The Kooks set to perform at this year’s Falls Festival

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The Kooks set to perform at this year’s Falls Festival

“We were definitely too young to sign a deal, we signed a deal at a time when we weren’t even sure that we had the correct line-up in the band,” says Hugh Harris, the lead guitarist of the now iconic English band The Kooks.

“We hadn’t stabilised who we were internally, we didn’t have an identity at that point, and we hadn’t figured anything out so that was a real challenge at the time… but that being said, maybe we haven’t even sorted it out yet, maybe we are all completely fucked up, I just don’t know.”

With their debut release Inside In/Inside Out giving birth to hits such as ‘Naive,’ ‘Seaside’ and ‘She Moves In Her Own Way,’ The Kooks immediately became one of the hottest rock bands in the world… now, over a decade later not much has changed.

“I feel old and I feel past it, especially when I see freakin’ teenagers coming to our shows!” Harris laughs. “It makes me think, ‘what were you doing 11 years ago, making pasta calendars or glitter crayon paintings’ and then I think, what the fuck was I doing back then? It’s weird but it’s also invigorating, we are like the picture of Dorian Grey. The crowds that come to see us are keeping us youthful and it’s a wonderful feeling, I would not ask for it to be any other way.”

With a new album in the works, Harris spoke of how the band has been heading towards a more guitar driven sound.

“The album’s finished, it’s done and it’s in our back pocket ready to go. I am actually really fucking proud of this album, it’s not better, it’s the best since the first record,” he grins.

“It’s basically a rock record, kind of desert rock. At times, it’s down and out and kind of Lou Reed’y and other times it sounds like Queens Of The Stone Age and then sometimes it sounds like The Kooks. It’s kind of a combination of British and American rock ‘n’ roll flavour.”

With album number five ready for release, The Kooks will be heading to this year’s Falls Festival to deliver a taste of their new material to Aussie crowds, but Harris will be heading down slightly early to spend his Christmas in Geelong, (yes you read that right).

“I’m half Australian, my dad went to Wesley College and my sister lives in Geelong, I am of Australian blood,” he laughs, “I’m flying with my one and a half year old daughter. We land in Melbourne on Christmas Eve and I’m being picked up by my sister Emma who is then driving me to her house in Geelong and we are going to have a massive, massive, awesome Christmas time. Then I’m off to Falls which I am thrilled about.

“I can’t wait to see those Australian crowds, they are the best crowds in the world! Everyone really, really wants to have fun and won’t let anything get in the way of that, it’s really fantastic.”

When & Where: Falls Festival, Lorne – December 28 – 31 & Festival Hall, Melbourne – January 3

Written by Alex Callan