Louis XIV formed in early 2003 when former members of alt-country locals Convoy chose sexed-up pop over redneck rock. In January 2005 the Illegal Tender EP, self-released on their own Pineapple Recording Group label, popped up all over radio with the hit “Finding Out True Love Is Blind,” which also turned up on their 2005 album The Best Little Secrets Are Kept.
Rolling Stone named Louis XIV one of its “Ten Artists to Watch” in 2005, while Entertainment Weekly included them on its list of “Eight Hot Bands.” Esquire cited Best Little Secrets as one of “Four Records to Get You Ahead of the Game.”
Last September the band released a new digital EP online, The Distances from Everyone to You, with three new songs plus a cover of Queen’s “Flash’s Theme,” now heard on the Sci-Fi Channel series Flash Gordon. A new full-length album, Slick Dogs and Ponies, s due this month. Louis XIV hits the House of Blues stage on February 13 with the Editors and Hot Hot Heat. Singer/guitarist Brian Karscig answered our queries.
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Leon Russell, self-titled: “Probably one of the best songwriters and piano players of all time, and my personal inspiration musically. I’ve been listening to this album for years, and it never gets old.”
2. Air, Moon Safari: “When you travel in a bus with 11 guys, every night someone in that group is in a party mood. When I’m not, I retreat to my bunk, close the curtain, and put my headphones on with Air and read a book. Instant escape.”
3. The Electric Light Orchestra, Eldorado: “Our whole band will agree that Jeff Lynne and Louis Clark are geniuses, and the string arrangements always make my arm-hair stand up.”
4. Black Sabbath, self-titled: “Always a great preshow listener. Geezer, Bill, Ozzy, and Tony. ‘The Wizard’ — enough said.”
5. David Bowie, Hunky Dory: “Because I’m sure you would expect something like this from our band, and the song ‘Life on Mars’ never gets old.”
1. Rushmore: “Max Fischer’s one-liners have stood the test of time, and everything about it is genius.”
2. Fletch: “Probably Chevy’s best.”
3. The Last Waltz: “This concert film documenting the Band is a huge inspiration to our group, and it’s one of the best ideas ever captured on video. It’s the model for all rock documentaries.”
4. Scarface: “We’ve all seen it a million times, but doesn’t everyone still stop and watch it every time you pass it while channel surfing?”
FIVE GUILTY PLEASURES?
1. Rock of Love with Bret Michaels
2. The Food Network
3. Kiss Alive! and Kiss Alive II
4. Transsexual karaoke bars in Germany
BEST DRUNK STORY?
“A well-known promoter once made posters of the group and was selling them without our permission. They were extremely ugly, and kids were being ripped off. I walked up to him in the club, asked him how many more were there, grabbed them out of his hands, unzipped my pants, and urinated all over them in front of him.”
DREAM LUNCH DATE?
“Keith Richards. I must have a conversation over food with him.”
“I used to skateboard a lot as a kid, so I’ve broken everything, but one time I got my foot caught in the side of an escalator at JCPenney. It cut off four of my toes. They were sewn back on, but I’m still missing half of one toe.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“The Casbah. Great music, Pabst in a tall-boy can, and running into Tim [Mays, owner] is always a pleasure.”
“Christy Turlington. She came to one of our shows in NYC. Didn’t know much about her, but now she’s the celebrity I’m most interested in.”
“I haven’t had many. Telemarketing sucked. I always felt guilty about cold-calling people for money; however, I did acquire shamelessness from it, I suppose, and that’s always good for a rock musician.”