Interview with Chloe Chaidez & Max Kuehn of “Kitten”
The holidays and New Year’s Eve are now behind us and a full year of exciting possibilities lies ahead. For the Los Angeles based band “Kitten” this couldn’t be more true. The band, who is comprised of lead singer Chloe Chaidez, drummer Max Kuehn, bassist Zach Carper, and guitarist Andy Miller, released their debut EP “Sunday School” in December to a great deal of acclaim. Now, the teenage musical prodigies find themselves in uncharted territory as they prepare to record their first full-length album and embark on a national tour as the opening act for “Young The Giant”. This tour will take them across the country before they wrap at SXSW where they will play several shows.
With all of this excitement going on, and with high-school still a priority, Independent Philly was thrilled that “Kitten” took some time out to answer some questions for us about life, music, and youthful exuberance.
Independent Philly: All of the members are under 21, how has this affected both your musical career and personal lives (school, family, etc.)?
Chloe Chaidez: Quite a bit. I have a private tutor for school and I’m not able to spend as much time with my peers due to rehearsals, tours etc…
Max Kuehn: It has made me spend a ridiculous amount of money on fake ID’s. Not so much to drink, but just to be able to hang out comfortably in clubs without having a lot of restrictions. My age doesn’t really affect my personal life too much.
Independent Philly: Chloe Chaidez, at only 15 years old you have often been compared to having vocals like Bjork and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Are these some of your influences?
Chloe Chaidez: Both, yes. I idolized Karen O for years, and I also love Bjork.
IP: By the time you (Chloe) were 11, you had already performed with bands like Band of Horses. Up to date, who have you enjoyed performing with the most?
CC: We’ve played with a lot of great acts, but some of my favorites are probably Twin Shadow and a band called The Windmill Vandals from Santa Barbara.
IP: Already successful musicians at such young ages, how did each of your get your start and become Kitten the Band?
MK: Me and Andy went to a performing arts high school, and another friend of mine had been jamming with Chloe and asked if i wanted to come and play drums. Eventually he left the band, and i recruited Andy on guitar.
IP: When can we expect to see Kitten in Philadelphia? Will you let us take you out for cheesesteaks?
CC: Not sure when we’ll be in Philadelphia, hopefully soon, but we can assure you that when we are you can take us all out for cheesesteaks and whatever else… as long as it’s on you.
IP: As 2010 is coming to an end, what has been some of the best and worst moments for Kitten this past year?
CC: There’s been no worst moments, really. We love playing music and everything that it brings. Best moments – London’s always a great time, NY’s cool, but I’d say last year at SXSW. We had a couple of great shows, the other bands were great, we partied hard…
MK: I would say the best point of 2010 was going to New York and London. The worst would probably just be waiting around to play and tour more.
IP: As a band on the rise, creating their musical identity, how would you describe your music and image as a band?
CC: Musically, that’s for the listener to figure out. We’re still figuring out our image. I have an idea in my head that I”m going for but we’re not quite there yet. To be honest, we’re kind of bored with the whole “not a rock star” indie thing. Karen O, Bowie, Roxy Music… those guys have style and mystique. Of course there’s something really cool about the way that Ian Curtis presented himself. Quiet but carries a big stick…
MK: Our Music is ever changing, but i would describe it as well written pop songs with a post punk edge.
IP: What is next in regards to touring for Kitten the Band?
CC: Funny you ask because we just received good news on a an opening slot with a band called Young the Giant. We’ll be heading down south for four weeks and then into SXSW.
IP: At just over 18 minutes long, your EP hit “Sunday School” has received stellar reviews and is a favorite on several charts and polls. When can we expect a full album?
CC: We are actually heading into the studio for our full length on January 10th and expecting it to be released this summer for all the lucky kids.
IP: What are your other hobbies when you’re not making music?
CC: Making music.
MK: Watching movies and hanging with friends.
IP: What were your plans for New Years Eve?
CC: Already happened and it’s best I keep that quiet.
IP: Are there any charities or causes that you’re really passionate about? What are they?
CC: This band’s not full of Oprah’s, but there are definitely some causes we’re all for… although not really collectively.
IP: Tell us something that would surprise or even shock our readers about you…
CC: I sometimes wear men’s deodorant.
IP: At your age, its easy for you to fall into the young pop genre, how did you avoid this cliche?
CC: By making the music that we want to make and not compromising. It’d be easy for a record company or agent to make money by marketing us as a teen act but we’ve always made sure that whoever works with us accepts us on our terms. As long as we continue to make the music that we want then it’s really next to impossible to sell us as “young pop” or anything else other than what we are. The music speaks for itself.
MK: By honing our craft enough to be only be regarded as a “young band” when told our age. I don’t think we sound young, though we may look it.
We’re convinced! Chloe Chaidez might appear to be a Kitten, but with her powerful voice this feline and her band-mates are ready to roar onto the scene.
In order to help celebrate Kitten’s recent success, Independent Philly will be giving away FIVE autographed copies of their EP “Sunday School” to five lucky winners! To enter, head over to our contests page or CLICK HERE
You can also download the song “Chinatown” off of Sunday School for FREE by clicking the link below:
[Interview by Bridgette Bonner]