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Interview with Christina Chriss of Kaleido

By Cathy Moore for Rock All Photography and Music Moore Rock Shots and Reviews

 

Christina Chriss, vocalist for the spunky and superbly talented Detroit band Kaleido, knew she wanted to be a singer since she was 6 years old. One of her first grade assignments asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She wrote that she wanted to be a singer. And lo and behold – she made it happen.

 

Kaleido is tearing up the rock and roll world. Named Best Band in Detroit by Real Detroit Weekly in both 2013 & 2014, plus having won two Detroit Music Awards in 2015 for “Outstanding Rock/Pop Group” and “Outstanding Rock Recording” for their second independent EP ‘Unbreakable’, they have since taken the show on the road, lighting up stages on the Van’s Warped Tour, Rockstar Uproar Festival, Summerfest, & CMJ Music Marathon and opened for Aerosmith, Slash, Kid Rock, The Offspring, Sammy Hagar, Evanescence, Halestorm, Ace Frehley of Kiss, Twenty One Pilots and countless others. On May 19, the band will release its debut full-length album, Experience, which is an honest and heartfelt expression of the highs and lows of life – a roller coaster that almost anyone can relate to – symbolizing the essence of what Kaleido is all about. “Life resembles a kaleidoscope. Ever changing, intricate, and beautiful.”

 

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Chriss during a phone interview just after she returned to Detroit from a brief trip to Florida. During our interview, Chriss shared her perspectives on several topics…

 

On when she knew she wanted to be a rock star…

 

“Oh my gosh. I knew…I think it was first grade. My mom still has some little paper that I filled out and it asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I put a singer. I think I was like 6 years old. And you know what’s funny? My brother, he is a couple years younger than me, he got the same paper when he got to first grade and they asked him what he wanted to be and he said a lawyer. And guess what he just graduated from law school. I said, Mom, I guess we kinda knew what we wanted to do right away. She was like, yeah, you both did. She said it’s really crazy to her that at that young of an age we both knew and we actually did it. I’ve loved music and I’ve loved singing for a really long time – my whole life. I just think that’s really cool. I just remember singing when I was a little kid right away.”

 

On touring with some amazing bands…

 

“Oh it’s so incredible. I love touring so much. And I also really love making friends. You know, all these bands have been just so cool to us and just really great people. It’s just so awesome to go to a different city every day getting to do what you love and then pair that with really cool people. I mean that is IT for me. I love it.”

 

On the formation of Kaleido…

 

“Well I was in bands getting myself going here in the local Detroit scene. One of my first bands was called the Christina Chriss band. And then Joey (Fava), who’s the drummer in Kaleido, he was in a band called Robots in the Garden and we played a show together. And then both of our bands really became great friends. A little time went on and both of our bands kind of fizzled out really naturally – you know like a really natural transition and change. So Joey and I decided to start a band together. And then Cody (Morales – bass) was in the band that I was in before and now he’s in Kaleido. So it’s kind of like we just met each other and we really hit it off. So that’s how we got started.” (Other band members include Ronnie Rosolino on rhythm guitar and Zach Bolling on lead guitar.)

 

On the vulnerability of sharing such personal experiences through her lyrics and music…

 

“I don’t feel vulnerable by it. I feel like part of the reason that I’m here on this earth is to get those experiences and then anybody that I can help along the way with sharing what I’ve been through – I feel like that’s part of what I’m supposed to do. So I feel like it’s really natural for me to do that. It just kinda comes natural.”

 

On the song “Goodbye” (from Kaleido’s first self-titled EP)…

 

“I feel really blessed – with that song especially. It was so personal to me and I feel like the vulnerability in that song really does show through because it captures all the mixture of emotions that you have when you lose someone in a way that isn’t natural. You know? Or someone that contributed to their own death. You know what I’m saying? You’re angry and you’re sad, and I think that we just really captured that exactly with that song. And it’s unbelievable how many people that that song has reached and the number of emails that I’ve received from people just to let me know that the song meant something to them. I mean, I’m not a therapist, but I kinda feel like one because I make sure that I respond to everybody and it’s tough sometimes. The stories that I’ve heard from people that were touched by that song and why – it’s just, it’s so sad, but I feel really blessed. I feel like it’s so special that that song can help people. That song just happened and I’m really glad that it’s gotten out to so many people because it’s really helped people and it means a lot to me and my band.”

 

On the song “Jane”…one of the band’s first songs and her favorite to perform live…

 

“That was one of our very first songs. That was one of the songs that really kinda started Kaleido. And I still play it all the time. It’s still one of my favorites.”

 

 

On the video for “Jane” (and if you haven’t seen it you should check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_dfIGrHjpg)

 

“It’s kinda based off that movie Black Swan. I watched that movie and it was right around then. That movie had come out really not too long before we shot that video but I really love that movie. I thought that visually it just captured that duality so well. I was like, you know, that would be really cool to kinda use that as inspiration and put my spin on it because that’s what the song is about so it fit perfectly. So it worked out pretty cool.”

 

On her favorite song on the new Experience CD…

 

“No More Little Miss Nice Bitch.”  (Enough said)

 

On the tour with Seether (Poison the Parish tour)…

 

“We are so excited! We are so so excited for this tour! I think it’s like the biggest tour we’ve ever been on. And we are really big fans of Seether – we have been for years. When we found out that we got this we were all just ecstatic. So I can’t wait. And Letters from the Fire. I can’t wait. It’s going to be such a great tour.”

 

“You know what’s kinda funny – when that “Goodbye” video started getting really out there and it was getting a ton of views and people were leaving comments on it, and a few people had said, this kinda reminds me of “Broken” by Seether with Amy Lee. And we didn’t have the tour yet at that point, but that was something that a few people mentioned – like this song kinda reminds me of that – it’s got that same kind of vibe to it. Then we got the tour with Seether! So it’s really funny how everything falls together.”

 

On how Kaleido has evolved over the years…

 

“Oh man! A lot has changed, but I think we’ve really honed our craft. You know? We started off and it was a lot of fun but we all in the beginning even knew that we were really in it to win it with this – like we were really serious about it and we were going to do the damn thing! But I think that we’ve really focused and kept this as the number one thing in our lives over the years and so we’ve really just honed our craft and we’ve gotten a lot better. Practice makes perfect and we are more mature and our writing is better. So we’ve come a long way.”

 

On the one thing she can’t live without when she is out on tour…

 

“MY PILLOW! I’m really particular about that pillow. And everyone knows they cannot lay on my pillow. It’s kinda like my little piece of home that comes with me. I mean it’s like I miss my bed but if I have my pillow I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”

 

On doing a duet with anyone – living or dead – it would be…

 

“Freddy Mercury. Yeah. Totally Freddy Mercury. Someday hopefully I can get a hologram of Freddy Mercury and come on stage and we can sing “Fat Bottom Girls” together.”

 

On what she really wants the world to know about Kaleido…

 

“That we’re very passionate and we love what we do so much. And rock isn’t dead! And girls can be badasses too!”

 

Amen, Christina Chriss. Amen!

 

Kaleido Website: http://www.kaleidoband.com/

 

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kaleidoband/

Instagram: @KaleidoBand

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaleidoBand

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/KaleidoTV

 

SEETHER – POISON THE PARISH WORLD TOUR

05/02 @ Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA *

05/03 @ Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA *

05/05 @ Druid City Music Hall -Tuscaloosa, AL *

05/06 @ War Memorial Auditorium – Nashville, TN

05/07 @ Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC ^

05/09 @ Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ *

05/10 @ Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ *

05/11 @ The Dome at Toyota Presents Oakdale – Wallingford, CT *

05/12 @ Funk & Waffles – Syracuse, NY ^

05/13 @ Higher Ground – Burlington, VT ^

05/14 @ House of Blues – Boston, MA *

05/16 @ Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY *

05/17 @ Rapids Theatre – Niagara Falls, NY *

05/19 @ Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA *

05/21 @ The Forge – Joliet, IL ^

05/22 @ 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI *

05/24 @ St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI *

05/25 @ St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI *

05/26 @ Route 20 – Racine, WI ^

05/27 @ Sokol Auditorium – Omaha, NE *

05/31 @ Liquid Joe’s – Salt Lake City, UT

06/01 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID * ^

06/05 @ The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA * ^

06/06 @ House of Blues – Anaheim, CA * ^

06/07 @ Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ * ^

06/10 @ The Pageant – Saint Louis, MO * ^

* With Seether & Letters From The Fire

^ With Letters From The Fire ONLY

* ^ With Seether & Through Fire

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