Chloe Chaidez, founder and leading lady for the spirited Pop/Rock band KITTEN has been attracting fans and generating buzz on music charts since 2009. But the path to success hasn’t always been as smooth as the hooks in her songs. Recently relocating from Los Angeles to New York City, she essentially rebuilt the band after nearly a decade saying, “I started working with some musicians there. From day one, we were super collaborative…”
June 1, 2018 marked the release of new music with their highly anticipated EP Pink Champagne. The four tracks resonate with a glittery pop edge that glints just the right blend of guitar driven riffs and a nod to 80’s retro synth. Leading single, “I Did It” was met with critical acclaim and media attention that landed them a spot opening for respected Rock icons Blue October on their I Hope You’re Happy tour.
The tour wraps up for KITTEN in Denver on Sunday, July 1 at the historic Ogden Theater. And as it winds down, we were given the opportunity to sit down with Chloe for a candid conversation about the new music and what she has learned from the recent reboot as a band. Plus we learned her must have guilty pleasure on the road…and we agree, it’s essential!
The Feature Story: From what I have read, it sounds like the band has been through a lot of changes in the last few years. How has this impacted you, your music and the evolution of the band?
KITTEN: Yeah for sure. I relocated to New York City and started working with some musicians there. From day one, we were super collaborative and tried to make sure that every person was proud of every song. It can make the process slow, but in the end it leads to work that everybody believes in. This new group also has a solid friendship foundation, so touring is really fun. It’s amazing to be able to laugh even when times are hard or events are frustrating.
TFS: Along the same line, you have now been making music for close to a decade! What are some of the defining lessons you’ve learned along the way?
KITTEN: I’ve learned that it’s really important to have open, respectful communication with your collaborators and to hear out every idea that comes up in rehearsal or at the studio. There’s not always time to try everything, but being receptive to unexpected perspectives is key.
TFS: How would you say your artistry has grown?
KITTEN: I really feel like the lyrics have taken a big leap forward. It was certainly one of the more difficult parts of the record process, but the words all have substance and a clear perspective.
TFS: can you tell us about Pink Champagne? What are some of the stories or influences behind this group of songs?
KITTEN: These songs mostly deal with personal relationships and mostly from a position of newfound strength. I think in that way, they reflect the journey that I’ve been on the past couple years. Musically we’re always inspired by “the greats” like Bowie, or Prince, or Grace Jones, but we try and bring in things we’ve learned from our favorite contemporary artists as well.
TFS: What is your writing process like? Is it collaborative or independent?
KITTEN: The process is very collaborative. Everyone worked on the music, lyrics, production and arrangement. We really believed we could self-produce and even though the learning curve was steep, I’m so happy with the results.
TFS: What continues to motivate and inspire you to generate new music?
KITTEN: There is so much music out there to discover. I’m always hearing something that makes me say, ‘I want to do a song like that.’ I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts in the van and I’m sure the stories I hear will find their way into any new songs I make this year.
TFS: You’ve probably played hundreds of shows in the last decade. What are some of your favorite memories and/or songs to perform?
KITTEN: I’ve had the chance to open for some of my heroes, which is always amazing! We had a pretty amazing show in Kansas City last December when the new lineup really clicked into place and had our first show for a big audience. That was a special night! Lately we’ve all been enjoying playing “Abigail” from the new EP. Our live version has some fun twists that don’t happen on the record.
TFS: How is the tour with Blue October going? What do fans have to look forward to?
KITTEN: It’s been amazing. All the guys in the band are super friendly and generous. We’ve been surprised at how well we’ve been received by their fans as well. It couldn’t be going better.
TFS: What are some of your guilty pleasures or must have survival items to take with you on the road for long tours?
KITTEN: Sriracha. I have a bottle in the van.
TFS: KITTEN has always modeled originality and not conforming to a genre or mold to find success. What advice would you give other bands and musicians in not compromising in finding their own unique brand and sound?
KITTEN: Draw inspiration from everything and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Everyone in the band is always laughing at each other’s taste in music and clothing, but when you bring all those weird things together, you can’t help but end up with something unique and memorable.