We all know that Awsten Knight, the frontman of Waterparks, is larger than life. It only made total sense to add the energetic group Kitten to their FANDOM tour. Between frontwoman Chloe Chaidez and Knight, fans will certainly pick up on their lively demeanors, even in a crowded room.
Knight and Chaidez sat down with AltPress for an exclusive chat on Kitten’s latest EP Goodbye Honeymoon Phase, prepping for their winter tour together and revealing that it was their first time speaking with one another.
AWSTEN KNIGHT: Hey, how’s it going? We’re walking through Times Square right now.
CHLOE CHAIDEZ: Oh, my God. That’s so funny. I just got here yesterday. I actually went to Staten Island, but I’m coming in a couple of hours.
Hell yeah. Well, I have some questions, but before we do that, I legitimately have been listening to the EP on repeat. It’s really fucking good.
Oh, thank you so much.
I needed to see what’s up, and I was like, “Oh damn, OK.” Whenever it started over, I was like, “I can do this again.”
Oh, that’s so sweet. Well, we all love your album, too. It’s just great, conceptually amazing.
Thank you. I appreciate it. All right. Chloe, here we go. For those who haven’t heard of Kitten, could you please give us a brief history of the band and its sound?
Well, I started Kitten when I was very young, around 15, and we’ve released one full-length album and four EPs.
But now we are, I would say, a pop, futuristic, forward-thinking rock band.
I learned that you have been around for a second because Zakk Cervini, our producer, was like, “Oh yeah, I know Kitten,” and I was like, “Oh, what?” He is like, “Oh yeah, because we did this and this. They’ve been around for a second.” I was like, “Oh shit.” Did y’all tour with Paramore?
Yeah, we toured with Paramore in 2013.
That’s crazy. Was that tight?
It was amazing. It was tight. We opened for one show in Anaheim, and then they asked us to go on tour with them. Hayley was mentoring me in that period. It was really cool. So I’ve known Zakk through mutual friends for a while. I have a lot of friends who work with him. He’s the best.
Fuck, I want to be friends with Paramore.
I mean, we don’t all have Thanksgiving together, but if I saw [them] in Times Square, I’d be like, “Yo, what’s up?”
That’s tight. So what was the recording process like for Goodbye Honeymoon Phase?
Which is nuts!
Yeah, it was fun, and I feel like that made for a lot of quick decisions. But yeah, I mean, we were inspired by a lot of music from the early 2000s.
I can get that, but it still sounds modern.
Yeah, but we also like a lot of new pop and a lot of experimental pop. And then we also have, you know, more classic influences. I think there’s some ABBA in there, too.
Yeah, actually I hear that.
I think it’s just a combination of all of those influences. I think, lyrically, a lot has to do with filming the Netflix series and what that was like for me. Kitten were by my side during that whole process, and that was really cool.
That’s cool that they were really cool about it because I feel like there are certain bands or bandmates or whatever that could be like, you know, jealous or petty or whatever.
I mean, it was a docuseries. I think it was also a good platform for Kitten. And I think we all knew that. They were cool about it, for sure.
Hell yeah! Dude, I had no idea that was even going to be a thing. Then a few weeks ago, I looked at Twitter, and I was like, “What the fuck?” I was like, “Oh, my God, that’s crazy.”
Is Charli XCX nice? I know you probably have to say yes, but like…
Oh, yeah. I mean, she’s a dope-ass bitch, but she’s definitely super sweet, though. It’s just cool to work with her. We were introduced to a lot of artists and producers that she works with this past year. I think they really influenced a lot, too.
That’s wild. So you’ve had the chance to work with people such as Mike Shinoda and Smashing Pumpkins. That’s fucking tight. How do you remain humble and true to your fans? How do you remain humble after hanging out with Smashing Pumpkins? Please tell me.
[Laughs.] I feel like things happen day to day that humbles me every single day. It just reminds me that no one fucking cares about me.
That is one of those humbling things. It’s like, yeah, your whole thing is people not giving a shit and then giving a shit all at once and then going away. And then kind of coming back. It’s the most humbling thing you can do.
Exactly. I think with the internet, it’s such a huge world of art and music and culture and entertainment, and it’s like this big-ass galaxy.
Even when people care, it’s so easy to feel small.
It’s true. It’s really true. I’ve been dealing with that with this show coming out because, you know, it was a documentation of this six-month period. So people are asking and commenting on things that happen in my life in a different way than they’ve commented on my music. And then I want to remind myself that no one cares about my life or anything that’s happened in my life. You know? It sounds like you do the same thing, but more people care about you guys like that.
Ehh, I’d say give it like three months. [Laughs.] I definitely get that. This is the first time that we’ve spoken.
I know. This is so funny. We’re getting into the nitty-gritty here.
Yeah. [Laughs.] So what made you inclined to cover songs from various LGBTQ+ artists, and what does Pride mean to you?
I did a piece with Paper Magazine where every week of Pride I covered a different artist in the LGBTQ+ community.
Oh damn. Who did you cover?
Oh nice, what [Frank Ocean] song?
I’m not sure that one came out. We didn’t finish that. But then we did Lesley Gore. That was really cool. I think that it was a great month to be prideful, to celebrate gayness and being gay. I wanted to join that celebration, and that’s why I did that.
Very tight. Do you ever get frustrated when people refer to Nasty Cherry as a girl band, or do you embrace it?
The band are actually split about this. I embrace it because after so many years, I would get questions about being a female in music or what it was like showing up to venues to play. I, at this point, like it because I think it’s something that should be embraced and celebrated. And you should be proud about it. I don’t mind that at all.
I guess there are people that could be like, “We just wanna be seen as a band” instead of having gender brought into it.
Totally and I completely get that. I was a little like that for many, many years. And then once I started working with my producer and collaborating with females, I was like, “Oh, we need to be loud about this and embrace it.” And it’s not for me to be ashamed of. Yeah, I’m a girl that does music. More girls should do music.
So what is next for Kitten besides going on the tightest tour of the fucking—I almost said summer—winter?
Oh, boy. First off, I’m so excited. It’s going to be the best tour ever. After that, we’re working on more music and more touring. Maybe some sort of Kitten cartoon.
Like a show or a comic?
Do you know who Lil Miquela is?
I want to do like Kitten computer-animated in the same way that Lil Miquela is. So like the first visually robot band, like we play shows, and it’s not us. Anyways, I haven’t even talked to my band about this, so I probably shouldn’t be saying it.
Well, you had to bring it up with me first, and then you got the OK. Now you can bring it to them safely.
[Laughs.] Awsten said it’s cool. But seriously, I love all of your visual stuff. I trust you.
Oh, thank you.
I mean, I think it’s super smart and poppin’ and really cool.
Yeah, I just like color. I want to see it all very saturated.
Totally. I love colors, too.
I mean, I noticed that from looking at y’all’s stuff. Even the album art. It’s so simple, but it’s not just like a promo. It’s very stylized like—I don’t wanna say anime because it’s not—but it’s surreal. I think that’s tight.
Thank you! I mean, anime is fine. That was an influence. The person who designed it was really into fashion. [Laughs.]
You can catch Kitten on tour with Waterparks this winter. Tickets are available here.
12/03 – Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall
12/04 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
12/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
12/07 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
12/08 – Denver, CO @ Summit
12/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
12/13 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
12/15 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
12/16 – San Francisco @ The Regency Ballroom
12/18 – Phoenix, AX @ The Crescent Ballroom
12/20 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theatre
12/21 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
12/23 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse