The Lowertown Line

S3 E10 | FULL EPISODE

Kitten Forever

Taking inspiration from feminism, punk and pop music, Kitten Forever's aesthetic is both stripped down and personal. The bass and drum trio rocks a low-fi, high-energy sound. Kitten Forever performs a live set at The Amsterdam Bar and Hall in Saint Paul and sits down to talk about their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the power of flower crowns, and feminism.

AIRED: August 20, 2017 | 0:26:46
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TRANSCRIPT

[electric bass guitar plays]]

(Laura) We always, always

get asked if we need a guitar player.

Laura, Laura, Laura, Laura.

It works.

Guitar players are not hard to find! [laughs]

Like oh you're right, like I totally forgot about guitarists!

Like thank you for reminding me! [laughs]

We've been a band for 8 years, we forgot a guitar player!

Cool, great, cool, great, cool, cool, cool.

Cool, sounds great. Sounds great.

(Corrie) When people ask us like, why don't you have a guitar player;

why do you use the phone mic?

The dynamics aren't good or something? It's like we're

not going for dynamics, we're not going for melodic harmonies

between the bass and the guitar or anything you know, it's like

we're trying to do like a stripped-down thing.

(Liz) You could play clean-sounding

like polished music with what we have

but we just don't want to really I guess, you know,

we like distortion; we like feedback.

(Laura) Right, yeah. I mean we intentionally are going for our sound.

(Liz) Yeah, yeah.

[playing very fast-paced punk rock]

♪ ♪

♪ Who cares don't be scared ♪

♪ I'm cool you're cool I'm cool you're cool ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Who cares don't be scared ♪

♪ I'm cool you're cool I'm cool you're cool ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I want you to leave the light on ♪

♪ I want you to come on ♪

♪ I want you to come on over ♪

♪ I want you to stay forever ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Who cares don't be scared ♪

♪ I'm cool you're cool I'm cool you're cool ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ I'm there in the wild air ♪

♪ So messed up live your fear ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Who cares ♪

♪ Don't be scared ♪

♪ Who cares don't be scared ♪

[cheering]

Hey, I'm Laura.

I'm Corrie. I'm Liz.

And we're Kitten Forever!

I didn't know we were doing that. [all laugh]

I don't really know what the first thing we want is,

but I feel like the second thing we want is like fun,

like a cool party, I want you to have a good time. You know?

And like, the first thing I feel like, is like

something a lot bigger than that and a lot more

of like potentially emotional or political.

♪ ♪

(Corrie) You want people to feel like

they're a participant in what's happening.

I feel like a lotta times you see a band

and there's like this thing where like, there's the wall

where you're the viewer, and they're the performer and like

you want to sort of break that wall down a little bit,

not necessarily by like getting in the crowd and jumping around,

but just by like having a sort of energy

that's like a community energy, like we're here with you guys,

and like we're all having this experience together.

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ When you play the game are you in it to win it ♪

♪ My intention is confession so don't you forget it ♪

♪ We are standing on the edge of identity ♪

♪ And you don't want me you just want to succeed ♪

♪ If everything's alive until it's not ♪

♪ Don't ignore yourself when it's all you've got ♪

♪ Everything's a dream if nothing is real ♪

♪ So tell me baby how does it feel ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ They only want what they can sell ♪

♪ And I cant help that I sell well ♪

♪ We are drawing circles on an empty page ♪

♪ Playing power chords on a private stage ♪

♪ The body's a temple it's in ruins ♪

♪ Empty visions empty tombs ♪

♪ If everything I own I steal ♪

♪ Tell me baby how does it feel ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Trust no one eat your tears ♪

♪ Swallow your pride kill your fear ♪

♪ Is this a genius party or a fantasy ♪

♪ Is the price we pay worth the victory ♪

♪ Is this a genius party or a fantasy ♪

♪ Is the price we pay worth the victory ♪

♪ ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Laura) I definitely got into punk rock music

and riot grrrl by listening to Nirvana, which was

obviously really accessible when we were, you know, young.

(Corrie) Both me and Laura grew up in the south suburbs,

so I listened to Nirvana, then through listening to Nirvana,

I really listened to Hole a lot, and then you like

get into Courtney Love enough, then you learn that

she punched Kathleen Hanna once, then you're like

who's Kathleen Hanna, then you start with Bikini Kill,

then it just spirals from there, you know.

♪ ♪

Riot grrrl was a musical and political movement in the '90s

that was a response to the sort of like

masculine '80's hardcore scene.

The idea of riot grrrl started because girls were

forced into the back of the room

or holding their boyfriend's coats at the hardcore show.

So it was sort of a movement of like girls starting bands

and starting zines and putting on shows

and kind of like reclaiming the music scene for themselves.

I would get into the record labels.

Bikini Kill was on this label called Kill Rock Stars,

and so then when you ordered their stuff,

it would come with like

a distro sheet in the CD.

Sometimes I would just do things like pick the girl bands

that were on Kill Rock Stars and then order albums by them

because I didn't have the Internet then.

Did you have the Internet? Did you have cable?

I mean we, I didn't have cable;

we also were not allowed to have cable.

I had like parent-controlled AOL, so I could like, go on

for like 25 minutes a day or something and furiously like,

research a few bands and then cut off from it.

See parents? Just restrict your kids,

and they'll come out really cool!

(Laura) ♪ If my body were real real ♪

♪ And not made of static static ♪

♪ Would I be a woman or a television ♪

♪ Stay up late get blissed out dead air on this station ♪

♪ Lights on lights out ♪

♪ Lights off nothing but the blackout ♪

♪ Lights on lights out ♪

♪ Lights off nothing but the blackout ♪

♪ Weigh me down with crystal battles ♪

♪ Till I am grounded grounded ♪

♪ I'm massive like mansions but I'll take my chances ♪

♪ Microscopic presence with blisters as fashion ♪

♪ Lights on lights out ♪

♪ Lights off nothing but the blackout ♪

♪ Lights on lights out ♪

♪ Lights off nothing but the blackout ♪

♪ If my body were real real ♪

♪ And not made of static static ♪

♪ Would I be a woman or a television ♪

♪ Stay up late get blissed out dead air on this station ♪

♪ I'm ghostin' I'm haunted ♪

♪ I'm in your room just like a real woman ♪

♪ But my body's a tsunami and my hands are clawing nowhere ♪

♪ It's like lights on lights out ♪

♪ If my body were real real ♪

♪ And not made of static static ♪

♪ Would I be a woman or a television ♪

♪ I will turn it off get silent wait for the collision ♪

♪ Lights on lights out nothing but the blackout ♪

♪ Lights on lights out static static ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Corrie) Liz, I think we should do

one coat of paint in here. (Liz) Why?

'Cause then it'll look like we like, sponge-painted your room.

(Liz) I'm switching rooms in the house, and this room is too,

the walls were too dirty, so I'm just painting over 'em

instead of washing them! [both laugh]

(Corrie) After the sort of riot grrrl thing in the '90s,

there was a lot of backlash against feminism

and there was a lot of backlash against that

like from within the movement that I think was justified.

Riot grrrl wasn't particularly inclusive of women of color,

it wasn't inclusive of like, transgender issues.

It was pretty much young, white women talking about

the issues of young, white women.

And so I think for all the good that riot grrrl did,

it did a lot of things wrong.

Young women today are talking about feminism

and they're talking about issues

that riot grrrl like didn't even touch on.

(Liz) I'm just like covered in paint.

It's definitely changing, and it seems like for the better.

(Corrie) What was it at the VMAs or something recently

where Beyoncé did her performance

and has the giant backdrop behind her that says "feminist."

You know, I mean, that's amazing.

People want to criticize her for being too sexual or something

and how can she call herself a feminist?

Like, that's crazy, it's like amazing

that she's calling herself a feminist, like 'cause...

I think you're proving the point right there by being like

she dresses so sexy, how can she call herself a feminist?

It's like that, that's the thing, you can do, you have

the right and the choice to do that if you want to.

(man) Do you all identify as feminists?

Yeah. Yes, we are definitely feminists.

[cheers & applause]

♪ I'm rolling around in blood ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules la la-la la-la la-la la-la ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us ♪

♪ I'm rolling around ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules ♪

♪ I'm rolling around ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules la la-la la-la la-la la-la ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us on fire ♪

♪ It's not like setting us ♪

♪ I'm rolling around in blood ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules ♪

♪ I'm rolling around ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules la la-la la-la la-la la-la ♪

♪ ♪

[cheering]

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ You're gonna get big you're gonna get gone ♪

♪ I'm rolling around in blood ♪

♪ I'm covered in your molecules ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Liz) I was really into pop music, I always forget about that part.

I was like very, that was like more a thing for me,

especially in my younger teens.

Like Mariah Carey, I was like super into Hanson. They're like...

I would call Hanson an influence on you still today. (Liz) Totally.

[Hanson sings "MMMbop"]

I feel like when we go on tour, and we like, meet people,

we have friends that we've met that we like, hang out with.

These people we meet are like into punk, but like

all we talk about is like Beyoncé and like Taylor Swift

and like pop music and like current stuff.

That's like the connecting fiber right now in some ways.

[Hanson sings "MMMbop"]

We were talking to these two guys

outside of our show in Denver recently,

and one of them was like what kind of band are you?

And I was like it's like a punk band and he was like,

I guess I don't really know what punk music is,

like, what is that kind of?

I was like someone like Avril Lavigne would be like

what the mainstream would think punk looks like

just for like reference for this person who had no idea

what I was talking about, you know, and he said,

oh you mean, it's like that song that's like,

♪ Hey hey ba ba I don't like your boyfriend ♪

or whatever, you know and I was like

we all kind of laughed and we're like no, no, it's not like that,

it's like, it's like the Ramones or something.

But then we go... Then his, yeah his friend goes,

yeah it's like, ♪ Hey, ho, let's go! ♪

And the guy goes, "That's the same song,"

what are you talking about? Those are the same songs.

I was like dude, you're right, they are the same song.

Yeah, you got it-- you got punk.

♪ Do you wanna see me ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna be me ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna get down ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna get loud ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna see me ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna be me ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do you wanna get down ♪

♪ Do you wanna get loud ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna do do you wanna get loud ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

♪ ♪

♪ Yeah you know you wanna ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Pull my hair scrape my knees ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

♪ Touch my face let me see ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

♪ They like it when we smell afraid ♪

♪ But the fear is all in their brain ♪

♪ They like it when we smell afraid ♪

♪ But the fear is all in their brain ♪

♪ The party is over ♪

♪ And I I want to be sober ♪

♪ Pull my hair scrape my knees ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

♪ Touch my face let me see ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

♪ It's okay if you mess it up ♪

♪ Little beasts have all the luck ♪

♪ It's okay if you mess it up ♪

♪ Little beasts have all the luck ♪

♪ The party is over ♪

♪ And I I want to be sober ♪

♪ Pull my hair scrape my knees ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

♪ Touch my face let me see ♪

♪ My body is not me ♪

[bass solo]

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

♪ I don't care what you want ♪

♪ I don't know what to say ♪

♪ I don't care what you want ♪

♪ Let me pick a game to play ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Liz) I like, really identify as a perma teen sometimes.

Aesthetically I like party decorations, I like tinsel,

I like, you know, confetti, like stuff like that.

♪ Take your shirt off if you wanna ♪

♪ Dance upon me like you gotta ♪

♪ Put your pain into it ♪

♪ Put your back into it ♪

I think Kitten Forever has always had kind of like

a weird, colorful aesthetic, you know,

I feel like so much of like punk and hardcore

is like that super like contrasty black-and-white thing

and think we were always like, trying to be...

colorful.

♪ There you go ♪

♪ I love you more and more ♪

(Corrie) A lot of people who consider themselves to be

part of a punk rock culture consider themselves to be

like nontraditional or forward thinking,

but like, there certainly is

like a traditional way that you get presented in punk

just like there is in pop culture, you know, and I think

to sort of like say that the punk scene is better

at like not conforming to sort of like traditional ideas

isn't always necessarily true.

It just has a different sort of

set of ideas that it conforms to.

♪ I love you more and more ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

♪ ♪

♪ I was born with voodoo knowledge ♪

♪ I see things for miles and miles ♪

♪ I know everything you think I've seen every memory ♪

♪ I was born with voodoo knowledge ♪

♪ I see things for miles and miles ♪

♪ I know everything you think I've seen every memory ♪

♪ Miles and miles and miles and miles ♪

♪ Miles and miles and miles and miles ♪ Heart!

♪ Miles and miles and miles and miles ♪

♪ Magic miles and miles and miles and miles ♪

♪ Brain you will never see me die ♪

♪ Crystals shining through your lies ♪

♪ Magic heart magic brain magic marker colored days ♪

♪ You will never see me die crystals shining through lies ♪

♪ Magic heart and magic brain magic marker colored days ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

♪ Transplant my lion heart ♪

♪ Wires in my lion brain ♪

♪ Turn em on turn em off language inside me ♪

♪ Skull swell overfed electric supersad ♪

♪ If you wanna grow a spine come over and water mine ♪

♪ If you wanna grow a spine come over and water mine ♪

♪ See my dread from space ♪

♪ One bruise you give ♪ for every ten I take ♪

♪ What is fun if it's not how I feel ♪

♪ Like a rat queen feels like a party like the life of the party ♪

♪ I'd invite you to the party if there was a party ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Well ah err ♪

♪ Well ah err ♪

♪ Well ah err well ah ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Psychic connection ♪

♪ Like her hair to the horizon ♪

♪ Full drench attention mouth broke saturate gold ♪

♪ If you wanna grow a spine come over and water mine ♪

♪ Structure perforated ♪

♪ I'm dripping from the landline landline ♪

♪ All your tiny stories are in season ♪

♪ Summer demon if you wanna grow a spine ♪

♪ Come over and water mine ♪

♪ Come over and water mine ♪

♪ ♪

♪ The admirable woman pushes out ♪

♪ She's covered in matted fur and bad poetry ♪

♪ Her palms glow like she's the rat queen ♪

♪ She's taut taught to bleed not taught to scream ♪

♪ I am my own god I am my own baby ♪

♪ The animal inside me is the animal inside me is the animal inside me ♪

♪ Is the animal inside me is the animal inside of me ♪

♪ Is the animal inside me is the animal inside of me ♪

♪ Is the animal inside me ♪ Yeah!

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Laura) Okay, so really though maybe it should start out like

distortion, like ♪ da-da da-da da-da da-da da-da da-da da ♪

[bass plays]

(Corrie) Yeah, I wanna play that part then like on end da, da on the cymbal.

♪ ♪

(Corrie) Yeah, I don't know, let's just try it, I can't think too much.

(Laura) With like the build-up thing, and then the other part?

(Corrie) Yeah, okay. [bass drumbeat]

Okay. Ready?

[bass plays with distortion in rapid rhythm]

(Liz) It's like always kind of embarrassing to like

explain our songwriting process to people.

(Laura) Or we could do it a couple times and have it be like... [bass plays]

(Corrie) There's nothing about like, time signatures

or this note or that key or...

Sometimes it's like part one, part two, part one, part two.

The meow part. [laughs]

Yeah, like the breakdown and then part two, part two,

part one, part two,

you know, it's like sometimes it gets that advanced.

(man) I want to know what the meow part is.

Well when you're like, you're trying to, you don't have

lyrics yet, so you're just like ♪ meow, meow, meow, meow ♪

♪ meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, ♪ or whatever.

It was a way we jokingly like, we used to write lyrics in the beginning, it was like...

Just to get like the cadence.

Like the melody of how you would,

melody is even like a generous term probably, like...

[cheers & applause]

[bass plays in rapid, steady rhythm]

♪ ♪

♪ I'll hold it in until it aches ♪

♪ You can just hold your hand out ♪

♪ Since you're so good at taking it ♪

♪ I'll hold your hair back from the shade ♪

♪ Cuz you can't see her in the road if the sun is in the street ♪

♪ You've got the power to pull me under ♪

♪ You've got the power to pull me under ♪

♪ And I've got the hurt like a hangover ♪

♪ Why can't you read my mind it's only getting louder ♪

♪ I've got a mind like painted lines ♪

♪ And I've got veins like power lines ♪

♪ And I don't wanna be so nice I don't wanna be so nice ♪

♪ I've got a mind like painted lines ♪

♪ And I've got veins like power lines ♪

♪ And I don't wanna be so nice I don't wanna be so nice ♪

♪ ♪

♪ I take up space you pick a favorite daughter ♪

♪ My tongue is the weight that pulls me underwater ♪

♪ And you are the ache that the sun rolls over ♪

♪ If heaven's in the elevator I'm waiting at the corner ♪

♪ And it's not wanted it's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted it's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted ♪

♪ I dedicate this world on fire ♪

♪ To the girls that feel like they're waiting on a tripwire ♪

♪ I dedicate this world on fire ♪

♪ To the girls that feel like they're waiting on a tripwire ♪

♪ I'll hold it in until it aches ♪

♪ You can just hold your hand out ♪

♪ Since you're so good at taking it ♪

♪ I'll hold your hair back from the shade ♪

♪ Cuz you can't see her in the road if the sun is in the street ♪

♪ And it's not wanted it's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted it's not wanted ♪

♪ It's not wanted ♪

♪ ♪

[cheering & hand-clapping in time to the beat of the song]

♪ ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

(Liz) When I was, you know, 15 like all I wanted was to be

in a cool punk band and like go on a tour or something.

And it's like I'm 28 and like, I've done that a bunch

and I've played a lot of really awesome shows.

And like, I am living the dream

and it's like, like my teenage dream

and it's like kind of insane.

(Laura) I feel like it's so important that we found a good platform

to be able to talk about our politics and about feminism,

but really like, I started playing music

before I even really knew much about politics,

before I knew my personal politics,

and I feel like so glad that I can have, you know,

my favorite way of being an artist be my platform

for talking about my personal politics and feminism.

(Corrie) I'm like so lucky that I get to do this and like so lucky

that I get to like be in this band with like people

that I love and I get to like, meet all these people,

like not just like getting a job,

getting a career, doing this thing, but like

doing something that you love as long as you can, you know,

as long as you can get away with it or something,

'cause it's like that's so hard to do, you know. It's like

it would have been pretty easy like a long time ago,

like I've been in a band for a long time, like, it's time

to go to grad school, and time to like get a full-time job

or something, it's like I just wanna keep touring

and keep doing this as long as I can, you know?

[loud cheering]

♪ Turn me over like a penny in your pocket ♪

♪ Gives you good luck if you want it you want it ♪

♪ You got wild eyes boy wild eyes ♪

♪ And I'm a smokestack honey ready for a light ♪

♪ We could glow in the dark like a spark in the night ♪

♪ This is a battle baby are you ready for a fight ♪

♪ So we sing about death ♪

♪ While we're still breathing ♪

♪ About a broken heart while it's still beating ♪

♪ Sing about death ♪

♪ While we're still breathing ♪

♪ About a broken heart while it's still beating ♪

♪ Turn me over like a penny in your pocket ♪

♪ Gives you good luck if you want it you want it ♪

♪ You got wild eyes boy wild eyes ♪

♪ I'm a smokestack honey ready for a light ♪

♪ We could glow in the dark like a spark in the night ♪

♪ This is a battle baby are you ready for a fight ♪

♪ Sing about death ♪

♪ While we're still breathing ♪

♪ About a broken heart while it's still beating ♪

♪ So we sing about death while we're still breathing ♪

♪ About a broken heart while it's still beating ♪

♪ The spells that you cast in your sleep make me crazy ♪

♪ You're a bad dream baby but you treat me like a lady ♪

♪ And the night time is the right time ♪

♪ To get it all wrong to grab it and run ♪

♪ But the light casts shadows in the sun ♪

♪ And the night time is the right time ♪

♪ To get it all wrong to grab it and run ♪

♪ But you disfigure like our bodies when the lights turn on ♪

[cheers, whistles, & applause]

CC--Armour Captioning & TPT

(woman) This program is made possible by

The State's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

and the citizens of Minnesota.

[orchestral fanfare]


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