The fabulous and fearless pop-rock band Kitten just dropped their new EP, and the band talks with HollywoodLife about the ‘chaotic’ influences of their sound, lead singer Chloe Chaidez playing in Charli XCX’s band, and more!
The honeymoon may be over, but the thrill isn’t gone for Kitten. Formed by frontwoman Chloe Chaidez in 2009, the band — Dave Stagno, Parker Silzer, Max Tsiring, Blu DeTiger, and Rex DeTiger — released their second EP with this new lineup, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase, on Oct. 18. An energetic sonic tapestry that spans genres and decades, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase sees Kitten continue the up-tempo and uplifting journey they began on 2018’s Pink Champagne. On the new EP, they deliver their take on everything from mid-90s alternative radio rock (lead single “Memphis”) to late 2000s power-pop (“Me”). At five tracks, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase is all killer, no filler, as the band wastes not a second in presenting one of their most tuned-in and focused releases to date.
With each member involved in their own separate projects – Blu has her solo project, Max is involved in his clothing line, Chloe plays guitar in Charli XCX’s band, Nasty Cherry (as seen in the upcoming Netflix series, I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry) – getting everyone in Kitten in one room could be akin to herding cats. However, as Goodbye proves, such hard work pays off.
Members of Kitten sat down with HollywoodLife to talk about the making of this new release, the “drama” viewers can expect on I’m With The Band, and why it’s a bit unfair to label them an “Eighties” band.
HollywoodLife: Welcome back to New York. I hear you’re based out in LA, but weren’t you living in Brooklyn a year ago?
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah, yeah we were in Brooklyn playing Brooklyn shows and New York shows and that’s actually where I met Dave and Parker and like just in that scene. But yeah, we moved to LA like-
Max Tsiring: –about a year ago kind of, because Chloe is doing this Netflix thing with a Nasty Cherry that just got announced and we need to follow her out and help support her.
Chloe Chaidez: We were filming for four months, and I was like, “well, we can’t stop Kitten.” So, we all came out there. It was kind of a slow move, and then we kind of officially moved about like three months ago into a house.
Oh, cool. I read that you prefer to do art on the East Coast, and was curious why you moved out West.
Max Tsiring: I don’t know if either coast is preferable for making art. I think probably whichever one you haven’t been at for like four months — it’s a change of scene.
David Stagno: We rotate like three months there, three months here. It seems to be.
Are you digging the West Coast?
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah. I mean definitely-
Parker Silzer: I love LA. Honestly, it’s really grown on me.
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah. I think we… Charli [XCX] introduced me to so many amazing artists out there, and they really inspired the new music that we just put out. There’s a lot of great experimental pop that’s happening, like Dorian Electra, Mood Killer, Weston, and kind of a little [record label] PC Music affiliation out there is a really inspired us. So I enjoy it for that reason a lot.
Speaking of all your new music, you’ve just dropped this new EP, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase. And this is the second EP with this lineup, so – is the “honeymoon phase” over, or are you guys still going strong?
Max Tsiring: It’s just beginning.
Chloe Chaidez: Oh, strong AF.
David Stagno: Well, I would say good, I would say the “honeymoon phase” is over-
Parker Silzer: But it doesn’t mean that the relationship’s over.
David Stagno: It doesn’t mean that the relationship’s over. I think like–I don’t mean that in a negative way. I just think that now, we’ll call each other out if we’re feeling some type of way, as opposed to letting it slide like earlier on when we were first collaborating. We’re stronger for it. We’re made better. We’re like getting better at that stuff.
Parker Silzer: I think we didn’t realize how much actually the EP’s title track would end up applying to a moment in our band’s history. We were trying to get everyone in one place and get together a tour for the fall, and it kind of looked like for a second, the whole band was going to explode. Like, we couldn’t possibly figure out everybody’s schedules and —
David Stagno: And Chloe was doing Nasty Cherry-
Parker Silzer: Chloe was doing Nasty Cherry and-
Chloe Chaidez: Blu DeTiger who is also an artist-
Parker Silzer: She has a solo project, our bassist. Everyone’s and Max has been doing an awesome clothing line called Artifacts.
Max Tsiring: Thanks, partner.
Parker Silzer: Everyone’s got their like fingers in a bunch of different things, and sometimes it’s tough to like put Voltron back together and make it happen.
Max Tsiring: But when it does happen it kind of, it’s a-
Parker Silzer: That’s what keeps it interesting. We’re like a non-monogamous. We know how to spice it up.
Chloe Chaidez: But I think what really keeps us strong is friendship. I mean, we have a group text, that’s just constantly going off.
David Stagno: The friendship kind of above all has helped the band continue.
Do these different interests – and separate pursuits – keep this band thriving?
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah, definitely.
Max Tsiring: I think so. I think it’s both. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to coordinate, when everyone has a lot of things going on, but it also lets the pressure out, for each individual member to be able to go off and do their own thing. After that, it feels fresh when we get back together.
Parker Silzer: And people bring whatever they’re doing outside back into Kitten. So whether it’s connections, that Chloe’s gotten through Nasty Cherry or like amazing styling from Max’s stuff or you know, Blu and Rex are just like total like nightlife heroes out here. Like we go out in New York, and it’s really easy to feel like, “Oh, we’re the King of the world where like with these two.” So like there’s everyone’s kind of bringing in experiences that benefit and then it kind of makes it work.
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah, I mean it’s really the only option. Like with Blu, for instance, she started a solo project during Kitten. You can go one of two ways. You can be salty about, or you can encourage her to be a star, and when she does become a star, “Hey, she plays bass in Kitten too.” That, to me, is the only healthy way to look at it, you know?
Parker Silzer: And Chloe’s been really good about like establishing that mentality and leading on that. Because sometimes I was going like, “F-ck man, get them out of there. They can’t commit or whatever.” But Chloe’s really just like, “Hey, you know, we’re going to make it work,” which is good.
Your previous release, Pink Champagne, was, it was accredited with being a quote-unquote “Upbeat, brighter, clearer and more playful outlook than like the earlier releases.” Like does this new EP kind of continue what Pink Champagne started? Or has it gone in like a sort of like a different direction?
Parker Silzer: I think we were a focused and fully realized kind of version of Pink Champagne. Production-wise and songwriting-wise, I think we decided to zero in and try to do songs that were direct; a little bit more direct lyrically, and production that was a little bit clearer and more sort of — I don’t want to say pop because that sounds a particular way. Everything is kind of more streamlined and focused. But I think we’re still kind of doing the same sort of energy, just kind of elaborating and, and kind of getting better.
Chloe Chaidez: I think we were like heading to Mars, but we are kind of like still listening to Prefab Sprout and — which we love Prefab Sprout so much. No, like we still listen to Prefab Sprout all the time. Don’t get me wrong. But we were always like, “Man, we really want to…” We also really loved aesthetically a lot of early 2000s visuals and but we were still listening to like Roxy Music like all the time. We love Roxy Music, and I think that was coming out in our music more than we’d realize.
This ties into the single, “Memphis.” It starts off with this bass line that Stephen Malkmus wishes he wrote and blends into singing reminiscent of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner.” You wove in influences from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early ‘00s with modern production.
Max Tsiring: That came together really quickly. That was like a two-hour thing that just happened so fast, and then Parker really dressed it up. And I feel like that is, it’s a real example of like being like an Internet age band where like we’ve all just consumed so much over the past like 15 years.
Parker Silzer: I mean, I think like decades or like a very convenient way of delineating music. And I think we’ve definitely gotten hit with the eighties thing pretty hard as like a label. And so when you say stuff like that, it’s what I like to hear because I like to think that hopefully, we’re making music that’s like a little outside of any specific zone.
Well, you bring up a good point. I’m going to assume you’re all in like your mid-twenties-
Max Tsiring: The gamut.
David Stagno: Yeah. We’re all across.
So, you were born in a world with the Internet. Do you think that having access — basically, the ability to engage in all “decades” of music has influenced your sound? It seems people dealing with the old mentality of classification are hitting you with the “eighties” label.
Parker Silzer: Yeah. Well, it’s funny, I mean “eighties” is just sort of now it’s like shorthand for like gated snare drum, and like a rock band that is based around synths, so I get that because we have synths. I think we all have pretty eclectic tastes. We’re kind of just nerdy and like everything.
Chloe Chaidez: I think what you said is spot on is that like the sound is a bit chaotic, you know, genre-wise. But, in the best way.
David Stagno: We’re constantly geeking out on all the different decades of music. So we kind of sometimes almost to a fault where we like to do it all. Where we have a song like “Friday’s No Fun Anymore,” which is kind of 50s do-wop and then, you know, do “Memphis,” which is like 90s, and then we’ll do like “Me,” which is like early two 2000s pop rock. We like to do it all but, but I think we-
Parker Silzer: It’d be great to narrow it down honestly. Sometimes I think it’d be great to like put-
David Stagno: But that wouldn’t be as fun.
Parker Silzer: Maybe not.
Do you feel like you have to establish a “sound” or a “lane?”
Chloe Chaidez: I think that as an artist, I’ve actually struggled with this in terms of like branding or lanes, but I think that I’m going to be constantly evolving in this internet age. I’m an artist and a chameleon whatever. But like I think per record like… I think that we’re intentionally focusing on this phase, which is the “Goodbye Honeymoon Phase.”
Parker Silzer: I think a big thing with all of this stuff is like working quickly. Because, like the faster you conceive of and execute a project, the more you capture a moment within a time in your life. Whatever you’re into at the moment and whatever you’re wearing at that moment. The problem with us, sometimes, is when songs are dragging out over the course of years to get done and videos and shoots or whatever, drag out over more and more time. Either it’s hard to get people together, or there’s perfectionism or whatever – you end up with a rich body of work, but it can feel totally all over the place. I feel like our goal is less about like necessarily specifically staying in a lane or branding, but more just like getting to a place where we can work so efficiently that we’re just like capturing moments in time and those are going out, and they’re sort of self-contained and digestible.
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah, working with Charli, I’ve been really inspired by her speed. She sprints towards her ideas like an Olympic runner. And I think that I’ve brought that into Kitten definitely.
Parker Silzer: But I think, this is definitely like a good measure of like where Kitten’s at right now. If you want to go and listen to the EP, I think you definitely know what you’re in for.
Kitten has been described as having this knack for “juxtaposing ridiculously merry pop melodies with equally melancholic and deep lyrical themes.” Does this happen naturally? Or is that just what you feel like now?
Chloe Chaidez: For years, I was working with a different collaborator, and the lyrics were a lot darker and a bit more vague. I think when I’m with Parker, Dave, and Max, I kind of found the humor in music and art. We like a lot of music that has a good sense of humor, you know? And also makes people happy. We all talk about this, but we just kind of want a song like the chorus of “Friday’s Not Fun Anymore.”
Parker Silzer: But that looks ridiculous if it isn’t couched in something a little bit more complex. Because, if the whole thing is just like the euphoria, it gets corny. So you have to the entire time establish that this thing doesn’t exist anymore. And then you give them the thing that isn’t supposed to exist anymore. And it’s sad, but you still can’t help but feel excited listening to it. And that’s kind of the best spot for me in music. It’s like, that’s what reminds you of life — that it’s happy and sad basically.
Max Tsiring: A lot of the best music is made like that where you find like a sort of a balance between like the somber and euphoric whether, you know it’s in the lyrics or in the music, but like it has to have both sides sort of to feel full.
The trailer for I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry dropped. What can fans expect with this?
Chloe Chaidez: Drama. Yeah. That’s really it. Honestly drama. It’s been difficult, and I’m not going to lie, and I think that you’re going to really get an inside look at how what it’s like for me to have had to balance the two bands. Especially during that really intense, a four-month period where we were living together and with Nasty Cherry at this house, making a reality TV show and everything is documented. I mean, everything was documented. It was amazing though to have Kitten by my side during that whole period, But, it was amazing, and I’m so thankful for the whole thing.
Parker Silzer: You know, like we love the Nasty Cherry girls.
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah.
Parker Silzer: But Chloe has limited time. I mean, there were definitely points where we are like, “We got to get Kitten done,” and she had to do all this Nasty Cherry stuff. So naturally there’s some rub, but I think the good news is the big picture. Everybody’s home.
Chloe Chaidez: We all partied last night.
What’s next for Kitten? You just dropped this EP. Are you going to tour? Are you working on an album? Or you just going to keep it to EP’s and singles.
Chloe Chaidez: We’re going on tour with this band called Waterparks. I’m very, very, very excited about it. And that’s going to starts December 3rd, yeah. And then we’re working on…
Max Tsiring: Always working on new music. I mean we’d love to, I think we’d all love to do a full length-
Chloe Chaidez: Yeah, I think that’s coming.
Max Tsiring: Based on just how our schedule has been and our workflow and stuff. It just kind of has ended up that like the easiest thing to do is kind of these little bursts of a couple of songs, a few songs here and there. But I think-
Chloe Chaidez: But we’re working towards that.
Max Tsiring: We have a big back catalog that we need to really dive into, especially once the tour is done.
Kitten’s new EP, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase, is out now!
KITTEN TOUR DATES WITH WATERPARKSDec.03 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s HallDec. 04 – Cleveland, OH – House of BluesDec. 06 – Minneapolis, MN – VarsityDec. 07 – Kansas City, MO – The TrumanDec. 08 – Denver, CO – SummitDec. 10 – Salt Lake City, UT – The DepotDec. 13 – Seattle, WA – El CorazonDec. 15 – Portland, OR – Wonder BallroomDec. 16 – San Francisco, CA – Regency CenterDec. 17 – Anaheim, CA – House of BluesDec. 18 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent BallroomDec. 20 – San Antonio, TX – AztecDec. 21 – Dallas, TX – House of BluesDec. 23 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Ballroom
This interview has been edited for clarity.