Interview: Chloe Chaidez of Kitten

For the latest installment of our interview series, we’ve invited our new music writer, Elaine Jones, to interview Chloe Chaidez of the Los Angeles-based band, Kitten.

Surely these LA rockers are bringing the angelic aspect back to The City of Angels. Lead by the mesmerizing vocals of sixteen-year-old Chloe Chaidez, Kitten manages to beautifully pull off a sound that is at once sassy and hauntingly ethereal. The band may be young, but there is no frivolity here. Kitten is going to be everywhere soon. I can feel it.

Twenty Two: It has been said that Kitten is comprised of prodigies. Tell us about your beginnings as a band. How did you all come together?

Chloe: I wouldn’t use the word prodigy to describe myself or any member of the band, but the lineup has changed quite a bit. The core of us met through mutual friends in Los Angeles, as vague as that may sound.

Twenty Two: How long have you been performing with a band? Could you describe your musical beginnings?

Chloe: I started playing bass when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and my interest in music kind of grew from there. I had a band before this, but Kitten has been my main focus for a while now.

Twenty Two: How did you guys come up with the name Kitten? Is it in reference to anything?

Chloe: I thought it sounded sort of classic, cool and memorable. It reminded me of Blondie or something.

Twenty Two: You have been compared to, among others, Karen O and Cat Power. How does it feel?

Chloe: It’s definitely nice to have your influences be recognized but that said, our music is quite a bit different than the artists you mentioned. Something that I think becomes quickly apparent when someone listens to our records or comes to a show.

Twenty Two: I detect some earlier influences in Kitten’s sound. Cocteau Twins? Siouxsie and the Banshees? Who has been your greatest vocal influence?

Chloe: I’m definitely influenced by a lot of 80’s singers like Andy McCluskey of OMD, Martha Davis from the Motels and even Morrissey. Although classics like Prince and David Bowie are also huge influences on me performance wise. I like anyone who’s willing to make a statement with the way they sing and present themselves onstage.

Twenty Two: Where do you go for inspiration in songwriting? Any books, films, or figures that stand out? Personal experience?

Chloe: Subconsciously I think all of those things influence bits of my songwriting, but in general, I’d say little observations that I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else tend to take up a large portion of our songs.

Twenty Two: Has your songwriting transformed since the start of the band?

Chloe: Definitely. My songwriting has transformed and grown quite a bit since we started the band. In the past, I would often find myself stuck with a song that was written one way and trying to make it sound like something completely different. I’ve learned that most times, I can’t make a Bright Eyes song sound like a New Order song. I’m learning to just write the song that best fits the musical landscape I’m trying to create.

Twenty Two: How do you feel about the upcoming tour? Will you be in Europe at all?

Chloe: I’m always excited to be touring, and this next tour is no exception. We won’t be in Europe this time, but we want to get back there as soon as possible! It’s just a matter of our label deciding to release the new music in the UK.

Twenty Two: Tell us about your most memorable touring experience. Are there any places you are excited to visit or return to?

Chloe: There are so many that it’s difficult to pick just one. But something that’s coming to mind right now is the time I jumped off a 14 foot speaker at a House of Blues in North Carolina. We were on tour with Young the Giant, and I just remember lying on my stomach and icing my back in the green room while everyone walked by drinking their beer and laughing at me. I’m not sure but that might also be the show were I chipped my two front teeth…

Twenty Two: You guys are working on a new album. How is it going? Are you making any changes to your sound?

Chloe: The album is going really great. I think our sound is always growing and changing depending on what we’re into musically at that time. That said, now that we’ve honed in on a more specific sound, it’s nice not to have to go into the studio wondering where you’re going to take a song sonically. The new EP is a strong step in that direction.

Twenty Two: What are you guys looking forward to the most in the coming year?

Chloe: Mainly touring and the release of the EP “Cut It Out” in August, followed by the full length in January. Hopefully we’ll be on the road from now until the New Year.

A special thanks to Chloe for giving us the opportunity to learn more about Kitten. You can keep up with the band by checking out their website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

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