In this column we talk to musicians; sometimes about the music they make, sometimes about whatever tangent they happen to go off on. And once in a while we may talk to non-musicians as well, just to keep you on your toes.
In this installment, we talk to manic frontman for Toronto's Run with the Kittens, Nate Mills (aka Nate Milk) about bikes, petty theft, cocaine, devotion, and comedy.
- Nate was recently the victim of bicycle theft: "Needless to say I'm a little fragile right now, a little upset."
- Run with the Kittens are currently in the process of finishing up their fourth album which will be released in September: "It's gonna have some pretty dancy spots on it: Rotterdam, you know, some Euro-trash, stuff like that."
- RWTK are going to take this record international with a tour of the Netherlands in November. I'm pretty sure he was serious when he said that.
- The band has been playing the Cameron House (408 Queen W) every Tuesday night for almost five years.
- They're going to mark the fifth anniversary in October by pulling the plug on the series: "Enough's enough, you know? We've all agreed that we've had a good run there and it's time to move on and do other things."
- Some of those aforementioned 'other things' might include: "a really fierce coke addiction, you know. Hang out with a lot of seedy people, spend a lot of time at Queen and Bathurst. Other than that we're going to try and plan to do more monthlies outside of Toronto to supplement the income we are essentially throwing away."
- They have a rather special night planned for the last Cameron House gig: "We're going to do a hundred songs that night, and we'll do five sets or something like that. No cover or anything, just do the 'pay what you can' like we've always done and see if we can actually pull it off."
- The band has a slavishly devoted fanbase. When asked to finally give their followers a name, Nathan suggests: "Kittenheads, I guess."
- The biggest, most devoted Kittenhead of them all has an RWTK vanity plate: "That's a guy named Skippy, who's a big fan of ours, and he's got the custom plate, but maybe more importantly he's got the Run with the Kittens tattoo in between his shoulderblades on his back."
- Nathan is one of the funniest musicians I've ever seen, so it comes as no surprise that he once considered a career in comedy rather than music: "I wanted to be a standup comedian; thank god that didn't happen. I don't think I have the balls. I've tried it but I've always brought a guitar along. The band, having all that behind you, if something really just doesn't go over well you just '1-2-3-4,' here we go."
Run with the Kittens continue their Tuesday night marathon at Cameron House through the end of October, as well as playing anywhere else they can along the way. For complete, up to date details, please visit their MySpace.
Look for regular installments of "10 things you ought to know" every Thursday morning around 10-ish or so. If you'd like to have people know ten things about you, send Steve an email and he'll set you up proper..
Photo of the Run with the Kittens from their MySpace profile. Photo of Nate from his MySpace profile.