Members of the queer fronted pop-punk quartet, Kiss Kill, joined forces in 2007 with the common goal of creating intense, honest rock tunes. Operating out of Portland, OR. the group has spent the past year gigging and building a fan base across the...
Members of the queer fronted pop-punk quartet, Kiss Kill, joined forces in 2007 with the common goal of creating intense, honest rock tunes. Operating out of Portland, OR. the group has spent the past year gigging and building a fan base across the Northwest. With a self-produced EP up for grabs and a new studio recorded CD on the horizon, the four show no signs of stopping. Though glimmers of "training" and "talent" may slip through from time to time (purely by accident of course), Kiss Kill has a sound that comes straight from the indignant, abused heart of rock n' roll itself.
Mikki Blue (vox and electric violin) and Dusti Outlaw (bass) write and perform with an intimacy found only between lovers - and yet the music absolutely refuses to sacrifice all of the raw tension that makes your filthy heart race. The group's on-stage presence is complete with JefF Leopard's shrieking, self-indulgent guitar solos and Mike "Dr Wu"'s thunderous rhythmic precision on the skins.
At times reminiscent of everything from classic Veruca Salt right up to the current Paramore sensation, the group has forged its own sound cherry-picking aspects of punk, 80s hair metal, and melodic pop rock. The results can be as sweet and delicate as a gentle kiss or as dark and grim as the reaper himself. For fear or love, grab onto someone and fall into the abysmal romance of Kiss Kill.
Music With Heart: Indie rockers give back... by The Thought Vox Pop-punk band Kiss Kill’s music has been likened to Tracy Bonham, Garbage, and Tegan & Sara. The band, co-founded in 2007 by, wife and wife, duo Michelle (vox/violin) and Dusti (bass), has...
Music With Heart: Indie rockers give back... by The Thought Vox Pop-punk band Kiss Kill’s music has been likened to Tracy Bonham, Garbage, and Tegan & Sara. The band, co-founded in 2007 by, wife and wife, duo Michelle (vox/violin) and Dusti (bass), has since morphed into a quartet of four equal parts with Jeff (guitar/vox) and Mike (percussion).
Operating out of Portland, OR, the group has built a following across the Northwestern US. When they’re not rockin’ the stage both Michelle and Dusti are employed as social workers. Their belief in giving back has inspired them to stay involved in the queer community whenever possible. Michelle often speaks at high schools, and treatment centers about her previous battles with anorexia and self-mutilation.
The bands next big gig is a fund-raiser for SMYRC (a GLBTQ youth mentoring organization in Portland). The event will consist of the theatrical play, “She Had Wept” (based on selections from Michelle’s book of the same title), followed by an after-party featuring several bands including Kiss Kill. A silent auction is also planned for the event. Donations to the auction include art from Jann Arden, Linda Woods, as well as local Portland artisans.
If you would like to donate money or prizes for the auction please contact Michelle at www.kisskillrocks.com
The ladies took some time from their busy lives to answer a few questions:
Why is it important for you to give back to the GLBTQ community?
Both Dusti and I feel that although society in general has become more progressive, it is still extremely difficult to be a queer adolescent.
30% of the completed teen suicides are committed by LGBTQ youth. 50% of all queer youth state that their parents have abandoned them due to their sexual orientation. Over 55% of gay men have problems with substance abuse and 30% of the queer community suffers from alcoholism. The numbers just get worse and worse: homelessness, parental physical/ verbal abuse, high school drops out rates, etc. It’s truly horrifying; and to think that we, as a society, are doing this openly to our youth…
I (Michelle) for one can only imagine how my life would have been different if I might have had a positive queer role model in my life. I can’t say that it would have all been rainbows and butterflies with puppies and sunshine…
We just think that having well adjusted LGBTQ adults actively supporting and giving back to their community is one of the only ways society will be able to break down the walls of stereotypes and statistics. Our hearts and sympathies go out to Sirdeaner Walker: whose son, Carl Walker an 11 year old Massachusetts boy, hung himself after suffering from anti-gay bullying in his middle school. It’s all so terribly tragic!
Michelle, you are very open about your personal life struggles. What motivates this?
When I was 19 years old, my younger sister wrote me a letter that changed my life forever. She wrote: “Do you know how I love you? I always have and no matter what you do or what you choose I will always love you… it’s just so hard to say goodbye… I understand a little now- not goodbye but see you later. I love you.” She loved me so much that she could understand if I needed to kill myself; she just wanted me to be happy. At that moment, I realized how love was perhaps the one thing still worth fighting for. I made a promise to myself from that day forward: I would be “that love” to the world- that my life was meant for something so much greater. I see no reason in hiding from my past. I try to vocalize my struggles as much as possible because I have always dreamt my music and poetry would one day be the hope and the love that one person might need to change their life so completely: Your whole life can change in a single moment- life is comprised of a series of choices and actions that make up these moments. And in life, the only thing that remains constant, is the idea that love is the driving force that encourages the soul to move forward…to seek out the light amidst the darkness…to strive for things greater than despair. Be aware of others. Love them because they are human, because you are human; because love will heal all wounds and love is the one thing that many find themselves without.
Your lives are the topic of a soon to be released documentary. Can you tell us a little about that?
The film follows the wedding planning process and the actual wedding itself. We were married on Hahei beach, in New Zealand on March 12, 2007. The documentary highlights the struggles that we as a couple faced during that time: with our families, politically, personally, and of course together. The film also focuses on our back-stories and interviews many people from out past. Both Dusti and I share our crazy life stories concerning our journeys through alcoholism, anorexia, and self-mutilation. In the end, the film takes place over several months and illustrates both the struggles and the triumphs we endured.
Now that your first CD has been released, what goals come next?
As a band, we are happy to have this first EP out of the way! We call it an EP because we are still interested in recording these songs and our newest (previously unrecorded) songs professionally. We are shooting for sometime this summer to get into a “real” recording studio and bang out a kick ass record. This EP was actually recorded in our living room and Jeff, the guitar king, mixed and mastered this baby all on his own. We are very happy with the outcome but look forward to a professional record soon. We are also tentatively planning a “mini-tour” around the Western United States. Where we hope to hit our
hometowns of Moses Lake, Washington, Laramie, Wyoming and Mesa, Arizona. But as of right now, we are all just mindlessly slaving away at our prospective day jobs- trying to make enough money to pay for said “mini-tour.”
What is your favorite thing about performing live?
Well, I (Michelle) for one am terrified of being on stage. I have extreme stage fright, so perhaps Dusti is the more qualified lady to answer this question…
(Dusti) Even as a teenager my greatest dream was to become a rock star. Music has always been the most influential force in my life. I can remember going to the live shows of many great female musicians (Ani Difranco, Melissa Ferrick, Courtney Love) and being in complete awe not only of their talent but of their passion and attitude on stage.
When I perform live, I just want to Rock… it’s that simple.