Discovery: Kitten

Published September 14, 2012

ABOVE: CHLOE CHAIDEZ

Kitten may be a sweet name for a band, but 17-year-old Chloe Chaidez brings a rock-star attitude to the LA musical group that goes beyond its cutesy sound. Kitten just released their second EP, Cut It Out, which showcases Chaidez’s sonic similarities to Emily Haines and Debbie Harry. Chaidez started off playing in a cover band called “Wild Youth” when she was just 14 years old. Since then, she’s developed her own sound that is wise beyond her years, which has led her to play at SXSW and even tour with Young the Giant. Because part of the band is still under 21, they often find themselves playing their set and having to leave gigs right afterwards.

With a new record coming out early next year (currently untitled) and a tour approaching, Kitten will be exploring new territory this time around.

We spoke with Chloe Chaidez about being iconic and creating music from a stream of consciousness.

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles

BAND MEMBERS: Chloe Chaidez, Andy Miller, Chris Vogel, Lukas Frank, Bryan DeLeon

THE KITTEN CABOODLE: I think it just kind of sounded classic and iconic, kind of like Blondie or something. I liked its simplicity. It kind of had a retro feel.

FAMILY MUSICAL HISTORY: Well, my dad has always been really into music. He plays a lot of instruments. He showed me a lot of great bands. I was a gymnast for a long time, so I would drive really far to get to my gym. In that time, he introduced me to David Bowie, Tom Waits, and we would listen to the CMJ CD. The Internet wasn’t as popular back then. We just listened to the CMJ CD every month, and we would pick what bands we liked. I would choose some of those bands to cover in my previous band, which was a little silly.

HER OWN STYLE OF RIOT GRRRL POWER: I think Ian Curtis from Joy Division, as a performer and as an artist, is a big influence. Karen O is probably an obvious influence, but she is a big influence. Cat Power really has influenced me a lot. Then, I think Prince, David Bowie, and some of those classics. I think they are who they are for a reason, you know? I keep up on a lot of new bands. One of my favorite things is to find new music.

AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER: I don’t usually get to see how [audiences] react. Hopefully it doesn’t affect them in any sort of negative way where they don’t want to listen to it because it’s just a teenage girl. Hopefully, they disregard the fact that I’m 17. That’s what I hope to happen.

ON WHY “G#” IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL SONG OFF OF THE EP:  One, I think it was probably a direct product of what I had been listening to at that time. I was really inspired by My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, and a lot of shoegaze-y… well, The Stone Roses aren’t that shoegaze-y, but a lot of reverb-y, ambient music. When that song was written, I think I was really able to get what was in my head across: sonically and instrumentation-wise. That was a big accomplishment. That’s a special song to me.

TOURING WITH THE BIG BANDS: We’ve done quite a bit of touring; not so much in the past year, because we’ve been making the record and the EP. We toured with Young the Giant and then Electric Six a year ago. We just went on tour with Pomegranates. We’ve been around. I don’t know how musically fitting we are, but I think James Blake would be really awesome to tour with. I think his live shows are the most amazing I’d seen ever. I think Morrissey would be really cool to tour with, because I know he takes out young bands. That would be my dream. If they’re reading this, they should hit me up.

WRITING FROM EXPERIENCE: I think it’s more of a stream of consciousness. I think there’s not one thing that I specifically pull from; I think it’s kind of everything at once subconsciously flowing into my lyrics. Then I look back at them after they’ve been written and say, “Oh, that’s kind of what I meant. That’s cool.” I think it’s difficult to sit down and write about one topic. I think they are bits and pieces of different stories in one.

KITTEN’S DEBUT ALBUM: We have a record coming out in January or February. We’re touring at the end of the month. We’re playing somewhere called Midpoint in Cincinnati. We’re going to tour from Ohio to LA.

THAT ALBUM’S TITLE: Oh, I don’t even know if we know it yet.

KITTEN’S CUT IT OUT EP IS OUT NOW.