The Kills performed an lively version of “List of Demands (Reparations),” their recently-issued Saul Williams cover, on Tuesday’s Late Show. Guitarist Jamie Hince unleashed bursts of noisy electric guitar over a steady drum pulse and synths while singer Alison Mosshart threw her head back, howling through the chorus.
The indie rock band released “List of Demands (Reparations)” in March as a seven-inch single, backed with a cover of Peter Tosh’s “Steppin’ Razor.” In a statement announcing the release, the Kills recalled how they often played the Williams track backstage to hype themselves up prior to shows.
“It was the kind of song that would come on backstage and everyone would stop what they were doing and stand up,” Hince said. “The more I found myself listening to the lyrics, the more I heard in them, and found myself singing along with goose bumps. The brilliant thing about it is that it speaks to so many different ideas – a true underground thing like the best Iggy Pop songs.”
Mosshart called “List of Demands (Reparations),” which appeared on Williams’ self-titled 2004 LP, “a song of strength and empowerment, rooted in the idea of rising above.”
“It was one of those songs you’re almost scared to cover, because it carries so much respect,” she added. “It wasn’t a straight up love song or a drug song. It was defined, serious, and perfect already. With certain songs, you feel like an intruder trying to sing them, but this one felt like my own.”
The Kills recently launched a world tour, which includes shows alongside Williams and Foo Fighters. Their next date is June 4th in St. Petersburg, Russia. The band – who issued their most recent studio LP Ash & Ice in 2016 – re-recorded and released it as a live album, The Kills: Live at Electric Lady, for Record Store Day 2018.