we hope to build enough of a fan base to keep the Kissers a viable source of livelihood."

A unique thing about the Kissers' famed live shows is the way the audience influences the set and gives each show the potential to be a completely unique experience.

"As many bands will say, our live show is greatly and directly affected by the audience," Fitzsimmons says. "However, if we have our way, we like to play as energetically as possible in both a musical and physical sense. If the songs aren't fast, then they're not challenging. If we're not sweating, then we're not working. If we're not jumping around, we're not rocking. On the other hand, if the audience seems mellow, we'll work into it a little more and play our coffeehouse show. But inevitably we'll hit something upbeat just to see what the reaction will be."

Fitzsimmons says that rockers find the band folky, while folkies find them to have a rock edge. Still others, expecting straight traditional tunes, find the Kissers to be loud, while those expecting a run-of-the-mill Irish pub sing-a-longs are pleasantly surprised.

"This is all we do," he says. "And we try as hard as we can to put on our best show every night. If people aren't into it, then we've failed."

Succeed or fail, the Kissers are definitely fun and to watch and anything but predictable.

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Rise and Fall
  • Rise and Fall

    With Volume kicking off, we check in with the people making the Spokane music scene flourish
    • May 27, 2015
  • No Peaceful Easy Feeling
  • No Peaceful Easy Feeling

    Why, according to this critic, millions of Eagles fans can be wrong
    • May 27, 2015
  • Volume is Back!
  • Volume is Back!

    Volume 2015 Inlander Music Festival: Everything you need to know, and suggested lineups for every musical taste
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Miranda Hale

  • Meet the Wiggles

    They're four talented men with distinct, silly personalities, cute wardrobes, screaming fans and world-wide success. The Beatles? Nah, it's the Wiggles, the Fab Four for the preschool set. If you don't have a tot of your own, or watch the
    • Apr 21, 2005
  • Necessary Tension

    Kevin Sampsell -- author, zine/small press guy at Powell's Books in Portland and creator of Future Tense Publishing --has Spokane roots. Sampsell lived in Spokane for a period in the late '80s and early '90s while attending broadcasting scho
    • Feb 17, 2005
  • CD Reviews

    One of the most pervasive — and most frustrating — double standards in American culture is that male singers are allowed to age with the full support of their audiences, whereas older female artists are often dismissed as matronly.
    • Jan 5, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Band to Watch 2015: LOOMER

    How two children of the nineties embraced the decade
    • May 20, 2015
  • Desert Rage

    Mad Max: Fury Road will restore your faith in action movies
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation