Kitty In The Tree


There are records whose complex subtleties can transport you to another corner of the galaxy, transcending all barriers of musical language and making you ponder the subtleties of life itself. Then there’s shit that makes you get up off your ass and dance, like Kitty In The Tree and their latest, Hello Kitty. Filled to the brim with pop hooks and sly lyrics, Hello Kitty is just one of those records that instantly plasters a goofy smile on your face, from the opening “Starf**er” (about those lovely backstage beauties) to “Amusement Ride” (a loopy off-kilter ballad) and the subsequent bonus track. Though the band has a great ’70s pop sensibility that instantly appeals to fans of Queen and Cheap Trick, they hardly sound out of place in the roaring ’00s; classy tunes never goes out of style. I caught up with K.I.T.T. singer/songwriter Orion Simprini over a bit of email.

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A bit of background on Kitty in the Tree … where are you from, how long have you been around, what is your reason for being?

Kitty in the Tree was formed in a Galaxy far, far, away. They arrived on Earth in the summer of 1997, and decided to make New York City their headquarters. Kitty in the Tree was sent to earth by the benevolent Mother Universe to spread a message of peace, love, and harmony.

If you had a time machine and could release Hello Kitty at any time in the last (or next) 50 years, when would it be? Why?

IF??? How do you think we got to Earth? If we could release Hello Kitty any time in the last or next 50 years, we would release it today. Why? Because we are the evolution of music, and the people of today are ready to evolve, that’s the way it was meant to be.

Was there anything in particular that inspired “Starf er”? What about “C’mon” and “E.S.P.”?

“Starf er” was inspired by the incestuous Lower East Side music scenesters, who all play a delicate game of emotional chess. “C’mon” was inspired by drugs and sex. “E.S.P.” is just an observation that I made – Everybody Smokes Pot.

So tell me about that incestuous Lower East Side scene.

The incestuous Lower East Side music scene… hmmm… well, it goes something like this: You have a small patch of Manhattan, about 1 square mile, where all the best rock clubs are located, and in that tiny part of the universe you have, I kid you not, thousands of bands, singers, songwriters, wannabe rock stars, all trying to claw their way out of the trenches. Inevitably, these poor lost souls work, play, eat, sleep, drink, and drug together, while at the same time, they are always in competition with each other! It makes for good diner conversation!

What is floating your musical boat right now? What should should K.I.T.T. fans be listening to (other than Hello Kitty)?

What’s floating our musical boat right now? Well, our drummer, Tom Collins, has been sailing the seven seas of Supergrass. Danny, our bass man is aboard the S.S. Quasi, with Elliot Smith. Patrick our lead ax man had a little mishap in the Bermuda triangle and is trapped in 1984 listening to Van Halen. Captain Orion has been relaxing in his sea side bungalow listening to the mellow sounds of silence. Kitty in the Tree fans should be listening to whatever makes them happy.

Gail Worley says I should ask you about waiting tables…

Waiting tables? Ah yes, my true great love! I don’t think there is anything in life more satisfying than the service industry! I just live for that happy look my customers get when I wipe down their table with a filthy rag, while secretly wishing them dead. (Please kill me) ◼

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