Chloe Chaidez may not feel busy, but just thinking about her band Kitten’s schedule for the next half a year has me reaching for a Red Bull. Tour throughout the rest of the summer, EP release in August, residency in LA in September, stops on the fall festival circuit, more writing and recording, full-length release in January…and she still finds the energy to dance her ass off on stage at every show. If you live in LA and haven’t heard of Kitten yet, now’s the time to check them out before they get even busier…if that’s possible.
Read on to hear about the band’s many goings-on straight from the mouth of Miss Chaidez herself in her recent interview with LA Music Blog.
At what point did you realize music was going to be something you wanted to do as a career?
To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I could imagine doing anything else, especially because music wasn’t something that I decided that I was into later on in my life. It’s always just been a very natural part of me.
For the people out there that don’t know Kitten, how did the band get its start?
Members have definitely changed since the beginning of the band, but the core of us met really just through mutual friends around Los Angeles. At that point, the guys were doing me a huge favor as a freshman in high school, playing these all-ages gigs around town. Now we’ve really formed a unique musical relationship that I’m proud of.
Who would you say are your influences, whether they influence you as a person or influence your music?
My answer to this question varies depending on the day, but recently I’ve been really getting into early Eurythmics. Annie Lennox is definitely one of my heroes and has been influencing a lot of what I’ve been doing lately. Eighties music in general, really.
You are known for your live shows. What is your favorite part of performing live?
Oh man, I love everything about performing live. The show is really our bread and butter. I guess I have a lot of energy and just like to get ridiculous.
The new EP is titled Cut It Out. Why did you go with that name as opposed to one of the other tracks from the EP, like “Sugar”?
Actually we weren’t going to name it, but our record company asked us nicely. We had a few names in mind but couldn’t make a decision. Our manager Chad, who is like the 6th member of the band, suggested that we ask our fans. We did, and that’s the name they chose.
Your debut EP, Sunday School, was much more guitar-driven than what I’ve heard on Cut It Out. What prompted this change in sound? Was it a conscious change or something that just occurred over the course of writing new music?
I think being so young, my taste and musical palette is growing faster and more rapidly than someone older than me, and my influences are put into action quicker. A year and a half ago, I was into raw guitars and live drums — Ty Segall, garage rock, Velvet Underground — but now most of what I listen to is full of vocal samples and electronic beats.
That said, at the end of the day KITTEN will always have guitars and live instruments at its core. There’s actually a lot of guitar on the new record. It’s just not always traditional. Andy is really great at coming up with hooks and unique parts that weave in and out of the keys, and he creates sounds that might not be instantly recognized as guitar. We’re really lucky to have him. So if you’re an old fan reading this, don’t fret! The EP has rock songs! Our next single “Japanese Eyes” ends with a guitar solo.
How would you describe the new EP?
Cut It Out is definitely different from Sunday School, and in my humble opinion, shows how Kitten has matured and grown. It’s grander, more ethereal, and makes more of a sonic statement than anything we’ve done in the past. It does have a lot of electronic elements, but those elements don’t overshadow the songs or the (kick ass) band.
Do you have a favorite track off the new EP?
My favorite track off the new EP would have to be a song called “Junk.” Musically I feel it’s the most interesting, and I’m particularly proud of its production.
Did your songwriting process change between Cut It Out and Sunday School?
Most definitely. I learned to just tell myself, “Hey, the best idea wins,” and not let my ego get the best of me. The songs I was writing on acoustic guitar often weren’t satisfying my goals creatively, and I was sometimes ignoring resources that were right in front me.
Funny enough, my brother Julian was involved quite a bit in this record. He began making electronic music while the album was being recorded, and we just started waking up, sitting on each other’s beds and collaborating. We called our genre “bedroom pop,” and soon after that I brought what we were doing to Kitten. I think it all worked out really well.
The EP is out in August, and then you have a full-length release set for January. Will you be adding any songs from Sunday School or Cut It Out to that album or will you have all original tracks?
The idea was to carry some of those songs onto the full length, but as you move on, it gets harder to return to something you did months or even over a year ago. That said, I’m pretty sure that “Kill The Light” and a couple of the new EP tracks will make the album. There are a few songs on the album that we can’t wait for people to hear.
You started your summer tour in May and will be hitting LA on June 25th. Do you have anything special planned for the hometown show?
I’m planning on stuffing whip cream in my mouth, spitting it onto the crowd, and handing them spoons.
What is your favorite track to perform live and why?
There’s a song called “Japanese Eyes” that we’ll be releasing with a video next month, and I think that’s my favorite song to play live. There are certain parts of the song that have super-tight, really groovy bass lines, and I just love dancing like a fool onstage to them.
What would be your dream tour?
Oooh, I have a long imaginary “dream tour” list that I look at every night before I go to sleep. I think the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Blake, and Morrissey would be some of my top choices.
If you had a chance to collaborate with any musician today, who would it be?
That’s another hard one to narrow down, but I’d have to say James Blake. I have so much respect for him as an artist, and the work he puts into his music is inspiring. He’s the real deal live as well. So James Blake, if you’re reading this, hit me up!!
Considering you are touring until August and then releasing the EP, what other plans do you have for the rest of the year? Will you be heading back into the studio after? Are you still writing any new songs?
Yup. Still writing and demoing new songs. This will be the third version of our album. We have 2 more videos that we’ll be shooting for upcoming singles. We’re looking at doing a September residency in LA and a couple of fall festivals on the East Coast. Hopefully we’ll be on the road until at least Christmas. It doesn’t feel like it, but I guess we’re busy…
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