Spinning Platters Interview: Chloe Chaidez of Kitten

by Dakin Hardwick on February 26, 2013

Kitten at Bottom Of The Hill last June. Photo by Marie Carney

Kitten at Bottom Of The Hill last June. Photo by Marie Carney

Kitten are a beast of a band. They play a furious blend of punk and new wave, while their lead singer, Chloe Chaidez, is at the tender age of 17, one of the most dynamic and aggressive front people in rock. We recently took the time out to speak Chaidez about their recently released EP, Cut It Out, the evolution of their sound and the logistics behind being in a teenage rock band. Kitten will be playing a Noise Pop Happy Hour show on Thursday, February 28th at Bender’s Bar & Grill as well as opening for Paramore at The Warfield on May 4th, and their debut full length is due to drop later this year.  You’d be foolish to miss their live show.

How does it work, logistically, to tour in a band where at least one member is under 18?

Well, it’s worked out pretty well so far. Sometimes the band and I have to wait outside until before we play. In general, most venues are pretty tolerant of our age. There isn’t much age discrimination aside from, you know, the law. Well, I mean, honestly. it’s about 50/50 concerning how lenient the club is (about us hanging around). Sometimes they escort is in 5 minutes before we play, and sometimes they let us hang out all night.

The new EP is a lot more synth heavy than the first release. What made you decide to move in that direction?

I think that a lot of what the band and I have been listening to lately, as well as my own music taste, has been growing in that direction. And my brother has been working on electronic music in his bedroom, and I would walk in and ask him “Are those your sounds? They are awesome” From there in turned into a pretty organic collaboration, just every day we would work on stuff. Just all of those sounds morphed into the new EP.

Is your brother part of the band?

He isn’t. But we decided that a lot of those ideas and beats should be brought in to Kitten.

Your stage show is a bit *insane* for a lack of a better word. How do you do what you do on stage without sustaining any injuries? Have you sustained any injuries?

I have definitely sustained injuries performing. I chipped my tooth once, then fixed it, then chipped it again, so out of laziness I haven’t fixed it. I get bruises, and yeah, I get hurt. But I never feel it while on stage.

What do you do to get into that state every night? How do you become so frenzied?

I used to not do anything, like not even warm up my voice. I thought it was stupid. But now I have a 10-15 minute warm up routine where I bounce up & down and run around and just get hyped up. I also just naturally get that way with the music. So, I’m not immediately wild. It takes the music pumping through my veins.

You’ve only released EP’s so far. Do you think you will ever release a full length?

We are actually releasing a full length soon (NOTE: A full length record will be released on Elektra Records later this year). We’ve recorded songs for it, but we thought it would be smart to release EP first, and then the full length soon afterm so there isn’t as much dead space. Also, our tastes are evolving so rapidly, which is one of the benefits of being so young, that it makes it so we want to release stuff all the time.

How do you mix touring and school?

I have a tutor that travels with me on the road. So, yeah, I’m basically home schooled.

How many members of Kitten are still in school?  

Just me. The drummer graduated last spring.

What are you listening to these days?

I’m really into 80’s music, which had a huge influence on the record. Stuff like The Motels, The Eurythmics, Tears For Fears, OMD, and more modern stuff like Grimes and James Blake.

What do you see as the story with Kitten in 5 years?

Hopefully still playing and still making records and growing the live show. Making everything we do the best quality we can.

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