Q&A: Kitten (or Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. We’re not quite sure.)

28 May

So, this is a little odd: LA’s Kitten, playing our Everyday Noise show at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa this coming Tuesday, June 1 (and two dates at the Lilith Fair this summer! go them!) changed their name to Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, according to their MySpace. But as of last check with their management, they’ve actually reverted back to Kitten. But their MySpace still indicates that they’re sticking with Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Well, no matter what the name, the SXSW-vets are worth your time—prepare to be amazed by lead singer Chloe Chaidez’s way, way, way beyond her years vocals (she’s 15).

Our writer Allison Flaker recently interviewed Chaidez—at that point, the band’s name was Kitten, and that’s what we’re going with (for now)!

TIGERTIGERphotography.com

Kitten doesn’t purr. She claws your eyes out. Frontwoman Chloe Chaidez’s hard-hitting, in-your-face-yet-sweet demeanor leaves fans wanting more. But be careful what you wish for—this 15-year-old can make even the holiest think impure thoughts.

From her days of playing bass and singing in cover band Wild Youth to playing South by Southwest this past March, Chloe is a seasoned newcomer. Her powerful, boisterous voice is the driving force that has given the band much momentum and notoriety in the short time they’ve been around. A teenager that can belt like Karen O. is certainly an anomaly, and even though this rowdy punk-infused L.A. band hasn’t even released an EP yet, their appearance in Austin landed them praise from Spin’s website, among nods from several other big hitters.

The band that adds musical ingenuity to Chloe’s vocal prowess is comprised of drummer Max Kuehn, keyboard player Elvis Kuehn, bassist Zach Carper and guitarist Andy Miller. I spoke with Chloe about her influences, high school and the direction she sees the band moving towards. (This interview by Allison Flaker.)

Alli: I watched a video of you performing, “Don’t Kill the Light” and you seemed like such a seasoned vet; almost as if you have been doing this for 15 years instead of being 15 years old. Who are the female leads that inspire your live performance?

Chloe: I’m not necessarily inspired specifically by female artists, I actually draw most inspiration from guys. Not to say that there aren’t a few girls that I love.

Alli: You have a voice that is so classic and unforced. When did you discover it?

Chloe: I guess I’ve just sort of grown into my voice, I’m sure it will be different in a couple years, too. Just listening to different records.

Alli: For many freshmen in high school football games and school dances are top priority. Do you still participate in your school’s events even though you’re an up and coming rock star?

Chloe: I still hang out with my friends even though I’m home schooled. As far as school events go, I was never really into that sort of thing anyway.

Alli: You’ve gotten to play at SXSW. Not many 15 year olds can say that. What’s next? Coachella by sweet 16?

Chloe: SXSW was really cool, and Coachella would be insane. I go every year.

Alli: What has been the biggest advantage or challenge in regards to the age difference in the band? Has it been an issue?

Chloe: There’s a lot more ball-busting than with a regular group of 15-year-old girls at the mall, but I learn how to hang.

TIGERTIGERphotography.com


Alli: One minute you’re gently crooning and the next your singing with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O.’s “I’m gonna kick you in the balls” intensity. I know this probably isn’t the first time you’ve been compared to her but who is your biggest musical influence, male or female?

Chloe: Karen O is a huge influence. Tom Waits, Joy Division, Chan Marshall…

Alli: Your songwriting is seemingly beyond your years which isn’t a new concept. We’ve seen so many young pop artists sing about unrequited love but you do it with so much more honesty and vulnerability. Do you draw from personal experience when writing?

Chloe: I think everyone does. I definitely do.

Alli: You played Detroit Bar earlier this month. What do you hope for with your show on June 1? Is there anything you’d like to get out of the show you didn’t get the last time?

Chloe: A free Shirley Temple.

Alli: What’s the most recent update on recording? I’m sure you have a lot of fans waiting to nab your EP. Do you have a release date?

Chloe: No release day yet, but we’re in the studio now. Literally. We had hoped to have an EP by the end of June but it might be a bit later due to people’s schedules.

Alli: It seems that we’re seeing an influx of younger local bands emerging. What do you think the advantages are to being not only new to the business but starting at such a young age?

Chloe: I’m not sure of any advantages, but it sure beats school.

Alli: What are your goals for the band? What direction do you see it heading?

Chloe: We’re planning on touring a lot and building a solid fan base. Coachella is a goal I’ve had for a while and hopefully people like the EP and album.

Alli: I find your song “Catholic Boys” very interesting. Can you tell me more about it?

Chloe: I won’t tell you what its about, but I will tell you I was going to call it “Naked Angel” until I realized how lame that was.

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One Response to “Q&A: Kitten (or Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. We’re not quite sure.)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Everyday News: Belle & Sebastian coming to LA, Dahga Bloom, more « Everyday Noise - June 1, 2010

    […] It’s Tuesday, June is here and there are a whole mess of shows tonight, including the former Living Suns playing their first show as Dagha Bloom at the Continental Room in Fullerton. The Growlers and Death Hymn Number 9 also on the bill. But, hey, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend you check out our show at Detroit Bar, with a rad lineup of the Bellhaunts, The Vespertines, Arrows and Kitten, the latter of which was recently highlighted in this publication. […]

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