There are many bands out there today that take themselves far too seriously. However, not all bands are on a mission to take over the world, country, or even local music scene. Some actually still form as a way to bring friends together, to escape the other rigors in life. We all have school, jobs or kids that take up the vast majority of our time and attention, and having a creative outlet takes a lot of the stress of our daily routine. Kittens Having Kittens serve as a reminder that anyone who really wants to learn how to play music can absolutely do so, especially with a little help from their friends.
As guitarist Samantha Garcia recalls: “The band name definitely came first and it was kind of a joke, like, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a girl band named Kittens Having Kittens?’ and then ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we were the girl band?’ Madeline (Sabatoni) decided she wanted to try to make it happen and I had been wanting to learn to play guitar for a while so we just started setting it in motion. Our friend showed us some chords on the guitar and we had a jam session with Heather (Hull) and it started falling into place. I think we still kind of acted like it was a joke for a while – it seemed funny to think about it being real – but then, all of a sudden, we were a real band.” Before long, the Kittens began growing in numbers. Niki Levi joined Samantha on guitar, Angela Ayala took over on drums and Heather picked up the bass, while Madeline retained vocal duties.
Even coming in with some musical experience, starting a band can be a little scary. As Niki puts it, “I was a little nervous at my first Kittens practice. I remember asking Heather, ‘Do they know I haven’t been in a band for eight years?’ I was just worried I wasn’t going to be able to pick up and play again or that they wouldn’t like what I could do. Fortunately the chemistry worked out personally and musically.” The musical chemistry they share stems from their shared affection for local legends such as Tiger Trap, as well as 60s girl groups like The Shangri-Las. The latter influence may soon be working its way in, as Niki says “I especially have a real weakness for songs where the singer talks in it, like what the Shangri-Las have done. I always say we should do a song like this.”
The girls currently have a split 7” with Nacho Business, available on Sacramento Records, and these new ideas will soon become new songs. Even with this new material in the works, Madeline is happy to remind us that, “I think we all get different things out of the band and sometimes that’s jamming and sometimes it’s recording or playing shows. For me, it’s really rewarding to have people hear what we’ve worked on. Although it’s always scary – putting a part of yourself out there. Making sure you have the right outfit, ha!”
Photos compliments of Natalie Head.