On my radar: Jamie Hince’s cultural highlights

The Kills guitarist and singer on Russian animation and photography, inspirational musicians and the poshest bar in Paris

Born in 1968, Jamie Hince is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in indie-rock duo the Kills. He studied drama at Goldsmiths College in London in the early 90s, and played in rock bands Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power largely while living in squats. He met American singer Alison Mosshart when she heard him play guitar in the apartment above her and in 2000 they formed the Kills, releasing their debut Keep On Your Mean Side in 2003. Hince is an enthusiastic photographer and held his first exhibition in New York in 2014. Between 2007 and 2015 he was in a relationship with Kate Moss. The Kills’ fifth studio album, Ash & Ice, is out now on Domino.

1 | Art

Ivan Maximov

Long Bridge of Desired Direction: ‘Beautiful psychedelic hallucinations.’
Long Bridge of Desired Direction: ‘beautiful psychedelic hallucinations.’ Photograph: Vimeo screengrab

I always seem to be drawn to Russian art and literature. This is a Russian animator I’ve been really intrigued by: I stumbled across his work on the internet, and sat down for three hours and went through everything he’s done. He makes these amazing animations – there’s one in particular called From Left to Right and most recently he’s done one called Long Bridge of Desired Direction. They’re like beautiful psychedelic hallucinations, like the scene in Dumbo where he starts hallucinating. The animations are all very similar: they’ve got these melancholic little characters that normally have their roots in something human, but they’re kind of blobs. It’s really absurd and beautiful and sad.

2 | Photography

Nikolay Bakharev

Nicolay Bakharev’s Relationship #84: ‘absolutely beautiful – like the old masters.’
Nicolay Bakharev’s Relationship #84: ‘absolutely beautiful – like the old masters.’ Photograph: Nikolay Bakharev/Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Photography is a big part of my life: taking photographs, being around photographers. Nikolay Bakharev operates in Siberia and he takes these amazing pictures of normal, working-class Russians on holiday at bizarre beaches and lakes by the forest. In pretty much all of them he’s managed to convince these people to be photographed naked, but it’s not pornographic or erotic in any way: you can see how life has taken its toll on their bodies, whether it’s scars or tattoos or the weathering of a hard life. They’re absolutely beautiful – it’s like the old masters or something. He’s a massive inspiration to me.

3 | Film

The Tin Drum

David Bennent in The Tin Drum: ‘mind-blowing.’
David Bennent in The Tin Drum: ‘mind-blowing.’ Photograph: Alamy

The Tin Drum is one of my favourite books of all time – I’ve probably got 12 or 15 copies with different covers, different translations – but it’s also just about my favourite film. You know how it is: you read a book that you love and the film is always an embarrassment in comparison. But this really ranks as one of the greatest films. You can pause it at any moment and the whole frame is a work of art. I’ve gone through that film as photographs, hundreds and hundreds of frames of it. I can watch it over and over again. The kid who plays Oskar, David Bennent, is absolutely mind-blowing.

4 | Documentary

The Upsetter

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: ‘he is otherworldly.’
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: ‘he is otherworldly.’ Photograph: Handout

This is the documentary that blew me away most recently: it’s the story of Lee “Scratch” Perry who is, at least from a production point of view, just about my biggest idol. He is otherworldly. There’s a lot of talk about the correlation between madness and genius but with Lee “Scratch” Perry I’d defy anyone, after watching that documentary, to describe him in any other way than as a mad genius. The output is crazy from someone who is so high all the time – he is crazy prolific. There’s nothing academic about it, it’s absolute instinct. His first job was in a quarry, and he describes how he first got into music from the sound of smashing rocks up. He’s got such a bizarre insight into things and he does it so beautifully.

5 | Gig

Iggy Pop in Paris

‘One of the most uplifting things I’ve ever seen’: Iggy Pop, with Josh Homme.
‘One of the most uplifting things I’ve ever seen’: Iggy Pop, with Josh Homme. Photograph: David Wolff-Patrick/Redferns

We [the Kills] were doing a TV show in Paris last month and Iggy Pop was playing a couple of miles away. He’s got this new band with Josh Homme and Matt [Helders] from Arctic Monkeys. It was one of the most uplifting things I’ve ever seen. People were sitting on the ground after the show trying to get their breath back; not from jumping around but from how many emotions you can get from this one guy. It was unbelievable: he’s just short of 70 and it teaches you a thing or two about performance. He came on and started Lust for Life and then, before you know it, he’s jumped into the crowd. It was absolutely fantastic.

6 | Bar

Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, Paris

Bar Hemingway: ‘you can tell quite a lot of debauched shit has gone on.’
Bar Hemingway: ‘you can tell quite a lot of debauched shit has gone on.’ Photograph: focusfeatures.com

There are loads of little dive bars that I love and the Hemingway is obviously the antithesis of that. It’s posh – very posh – but it’s the one bar that gets me really excited. It’s not just going to a bar; you don’t really know what’s going to happen. They have all these typewriters and they encourage you to write stuff and leave it. There are just ghosts there, you know? You can tell quite a lot of debauched shit has gone on. I’ve had so many fantastic nights there. And there’s a brilliant barman I’ve been friends with since first going – he actually bar-tended at my wedding.

‘Absurdist philosopher’ Peter Cook

7 | Book

Tragically, I Was An Only Twin by Peter Cook

This is the last book I read. I’ve recently relocated to LA so I’m finding myself gravitating towards very English things as an antidote. Peter Cook is a sort of absurdist philosopher: his humour is unreal and the observations say a lot about the state of humanity. There’s a poem called Black and White Blues which is really beautiful. There’s a section called Spindly Legs, about how his life has been ruled by having spindly legs. It’s full of tiny observations that I find fascinating.


Kathryn Bromwich

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
On my radar: Moses Boyd on his cultural highlights
The jazz drummer on the podcast, album and local vegan cafe that helped him through lockdown. Plus, a properly geeky YouTube series

Jude Rogers

18, Jul, 2020 @2:00 PM

Article image
On my radar: Lolita Chakrabarti’s cultural highlights
The playwright and actor on eye-opening dance, a Quincy Jones documentary and dining at the Shard

Lolita Chakrabarti

22, Jun, 2019 @4:00 PM

Article image
On my radar: Matt Berry’s cultural highlights
The Maypoles musician and Mighty Boosh and IT Crowd actor on Miles Davis, the great fire of London, a Charles Manson documentary and adventurous seafood

Kathryn Bromwich

16, Oct, 2016 @9:00 AM

Article image
On my radar: Denise Gough’s cultural highlights
The Irish actor on the hope in Sally Rooney’s novels, Oprah’s inspiring conversations and a terrifying look at the birth of reality TV

Kathryn Bromwich

13, Jan, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
On my radar: Laurent Garnier’s cultural highlights
The French DJ on the TV series Staged, a post-apocalyptic dance show and group therapy for convicts in California

Kathryn Bromwich

03, Jul, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
On my radar: Beth Orton’s cultural highlights
The singer-songwriter on the trials of a Macedonian beekeeper, yoga to fall asleep to and a favourite Suffolk walk

Killian Fox

08, Oct, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
On my radar: Joy Crookes’s cultural highlights
The singer-songwriter on the film that reminds her of her dad, artist Rene Matić’s ability to provoke and a documentary that sums up the life of an Arsenal fan

Kathryn Bromwich

25, Feb, 2023 @3:00 PM

Article image
On my radar: Ezra Furman’s cultural highlights
The musician and songwriter on Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts, the Atlanta band Slang, Louis CK’s boldness, and his love of rapturous music writing

Kathryn Bromwich

15, May, 2016 @9:00 AM

Article image
On my radar: Daisy Edgar-Jones's cultural highlights
The Normal People star on livestreamed theatre, the best TV show she’s ever seen and a gem from her dad’s record collection

16, Aug, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
On my radar: Sheku Kanneh-Mason's cultural highlights
Muhammad Ali on film, classical music on Instagram and a dessert to die for – the cellist shares his recent discoveries

11, Jul, 2020 @2:00 PM