Interview w/ Kitten

Kitten

Tell us about yourselves. Who are you, where are you from, what kind of work do you do, and how did you get to where you are today?
We’re a band from Los Angeles, and I think we’ve gotten to where we are today by making music we’d like to listen to and playing shows that we would find entertaining.

What is beauty to you and how do you define beauty?

Beauty to me is pure and untainted pleasure.

Tell us about your name, Kitten.
It’s a simple name. It sounded classic and retro to me, like Blondie or something. I liked that.

What’s the story behind your group? How did this band come together?
I had been playing music for a while in different bands, often times the only one taking it seriously. I started Kitten about 3 years ago, but things really came together musically and emotionally when I met our Drummer Lukas Frank about 2 years ago. I met him at a party and we really just got along well. From there he poached all of his friends from high school that he played in previous bands with, and the Kitten that people seem to know and love was born.

What’s your group’s creative process with songwriting?

A lot of the newer music, starting with the Cut it Out EP, came from Ableton demos/beats I had made on the road or in my bedroom. From those type of demos, as a band we’ll try and expand the song into something less linear and electronic and experiment with more guitar work etc. Often times those guitars end up having textures similar to keyboards, which is something that really excites me. I also work with my longtime partner Chad Anderson who has brilliant ideas, and we all just put our creative thoughts into one big recording hot mess. No matter who’s it is, the best idea wins in Kitten. That’s the rule.

As an under-21 group, what are your plans with college and education? Do you think you may return to school in the future?
I would definitely like to. But at this point, all my focus and energy is going into Kitten, and if that attention was to be split up between something else and Kitten, the success of the band would without a doubt be comprised.

Congratulations on performing at SXSW. How was that experience? Any particularly memorable moments?
SXSW was a very special week. I’m gonna be that artist and say that I was indeed exhausted after the 9 shows we played and probably 30 interviews we did, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I couldn’t pick one particular event that stood out among the rest, it would be unfair to the rest of my memories in Austin.

You guys are touring with Paramore from April to Mat 2013. How did this relationship come about?
We played a show with Paramore in Pamona back in August, and it was romance from then on. Hayley texted me at the end of the night praising the band and offering her guidance through my ” journey” if you will. We kept in touch, they came to a couple of more shows, and now we’re on a national tour with them.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your cover of “Like A Virgin.”
I think you mean “Like a Prayer”, a song we’ve covered a couple of times. Madonna is one my favorites, and I think that song is brilliant. Pretty simple.

How did the concept for the music video of “Cut It Out” come about?
Conceptually Cut it Out may seem rather simple, but I wanted to capture a bit of the thriving youth culture in LA that seems to be unknown. It was shot at my favorite all ages venue in Downtown LA called The Smell, where I played my first Kitten show. And by first show, I mean I walked into the smell at 14 with my guitar and a portable amp and asked if I play 5 songs (that’s all I had) for the 15 kids that were hanging out there. The owner Jim said yes, and I’ve remained friends with him and the kids that hang out there ever since. I feel the Cut It Out video also captures a very nostalgic mood that I love. Nostalgia fascinates me.

What are your thoughts on the music industry’s progression towards the digital world, particularly the accessibility of mp3 downloads versus records?
Instead of fighting the digital world, I like to embrace it whole heartedly. There’s no going backwards, so why not ride the wave instead of bitterly drowning in it? Free downloads are the future, and to be honest, touring is the only reliable source of income in this business anyways.

Tell us about a memorable moment on set, during recording, or at a concert. (Anecdotes encouraged!)
Selling out the Roxy in LA a couple of months ago was definitely a land mark, and something I’m going to remember forever. I’ve been playing shows in LA since I was 13, and to sell out 500 cap venue and see kids who I shared a math class with in 8th grade looking at me like I was Bono or something was pretty cool. Every time we pack out a venue I assume it’s a onetime fluke. It’s very weird to me.

Who and what inspire you daily? (artists, musicians, photographers, models, writers, quotes, etc)
Fashion inspires me quite a bit. Designers like Jeremy Scott and clothing lines like Joy Rich I find visually very stimulating and exciting. I think there is this level of “poshness” and class that can only be expressed through art, and unfortunately when people open their mouths, that particular image can be destroyed. I think our new record is very chic and sexy, and ideas like high fashion, and old James Bond movies are very inspiring to me.

Do you have pre-performance rituals or habits?
Hmm, I like to say a prayer and have 5 minutes to myself. That’s about it.

What songs are on your personal playlist? (feel free to list as many songs as you would like).
o0o0 this is a fun one. I’m always looking for a new band to challenge and excite me..

Rhye- Woman

Future- Turn on the Lights

Heaven 17- Let me go

Mogwai- White Noise

Madonna- Into the Groove

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