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Posted June 29, 2014 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

The Many Phases of Kitten’s Chloe Chaidez

Chloe Chaidez
Chloe Chaidez

Formed in 2010, Kitten self-released its first EP Sunday School that same year. A second and third EP followed. This month, the band issued its full-length debut. The self-titled album draws from British New Wave and punk rock and nicely balances synthesizers with organic instrumentation as singer Chloe Chaidez yelps and croons like a modern-day Siouxsie Sioux. Kitten recently finished a nationwide tour with The Neighbourhood and has previously opened for No Doubt, Charli XCX, Garbage, The Joy Formidable and Paramore. Chaidez, 19, called us from her L.A. home as the band was about to begin its first headlining tour.

You’ve been getting plenty of media attention. What’s that been like?
Great. As much press as you can get it, it’s awesome.

I read that you’ve been performing since you were 12. Do you remember your first live performance?
Yeah, it was with this band in my hometown. I was playing with the band I had a long time ago. We were on the stage and covering Mott The Hopple. We played three times that weekend. I was around 10. The first day I was terrified. After that, I was never scared to go on stage.

It sounds like you’ve been inspired by British New Wave. Is that the case?
Yeah, definitely. Lots of British bands. I love New Order and everything. In the ‘90s, there was more the cock rock scene here in the US. In the UK, they were still behaving like rock stars. I love Pulp and Blur and The Stone Roses. I love all that. You can’t always hear that stuff. I love Roxy Music.  They’re probably my favorite. I tried to emulate a lot of their vibe and sound on this record. It’s really difficult. I love solo Bryan Ferry. It’s a hard thing to recreate or even rip-off. It’s too hard to do it authentically.

The cool thing about Roxy Music is that so many people are inspired by them but you can’t hear it in the music. What they do is hard to replicate.

How exactly did the band come together?
Around 2009. I was playing more acoustic shows and open mics. I was putting together the band under the moniker Kitten. I mainly just got the guys who were around me to play the music. Those relationships then formed. It’s been a long journey.

Are you a difficult person to be in a band with?
Ha. Maybe so. Maybe they’re difficult people to be in bands with.

Talk a bit about the making of the new album. Did you re-record some of the songs that already came out?
Some were re-recorded. A lot of the songs have been released but they’re different versions. “Kill the Light” was re-recorded. I’m proud of the way “Kill the Light” sounds.

I think the production is terrific. It doesn’t sound too synthesizer driven. It sound like a mix of synths and live instrumentation.
Yeah, that’s definitely the case. When we’re working with guitars, we want them to sound like keyboards. It’s hard to know what is what. It’s exciting to have a guitar sound that meshes so nicely with the synthesizers but not really be a synth. I enjoyed that process. To be honest, when we recorded the album it was a big fight. When I heard the guitars in the mix, I would get in extreme fights with [manager/producer] Chad [Anderson] about how they sounded. I’m happy they’re there, but I would be worried that I was making a traditional rock record.

It’s funny because when we play live, there are more keyboards. It sounds really wicked.

Did you record in L.A.?
Everywhere. A lot of the songs stem from a demo. We recorded all the keyboards with this guy Nick Johns who produced a lot of the record. He has a lot of old synths and guitars.

I like the way the vocals get scrambled in “Sensible.”
That was a track I did with my brother. It was just one morning two years ago. I told him I had this track. I was self-conscious recording in front of anyone so he stood in the next room and then I started screaming. It came out great.

“Sex Drive” is so funky. Was there something in particular that inspired that tune?
There was a period of two to three months when I was writing a lot in trying to finish the album I was trying to make something groovy and dancing and exciting without keyboards. I came up with “Sex Drive.”

How have you evolved as a singer?
In so many ways. Initially, when I first started singing when I was really young, I sounded like Alanis Morissette or the singer from The Cranberries. Then, when I was 16, I discovered taking breaths in vocals. That was a big turning point. I discovered character singing and really diving into a particular mindset behind the mic. That was a whole other understanding and discovering of what singing is. I’ve been through a lot of phases, I guess.

I think you’ve opened for No Doubt and Paramore. Was that inspirational?
Yeah, of course. Over the span of about three months, we opened and met and hung out with so many female-fronted bands. It was truly inspiring and flattering for them to be coming down to my level as if we were the same. It was really amazing.

Are you touring with any visuals?
We’re getting lights because it’s about that time. I think if we were playing arenas, I would hire Miley Cyrus’s stage designer and be like, “Hey, help me out.” I haven’t been to her show but I’ve heard amazing things. I haven’t heard one person who came away from the show and didn’t say it was unbelievable. I don’t know what that means but I have to trust what the world is telling me. I would like to see a flying hotdog. It’s a club tour aside from L.A. and New York so I want to expand that expand that going forward. But we will have some lights and I’d like to get projectors.

Upcoming 2014 Tour Dates

June 30

July 1

July 2

July 4

July 5

July 7

July 8

July 9

July 10

July 12

July 14

July 15

July 16

July 19

July 22

July 23

July 26

Columbus, OH @ The A&R Music Bar

Detroit , MI @ Shelter

Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop

Toronto, ON @ Wrongbar

Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola

Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

New York, NY  @ Highline Ballroom

Philadelphia, PA @ District N9ne

Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel

Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade – Hell Stage

Houston, TX @ House Of Blues Bronze Peacock

Austin, TX @ Stubbs Jr Bar-B-Q

Dallas, TX @ Club Dada

Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre

Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project

Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater

Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer

 


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.