Los Angeles quartet Kitten played a wide variety of SXSW showcases, including a set with touring buddies Paramore. mxdwn caught up with frontwoman Chloe Chaidez and keyboardist Bryan DeLeon during their busy SXSW schedule to talk about their forthcoming LP and their most memorable SXSW experience this year.
Photo by Kaitlin Christy
mxdwn: How has your SXSW been so far? How does it compare to normal touring?
Chloe Chaidez: It’s been crazy. We’ve been to SXSW three times and this is definitely the busiest. It’s definitely more hectic but more awesome. The more hectic, the better for us.
Bryan DeLeon: On tour, it’s like there’s one show a day so your whole day is leading up to that one show. And here we have multiple shows a day and interviews. It’s crazy but both are fun.
mxdwn: You’ve got a new recording coming out this year. When will you be releasing it and what’s it like?
Chloe Chaidez: We’re thinking June or July. We’re mixing it now and we’re almost done. It’s a little post-rocky, a lot of shoegazy, slow dub, My Bloody Valentine influence from our live show and what we listen to. It’s also based around the concepts more than the music, which I love. I listen to a lot of R&B and ’80s, which deals with a lot of the same production values.
Bryan DeLeon: I think it’s going to be an interesting mix of all these things: the ambiance and the grandness of ’90s shoegaze. We love My Bloody Valentine and the rhythm and the overall vibe of R&B. It’s honestly, collectively, those are the two things we listen to the most and I don’t think anyone’s done anything like that.
Chloe Chaidez: We’re not making Dark Side of the Moon but maybe we are. (laughs)
mxdwn: That’s a lot of different influences. Which track stands out to you the most and encompasses most of them?
Bryan DeLeon: I’m really excited to play “King of Kings.”
Chloe Chaidez: “King of Kings” and “Doubt.” I think with this record we wanted to really just get the energy in our live show because we didn’t want to have that separation as much. With a lot of the tracks we tried to capture that and not just the performance aspect but the sounds.
Bryan DeLeon: “King of Kings” is going to be cool. It’s not like any other song we’ve done before.
Chloe Chaidez: It’s really Jesus and Mary Chain.
Bryan DeLeon: I think “Doubt” is going to be really cool too. It’s got a Depeche Mode vibe and, in my opinion, one of the catchiest choruses.
Chloe Chaidez: I like brilliantly made pop music. By that I mean Madonna and Prince. I think good pop records are the hardest to make. We spent a lot of time on the writing and making sure it’s tuneful and memorable. That’s the kind of thing I like.
mxdwn: Would you say Kitten is headed in a more pop direction then?
Chloe Chaidez: I wouldn’t say pop in a conventional way. In my eyes the Sex Pistols were a pop band. I don’t mean house or Ke$ha music.
Bryan DeLeon: We’re not about to collaborate with Calvin Harris or something. No offense to Calvin Harris.
Chloe Chaidez: I think the Beach Boys were pop and that’s what I mean when I say that. I think we’ve always made pop music in that way but in the way that all the artists I list are pop bands.
Bryan DeLeon: I think we’re trying to become a better pop band.
Chloe Chaidez: Not top 40 though.
mxdwn: What’s been your most memorable SXSW experience this year?
Chloe Chaidez: Last night was pretty weird.
Bryan DeLeon: The show we had was at 11:30, 11:45, and we went on at midnight. The bar was running late on everything and the band before us played for eight minutes. And we go on stage and they’re like, “you’ve only got 15 minutes to play.” The stage wasn’t big enough for us so I had to set up on the floor. We ended up playing and it was so loud. It filled up too. A lot of people showed up and I was in the crowd playing with my keyboard while they danced around me. The crowd was awesome.
Chloe Chaidez: That’s because they were drunk at twelve ‘o clock.
Bryan DeLeon: We were all kind of bummed out when we started too. We expected it to be a lame end to our awesome night because we had just played the Belmont to a sold out crowd. But it was fun. I still can’t hear properly.