Top image: photography by Monique Humphrey
“Typically I’ll come in with a riff or chord progression and then Danny [Melia, drums] and will toss it around until we’ve come up with something that resembles a song,” says Dominic Price lead guitarist of Liverpool band Piss Kitti. “Then Esme [Davine, vocals] will shout whatever fits on top of it.”
It’s an unorthodox method for an unorthodox band. Creating music via a totally DIY approach (from putting together songs in the blink of an eye to creating their own merch), this four-piece have two main aims: to make you dance, and make you think. Harking back to the rich tones and provocative performers of the 70s, they confront audiences with progressive ideas and imagery surrounding sex, queerness and gender. They want a reaction, they want a conversation – and what better place to ignite that dialogue than the dancefloor.
The band – composed of Esme Davine (vocals), Dominic Price (guitar), Quinn Gibson (bass) and Daniel Melia (drums) – recently released DEMO 2018; a collection of six tracks bursting with personality and a fever for change. Recorded in Felix’s brother’s studio, the songs reflect a group finding catharsis for negativity in their music. They tell it like it is and are paving the way for inclusivity on the music scene in their hometown of Liverpool, but they’re not going to stop there.
Clementine Zawadzki: How did you all meet?
Esme Davine: The band was originally all girls. I was on bass, but then I realised I can’t play bass, so we got Dom in the band and the line-up just continued to evolve.
CZ: You have quite the band name, where did it come from?
ED: My wife’s nickname for me is Kitti, which turned into Piss Kitti when she realised I always need a wee and piss in the street all the time.
Danny Melia: We are just vulgar delinquents who like the liquids our body produces.
Dominic Price: To me, it just means something both disgusting and attractive.
CZ: How long have you been making music?
DP: The band has been together for just over a year now. I’ve been playing since I was about thirteen.
CZ: What’s the scene like in Liverpool at the moment?
DM: In decline until Piss Kitti got on the scene.
ED: Pretty fuckin’ dull! If you don’t like cock rock or lad psych there’s no place for you. Hopefully we will change that soon.
CZ: So what music inspires you?
Dom: Early rock and roll, the classic punk bands of the 70s, and power pop bands like Big Star etc.
Danny: My father always said I like the shit Beatles songs and his reason would be because I’d be listening to the ones with a weird time signature.
ED: Lyrically, I’m very inspired by Daniel Johnston and Syd Barrett, they’re both so childlike but with genius minds.
CZ: What’s your favourite album?
Dom: Let It Be by The Replacements
ED: I could never get bored of Peel Slowly and See by The Velvet Underground, but Patti Smith’s Horses is also a big one.
Danny: The White Album by The Beatles. The tunes are still so relevant.
“We talk pretty openly about sex and queerness in some songs; I think some bands that we exist alongside hesitate to get involved with us because of that. “
CZ: You have a really distinct style. Is this something that drew you together or is in keeping with the project?
ED: It was never really planned or talked about, we used to just jam in our flat and then realised we have something good going, so decided to start taking it all a little more seriously. So our style has developed really naturally.
CZ: And you make your own merch?
ED: Yeah I prefer to just get people to order what size and colour they want, and then I’ll paint a unique Piss Kitti logo and/or picture on both of them. Sometimes I like to stitch words into them too. The last t-shirt I sent off had “NO ONE CARES ABOUT US” stitched on the back. You can order them through the merch tab on Bandcamp.
CZ: What’s your writing process like?
DP: Typically I’ll come in with a riff or chord progression and then Danny and will toss it around until we’ve come up with something that resembles a song. Then Esme will shout whatever fits on top of it.
CZ: Do you have a favourite track off your release DEMO?
ED: Lady of Filth is gnarly, but we are in the process of writing and recording a new song which is definitely a favourite. I just love doing the really fast angry songs and acting like a brat.
DP: Watch Ur Mouth is probably my favourite because of Esme’s laugh after I say, “sugar.” That was her genuine reaction that got picked up on the mic and it fit perfectly so we left it in.
CZ: What is the ultimate aim of Piss Kitti?
ED: We are all in the band because we have fun together, I think/hope that translates to people.
DM: For me, the ultimate aim is to speak more pronounced because every time I tell someone the name of the band they think I’m saying “biscuity”.
DP: To make people dance. I guess we’re also confronting people with ideas and images that aren’t necessarily typical and accepted, and making them take notice of those things.
CZ: Why do you think it’s important to challenge audiences?
ED: I think it’s really important to just exist as a band with various genders and sexualities, and be loud about that.
CZ: What do you think people find confronting about Piss Kitti?
ED: We talk pretty openly about sex and queerness in some songs; I think some bands that we exist alongside hesitate to get involved with us because of that.
CZ: Lastly, just how many photos have you received of cats doing their business?
ED: More times than our tracks have been listened to on Bandcamp.