So Black Rebel Motorcycle Club put on one hell of a Rock’N’Roll spectacle last week at Union Transfer, the best the city has seen in quite some time… But there’s something about seeing a Rock’N’Roll show in a cramped and sweaty dive bar that is far more satisfying than on some mega stage that welcomes and embraces suburban commuters… and their children… or parents… Tonight glam rockers Uni kick off a short run of East Coast dates at our very own Kung Fu Necktie… The NYC-based trio have been kicking out late-‘60s-early-‘70s-inpired jams for the better part of a year now and their handful of live shows have already become renowned for the appearances of pythons, homemade flamethrowers, and obscene amounts of glitter. Uni are comprised of Charlotte Kemp-Muhl (known for her work as a model, one-half of The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, and Sean Lennon’s longstanding girlfriend) on bass and vocals, David Strange on guitar, and Nico Fuzz as guitarist and frontman extraordinaire. They claim to be born of a blend of cigarette butts, used condoms, and melted vinyl, with a mission to overthrow, or at least mock-to-death, contemporary popular culture. Their latest single, “Mushroom Cloud,” drops on March 23rd as a 7”. The song rings of an exceptionally morose spin on history’s greatest glam rock operas and the recently-released animated music video features a charming amalgam of the apocalypse and a world-class-less orgy (See it below.) I recently got a chance to chat with the trio… who tend to raise more questions than they answer… So… Read our chat or not… But if you have a penchant for fetishwear, feathers, and fantastical explorations of fucking, you definitely need to find your ass at Kung Fu Necktie tonight… Wear heels.
Izzy: I hate to start with a huge question but, considering that Uni seems to still be relatively new, what have been some of the highlights of the band so far?
Uni: Well, winning the election was huge. I mean, everyone said it couldn’t be done, that we had no qualifications or experience, and that we should just stick to making music and fart jokes. The odds were against us, but the people were on our side because the message of Uni connects. It’s been a wild year so far, but that’s a big one.
Izzy: And have you had any favorite reactions to your music or your performances?
Uni: Probably the best reaction to our music came from within the band. During an early recording session, David shit his pants while playing the drums late one night after days without sleep.
Izzy: You’re definitely my favorite glam rock act to come out in a while, so I’m curious, what are your favorite glam rock entities? Do you have any particular favorite glam rock bands, records, or films, whether they be from the first wave, with Bowie, Bolan, and Phantom of the Paradise, or the ‘90s revival, with Suede, Spacehog, and Velvet Goldmine?
Uni: We’ve never heard of any of those bands but they all sound intriguing and have spiffy names. We’ll have to check them out and get back to you on this one.
Izzy: For that matter, do you have any significant influences that you think might surprise your fans, whether musical or otherwise?
Uni: Certainly. Nico studies the mating calls of rare birds. It’s where he developed his impressive and seductive vocal technique. Charlotte is hugely influenced by all things scientific and futuristic. For instance, lately, she’s been particularly interested in cloning this one sheep she can’t stop talking about. David spends all of his free time working on his manifesto, which is equal parts Bukowski and Kaczynski.
Izzy: Your live show has already gained quite a reputation (It kind of sounds along the lines of the heyday of The Toilet Boys… Hopefully that’s not insulting…) What can be expected of the live experience when you play Kung Fu Necktie?
Uni: First of all, we have no idea where the guy in the giant penis suit keeps coming from and disrupting the crowd. He is not associated with Uni or our performance and should be arrested on sight if he comes near the venue in Philly this week! Whenever he’s not there a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex seems to show up and terrorize the crowd while we’re just trying to play some music. I dunno… We keep getting Instagram messages from these Sumo Wrestlers who want to challenge us to a fight, so I hope they don’t show up on this tour, but we can take full responsibility for the flamethrower, glitter bombs, naked girls and close encounters that have happened onstage.
Izzy: On a related note, all of you have an intimidatingly fabulous fashion sense. Is there any way you would hope that your audiences style themselves when attending your shows?
Uni: Any fan who shows up in leather 1970’s assless chaps will receive a free year-long pass to any Uni show in the world as well as a slow clap from the band onstage.
Izzy: I know you have a 7” coming out next month. In addition to that, how are you hoping and planning to spend 2018? Anything you’re particularly excited about?
Uni: We’re going to put something special out every month in 2018. Then we’re going to move in with your mom so that you have to call us “Daddy.”