Photos by Zak Krevitt
Chloe Chaidez’s shitty high school band wasn’t really that shitty. In fact by twelve she had opened for Conor Oberst and Band of Horses. Before she was legal, she had opened for No Doubt, Paramore, Young the Giant, Garbage, and Charli XCX. Now, at nineteen Chaidez, and her band Kitten have just released their debut eponymous album and have just come off of headlining their first US tour. Now, Kitten has achieved the next logical important milestone of their career, talking about Bruce Springsteen with me.
So is Kitten at all inspired by Blondie, like, name-wise?
I honestly don’t even listen to Blondie. I think it’s because of the name, like where it sounds like a solo project. People call me kitten and Debbie Harry Blondie, but besides that I don’t really think I’ve listened to their music that much.
But there is that one song, Money, with Ariel Pink that sounds very Rapture. Is that just another Blondie coincidence?
Yeah, completely. That song was very spur of the moment kind of song. I mean, my brother was just home from college and he had these old missy Elliot beats, and everything just sort of fell in place. Then we finished a couple songs and we were like why don’t we just put these out through Kitten because we wanted people to hear them. Then, with Ariel Pink I just sort of texted him saying wanna be in a video- it was all very quick and organic and stuff.
Ok, so what music are you listening to then?
I’m the worst person to ask. I only listen to The Waterboys. Oh, and Bruce Springsteen. Is that really lame?
No that’s sick, Bruce Springsteen is my favorite— no one ever lets me live it down though.
Hungry Heart is like my favorite song. The overall sonics of it. Plus, I don’t know if this sounds lame but like I relate to really stupid working class hero lyrics. That’s what really hits me, Bukowski and John Lennon.
Do you think that’s a major influence in your music?
I think get too sucked into trying to discover the next cool thing. But I don’t want to go with that scene! I think the next record I want to make a record like I don’t give a fuck. I get too sucked into new electronic stuff that doesn’t let people see who I am as an artist. But then when I listen to Bruce Springsteen, I always remember that what I do best is sing a song, and I get wrapped into people that don’t do that- but the Cut It Out EP really saved it. Wait, I’ve just had a new realization.
Ok so like, in the past I was trying to hide that side of what I did and smother my voice with reverb and try to make myself sound vibey. That’s not who I am and that’s not what people confide in, or what I confide in. When I listen to music I listen to what the song is. I do think the record has a lot of that.
Fuck being vibey, dude.
Right! But letting go of vibey is tough. It crossed my mind for a second that my friends might not like my music, or get it, and it made my stomach sink. It made me think that’s such a wrong way to go about making music. You cant make music for your close friends, you’re not being expressive, or telling a story then. But also, if they dont like it, in the end jokes gonna be on them if you do what you want. I just wrote this song that sounds like Journey.
I think you should write a power ballad.
I think I should make some power ballads.
Kitten’s debut album is out now on Elektra. You should buy it, it’s really good.
Photographer: Zak Krevitt