Currently on a short tour of the UK, the Living Things are living it up in support of their 'Ahead of The Lions' record. Frontman Lillian Berlin (LB) took time from their packed week to discuss music, politics and future plans with Room Thirteen

R13: You are currently on a short UK tour, what do you think of the UK?
LB: We're having a great time. We've just played two shows in London and it's always good to play in London as people drink and have a good time and the shows end up being almost more like a party and less like a show.

R13: One of the nights feature yourselves playing a DJ set, what genres and songs usually feature in your Djing set?
LB: I like to play a vast mix. It's almost a rock and roll history lesson. We've got some 1920s blues stuff through Sun Records and the 50s and 60s and the British Invasion. Then we have the 70s with the glam and garage rock and onto the 80s with the gothic college rock stuff.

R13: How does Djing compare to playing live?
LB: I like performing live as you feel the interaction with people. I like to feel the sweat coming off of people and the scenes in the audience.

R13: You featured in a few end of year polls. Do you worry much about critical acclaim?
LB: It doesn't bother me you know, it's good to work hard on an album and then for it to be acknowledged. It only gets annoying when critics decree you sound like ten other bands who sound nothing like you.

R13: "Bom Bom Bom" is quite a classic sounding sleazy little rocker. What are the influences on the band?
LB: I like a lot more old time rock n roll stuff, the Sun Records era with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins so for me, the boogie woogie of these records is what gets me off and less the punk rock thing.

R13: Politics feature in your lyrics and website. Do you think it's important for bands to have a social conscience these days?
LB:It's important for general artists to be honest about their surroundings and feelings. If an artist or band wants to write a romantic song and that reflects their surroundings, then cool. For me, living in America is like living in a fascist country right now and it's really hard for me not to write about this. My everyday life is penetrated by what the politicians are doing so it's hard for me to not write about it.

R13: What is the meaning of the album title, 'Ahead of The Lions'?
LB: Basically, I am thinking of the politicians who control America and the world as being more like beasts and it's as simple as staying one step ahead of these beasts before they devour us all.

R13: Is image as important as the music to the band?
LB: What's important to us is to write about what we feel and for me that's social awareness and being aware of topics that affect the world and spreading that message to as many people as possible. Get as many people hitting the problems as possible.

R13: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
LB: We are touring until Christmas. Some of the highlights are the Coachella Festival and also the South By Southwest festival. They are both big ones in America so that should be good.

R13: Do you expect to be back in the UK soon?
LB: We'll be back in the UK in early Summer so we hope to see you all then.

Concluding the interview by promising to come back and wow further UK audiences before the Summer, The Living Things look certain to blend their social viewpoints with classic rock n roll all throughout 2006.