This alternative, electronic-infused, ultra-catchy band just released its second album Until There's Nothing Left Us through Atlantic Records. Kill Hannah essentially is Mat Devine, a tight-pants-wearing, former art student who dreams of opening for a Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour. His high-pitch, yet powerful, singing voice is quite different from his slow, raspy speaking voice.
“I think that any art,” he explains, “has that rewarding feeling of creating something out of nothing.” Along with creating its unique style of music, Kill Hannah has also created an underground legion of fans, many of which sport band-inspired tattoos.
The “sniper heart” logo fits perfectly with the music, at once romantic and charming, dark and just a little creepy. “We've seen so many variations of [the tattoo] on this tour. I see some every single night, I'm collecting a database of them now,” says Devine.
With appearances on shows like “Last Call with Carson Daly” and years of almost nonstop touring, Kill Hannah is always ready to win over audiences. Devine remarks, “We can play in front of our fanbase all year long, but it may not help us gain exposure; we enjoy the challenge of playing in front of new crowds.”
Most recently appearing at Lollapalooza and having toured with fellow alt-rockers HIM, Evanescence and 30 Seconds to Mars, Devine enjoys the road. “We always get along with the bands we tour with; it's always fun.”
With time, Kill Hannah's pre-show warm up has evolved into a new kind of excitement. “There was a kind of ritual. Backstage we'd have like a celebratory shot or some sort of rousing speech, but now it's just so automatic,” he continues, “it's those first 10 steps onto the stage – that's all it takes to get pumped up.”
Explaining how the band's live show has developed, Devine finds it “important to remember how it was in the beginning. You would somehow con your co-workers to bring their friends to come and watch you. There were points where we showcased for labels and we had to play the best show of our lives in front of four people in suits sitting in chairs.”
The band's persistence eventually paid off. Devine says, “We really honed the craft of performing and being able to pull off our songs in any sort of environment.”
After a performance as energetic and emotional as that of Kill Hannah's, anyone would be exhausted. But for the band, the night is just getting started. What used to be a tradition of post-show Irish Car Bombs, is now a well-oiled band maintenance machine.
“We each have duties and responsibilities after a show,” notes Devine. Whether it be manning the merch table, regulating the mailing list or passing out promotional materials, each member does his part. “Once all that dust settles, we usually have one to 10 Redbull vodkas apiece.”
Together, these boys work and play hard, sharing many experiences. When recently shooting a video for “Lips Like Morphine,” the stand out single of Until There's Nothing Left of Us , each member got to lock lips with the leading lady. “That's Jonny's (Radtke, guitarist) girlfriend. She's a good kisser,” says Devine. Apparently the band is quite close.
“There have been millions of awkward moments that we've shared in the past few years together, that it [kissing Radtke's girlfriend] really didn't matter that much.”
As for the business, Devine states, “You kind of have to be really thick skinned; it's not for the easily offended.” And all of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making Kill Hannah show through on this new album.
Until There's Nothing Left of Us is currently available. Kill Hannah will perform Sept. 3 at the Whisky, in West Hollywood and Oct. 31 at Gibson Amphitheatre, in Universal City. For more information, visit wwwkillhannah.com.