This story is over 5 years old.


Premiere: King of Cats - "Incorrect"

Where playfulness, thoughtfulness and aliens intersect.
Emma Garland
London, GB

Every now and then, music produces a voice like no other. One of those voices is Max Levy, who operates under the name King of Cats. Characterised by equal parts anxiety and hopefulness, King of Cats sounds like someone sliced your brain open, made all its contents visible and re-packaged it as a series of disquieting pop songs.

We’re premiering “Incorrect”, the first single from his forthcoming album Microwave Oven. With the help of Joey Fourr and Lady Neptune, the video features 30 metres of tin foil and an alien dealing ungraciously with rejection.


We spoke to Max about making the video, how playfulness and thoughtfulness intersect and, of course, aliens.

Noisey: It's been a long while since I've seen some actual Blue Peter style art in a music video. It looks like it took AGES to make. Could you talk us through the "making of" process a bit?
Max: It actually didn’t take that long to make the set because I was in an EXCELLENT mood. Time stopped and all that existed was FOIL. I really enjoy the idea of making something quite ambitious with very little in terms of componentry or skill. It felt pretty great turning junk into a space ship. I remember crawling around a lot on my hands and knees and talking very quickly because I was very happy. The video is a reflection of the song, but the process of making the video was in tune with how my attitude is changing towards music in general. Sometimes things can be meaningful purely because they were exiting to make, instead of existing as a perfection without visible process.

To me it's like, we're all basically just adult babies walking around in jeans and doing spreadsheets and just trying to maintain, when all we really want to do is enjoy really simple things and/or cry. The video feels kinda childlike in a great, playful kinda way, but says something more than that. Does that make sense?
I reckon you are bloody right. I really think playfulness is as telling and complex as thoughtfulness. Not that it needs to be, or that the two things are mutually exclusive. I just lost myself. I thought lots and lots when I was making the album, but this time I just kind of remembered that it was a pleasure to make things. Being able to make something is a privilege and really funny (ha ha funny) even if it only costs three pounds and all of that money was spent on tin foil.


Your latest album came out in December but you have another, Microwave Oven, out in June. Some people would consider that quite small gap between releases. At this stage, do you find yourself "getting over" your own material quite quickly or do you have LOADS of it? Both?
I would say somewhere in between the two. Writing songs alone means that I have the time to write a lot ,but also the time to mull on how much I dislike what I have written .I don’t write a song a day like I did when I was a teenager, but I do go through phases where I write often, or at least think about songs a great deal.

The new album is amazing. There seems to be a lot there about human fault and the transitory nature of life in general. But why "Microwave Oven"?
Writing this album I was thinking a lot about the silliness of regular stuff. It makes me feel really really sad and really really happy, and also everything else. I think more than big events, regularities force me to consider the absurd and temporary nature of things. I like the idea of a microwave oven. It is an amazing device, cooking your food with microwave radiation. It is also a shit little box.

How would you describe King of Cats to people who have not listened to you yet?
Sausage dog.

Do you believe in aliens?
Obviously. I can’t but move an inch without bumping into one.

There is a conspiracy theory that cats are spies sent by aliens to observe human behaviour. What say you to that?
I have been trying to figure this out for a while. I reckon cats are the only native species on earth. We take a great many pictures of them. I think us humans are the spies in this situation.

What would aliens think of the internet?
They invented it so that we (the human spies) could relay detailed info on the earth back to our home planet. The plan has clearly backfired. Aliens probably gave up on the internet a while back.

Would aliens dance to Microwave Oven?
They already are.

Thanks Max!

Microwave Oven comes out via Art Reeks on June 20 and is available to pre-order now.