Doing It To Death

Album: Ash & Ice (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This was released as the lead single from Ash & Ice, The Kills' fifth studio album. Vocalist Alison Mosshart explained the record's title: "One of the first songs that [Jamie Hince, guitarist] brought for the record was called 'Ash and Ice,' and we loved the title. He does that all the time - he just starts with the title and he hasn't written a word for the actual song. I guess he was sitting at some bar or some party or someone's house, and it was just like people ashing into a glass of ice, in that disgusting thing that you just see all the time."

    Hince added: "I had a drink, and I just threw my cigarette in this glass of ice, and it was just as simple as that. It was like ash and ice, and I said I'll just call it that. Which is kind of dull. I wish I'd come up with a better story, but that's the truth of it. And I just like the connotation. It just sort of sounded right, and I liked the idea of it being these two opposite souls. I liked it being the idea of someone with a joint in one hand and a drink in the other."
  • Jamie Hince lost the use of one finger on his left hand in the early 2010s following an accident. Asked by Artist Direct what it was like relearning to play the guitar without the use of his finger, Hince replied: "My guitar playing has improved because I have to think all the time, so it's just developing all the time. My brain is a lot more in tune with my hand now because I just have to think a lot more about how to. I can't play chords like I used to, so I have to think a lot more and I prefer it.

    I would have never come up with something like the riff to 'Doing It To Death' if I hadn't lost the use of my finger, all those kind of individual notes, I would have probably just played some chords."
  • Jamie Hince told Tonedeaf.com: "I wanted to write a song that was like a lot of Jamaican dancehall – like Elephant Man, Lady Saw or Vybz Kartel. 'Doing It to Death' was my guitar version of a dancehall track."
  • This went through a number of titles, including "Not in the Program," "Push My Buttons," "Black and White Blues." The lyrics were the last thing to be written for it.

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