What does music mean to you?
Music is the communication of our souls to each other. It is where we take our masks off and actually show people who we are.
Which band or artist inspired you to become a musician?
There certainly isn’t just one person or band for Kittenhead. We are all individuals. Personally, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Prince, Sarah Vaughan, Big Mama Thornton, Nirvana, L7….. But really my grandmother says I sang before I spoke so destiny was written when I was a wee one.
What do you think musicians can do to make the world a better place?
1. I think that just providing an outlet for people via music is huge. Music provides a positive way for people to channel their emotions, especially negative emotions. The fact that someone can rage to a song means that maybe they can then take a positive look at the issue and develop solutions outside of their anger.
2. Connections. Music connects people. While listening to similar music is a bonding point for many people going to live shows is an amazing way to connect with people. Both your friends and the musicians. There is nothing like being at a concert or a small show. It is so intimate to be in a space with someone that bares their soul by playing you their compositions, people showing you their intimate thoughts and desires. It is really brave and unique to music. It demonstrates to people that they too can express their passion.
What projects are you currently working on or will be working on in the future?
Kittenhead is currently working on arrangements for new music. We have been in the studio and have 6 new songs waiting for overdubs, mixing and mastering. We also will be touring in 2018 – look out Japan and Europe!
In one word describe the feeling you get from music?
What is your favorite city/venue to play?
Anywhere that people are willing to get up and get into the music. I love the fact that Kittenhead gets to go to small towns like Elko NV and Astoria OR, where they don’t get a ton of bands. People really show their love and support that you came all that way to put on a show for them.
We also love the huge venues with tons of people screaming and singing your lyrics.
I think we as a band just really love playing music for people who want to be entertained and love rock n roll. We play for the rebels and the people outside the box. It is hard to have one favorite place when it is all about the amazing people we get to meet all over the world. But really we also play for that connection we feel to each other in the music.
How has music made a difference in your life?
Music has made this world tolerable. It makes the ugly and sad less intense and the happy and gorgeous even more glorious. Music is my drug of choice. Music is my salvation. Music has kept me sane (relatively) and functioning.
In a couple of sentences, what is your story?
Basically, if we aren’t making music we might have to blow shit up… and none of us look that good in orange. Well maybe VJJ but she prefers green…. So we decided to make awesome music.
What’s the one charity/cause you’re most passionate about?
Social Justice in all its forms.
What are you inspired by?
Music, the beauty in the world, people, animals, a sunset, the ocean, I try to as open to this world as possible.
In one word, how would you describe the band?
Kittenhead is a group of very different gifted individuals who have come together to harmonize and really see each other. We don’t always agree but we work and listen to each other to make something that is more than the sum of its parts. There is absolute pure energy in our expression of each song; we take you on an emotional journey during a CD or a show. We invite you to experience and gain some calm or perspective from a night spent with Kittenhead.
How long have you known each other and where did you meet?
We have known each other for 4 years now and the band started in LA.
What inspires you to keep creating and playing music?
Like I have said it is my passion – plus I have a lot to say. My running commentary on life, the world, the state of politics, the state of society etc, has an outlet in the music, the lyrics and the music carries much of the emotion that words can only begin to convey. Lots of people are frustrated in the US right now – on both sides of the divide – I don’t know that we can get people to hear each other without art.
I am not sure I feel wholly here outside of my music as if my whole idea the passion behind it isn’t communicated without music underneath my words.
What can you tell me about your sound and how it was created?
Our sound is the amalgamation of the 4 individuals of Kittenhead. We bounce off each other bring our very different styles and influences together, mix it up, pop back and forth, wrestle it into a song construct and build a CD together.
Describe for me your music making process.
Usually, either DD or VJJ will bring in a riff and we all start playing around with it. We then will add a structure, write other parts and it starts to form up into a song. Every so often one of them will write something and then the other will write the counter line. Since they switch off on bass and guitar it gives us a very dynamic musical style that most other bands don’t benefit from.
How have you evolved since starting the band?
I think we have learned how to communicate better with each other musically, we are relaxed and have fun making music but everyone communicates differently and we have people from very different backgrounds working (very successfully) together, but it came from wanting to work together and hearing each other. We actually talk about how we call the same thing by different names; it is easier working together now.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Being heard or gaining more exposure. As an Independent, I think that is always the biggest challenge.
What’s the ultimate goal for the band?
What are the plans for the future?
The immediate future plan is to finish the Cd we are working on; make some music videos and tour!
How do you feel about the internet in the music business?
The internet is both helpful to independent artists and a detriment. It is a challenge to be heard above the din…..but at the same time if you can whidle out that sliver of success. The internet provides a means to be your own record company and really have a good life as a musician. It is all about getting that bit of a break and gaining just enough recognition. If you have the type of music that people want to hear then you can thrive because of the way the internet balances the playing field.
How did you come up with your name?
We were named after my cat…. Yes, she is very proud of this…. No, I was not amused. But we had gigs before we had a name so being very organized, I had everyone give me a list of 5 to 8 names and I looked them up to make sure they weren’t in use. I cut the list down to 8 names or so and we teleconferenced to discuss the possibilities. I really wasn’t in love with any of the names so I was not really paying attention, I was playing fetch with my kitten Roary – who I called by her nickname – Roary Boary Kittenhead. The band heard kittenhead and decided it was a great name. I for the record voted against it…..
Obviously, I was out voted.
What would be your dream tour?
A complete world tour highlighting Europe and Asia!!