Kitten has steadily clawed their way into the music limelight, and thus far, they’ve done a great job marking their territory. In fact, the ferocious indie rock band has done such a great job, they were forced to drop off their summer tour with Viva Brother head into the studio to record their debut album.
So on this sunny afternoon in Los Angeles, California, front woman Chloe Chaidez has stepped outside the studio to take a break from recording her vocals. Although the four-piece is in the midst of polishing their currently untitled first full-length effort, due out in the fall, they are expanding on their already hypnotic style.
“At first, our goal was to make it a little more bandy -- [to give it] a little more of a live band feel. But now we’re mixing in more voices and big, massive type vocals, and also a little more programming,” she explains. “It’s evolved a lot from where we started at the beginning from where we’re gonna take it. It’s not exactly an extension of the EP. It’s gonna be different, but still similar.”
The EP she is talking about is “Sunday School,” an exciting five-track introduction that shows the diversity of Kitten’s personalities. While the group brings the listener into a dream state on melodic compositions “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny” and the calming “Allison Day,” they also display their post-punk flavor on the sassy banger “Kitten With A Whip” and their darling of a single, “Chinatown.”
But of all the tracks on the EP, only “Kill The Light” is slated to appear on their full-length debut. “I think we’re gonna save ‘Kill The Light’ for the album, so we didn’t wanna exhaust that one for everyone,” Chaidez says. “It’s one of our oldest songs and I think once you’ve had a song for so long and played it so long, you sorta build a relationship with it. I definitely have a tight, close relationship with that song.”
16 and Singing
Despite their sound and relationship with songs, what makes Kitten truly unique is that Chaidez is only 16-years-old. Yeah -- the mouthpiece of the band, who has pipes like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is now just old enough to get her driver’s license. But to her credit, the rock starlet has been driving in her lane for the past couple of years.
Chaidez dreamed about singing in-front of people ever since she was five-years-old and, unlike other folks who give up on their childhood dreams to work some lousy corporate job they can’t stand, she was game for the chase. At 10, she sang and played bass in Wild Youth -- a cover band that got to perform alongside Band Of Horses, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and Midlake.
Then at 13, Chaidez abandoned Wild Youth and focused on her songwriting. A year later, she formed Kitten. While ferocious indie rock band concentrated on building a presence in their Los Angeles surroundings, the quartet has left their comfort zone and toured with Young The Giant.
Due to her age, however, some club promoters would deny the front woman entry into the venue until it was Kitten’s time to hit the stage. “Sometimes, they make you wait outside before you play and then play, and then go right back outside again. That’s probably the harshest it’s been,” she admits. “But usually, after the show, they’re pretty relaxed about it.”
Although Kitten’s grueling schedule doesn’t allow Chaidez to attend high school like ordinary teenagers, she has very supportive parents who encourage her to chase her dreams while still getting an education. “I’m basically home schooled online and have a tutor, except when I’m on the road,” she says. “Sometimes, my tutor can’t come with me. But when I get home, I catch up and usually continue from where I left off before I left for tour.”
Tours aside, Kitten has experienced quite a few milestones in their young career. The four-piece rocked out at 2010’s CMJ Festival and the festival in Austin. They have a record deal with The Control Group, a label that is distributed through Atlantic Records. And, with an album due out in the fall, the group will support the effort by opening up for Electric Six in what will arguably be their biggest trek yet.
Simply put, Chaidez’s dream has come true. “Being able to tour and make music, and have it be your job is like the best thing ever -- especially at my age,” she says. “It’ really nice because a lot of people don’t really know what they want to do. I’ve known for such a long time. So yeah, it’s pretty cool. It beats school.”
- Chloe Chaidez – Vocals
- Andy Miller – Guitar
- Chris Vogel – Bass
- Max Kuehn - Drums
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