Interview: Kid Congo Powers | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kid Congo Powers derives influence from many sources -- not least his tenure with seminal bands The Gun Club, The Cramps and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. 


1. Nick Cave, Jeffrey Lee Pierce of the Gun Club, Lux Interior of The Cramps -- who was the most challenging?
[Laughs] Take your pick. Those three people had very clear visions of what they wanted to do -- there's not going to be any compromise with what they want to do. To me they were like monsters, but they were like beautiful monsters. 

2. What approach are you going for with your band The Pink Monkey Birds?
Something like R&B-laced psychedelic soul shouting, but with a Latin flavor. I feel like this gives me all room to be Kid Congo, freak out on the guitar and do spoken-word poetry.

3. Is your spoken word on "Our Other World" a true story?
It's completely true. I was working in a record store and Rick James walked in one day. Gloryhallastoopid, by George Clinton, has a cover with a jackass dressed in a superfreak outfit. Rick had his bodyguards grab all the records and break them. 

4. What about "Flypaper"?
When the Gun Club was recording The Las Vegas Story, Stevie Nicks was also recording [at the same studio] at that time. Every night, she'd roll out of the limousine. They'd block all the bathrooms because they were sitting in there doing coke.

5.  Played Pittsburgh before?
The first time I played with the bass player and drummer, our first gig was in Pittsburgh and we had no rehearsals. But it was actually really great, and we've stuck together ever since.


Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds, with Summer Lungs and Patricia Wake. 8 p.m. Wed., Feb. 16. Howlers Coyote Café, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-682-0320 or

click to enlarge Kid Congo Powers, far right
Kid Congo Powers, far right

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