Kitten Forever perform in The Current studio

Kitten Forever perform "Cannon" off the album 7 HEARTS live in The Current studio. (MPR)
Kitten Forever perform in The Current studio (full session and interview)
| 21:05
  • Kitten Forever perform in The Current studio (full session and interview) 21:05
  • Kitten Forever - 200X/Souvenir (Live on The Current) 03:19
  • Kitten Forever - Cannon (Live on The Current) 02:31
  • Kitten Forever - Temple (Live on The Current) 01:56

There is something life-affirming about watching Kitten Forever perform. It's not that they don't care — Corrie Harrigan, Laura Larson and Liz Elton obviously pour a tremendous amount of passion and energy into their music — but there is a certain brazen element at the center of their performance, a confidence and a comfort with their raw imperfections, that led me to wonder: Is there something inherently feminist about this band's approach? About having the guts to present your ideas to the world without apology, and to truly give no effs about what anyone else thinks about your ceaselessly joyful, friendship-fueled, aggressively DIY party-punk band?

"I think we try to not take ourselves too seriously, while still taking pride in what we do," Corrie Harrigan reflected, still catching her breath after singing the band's no-holds-barred new song, "Cannon." "That certainly comes from a DIY background, you know, coming from playing in basements and having your album on cassette only; you try not to care too much about that stuff. But then also, to a certain extent, I don't want the young girls who see us to think they can't do what we're doing. We obviously take a lot of pride in what we do, but anyone can do it. And we're trying to break down that barrier, for sure."

Kitten Forever are celebrating a couple of huge milestones in 2016. It's the year they'll release their highest-profile album yet — 7 Hearts, out April 2, will be released by JD Samson of Le Tigre's label Atlas Chair — and it also marks their 10th year of making music together.

The trio has come a long way in that time. In their early days, they were notorious in the DIY basement scene circuit, but flew under the radar of the larger Twin Cities rock scene. These days, they are loudly trumpeted for inspiring a generation of young artists like Bruise Violet, and are using their visibility and platform to protest abuse and sexual harassment in the DIY community and create resources to help other bands and venues to book more diverse and inclusive shows.

"The spreadsheet thing came because we, specifically, would like to be booking bands that are more diverse. And I was having a personally hard time to remember what all those bands were, so I thought, well, let's put them down in one place," Corrie Harrigan explains.

"When we first moved to Minneapolis, we lived in a house where we had punk shows in the basement, and we made it really clear that that house was a space for people to come to. And if someone was acting out of line we kicked them out immediately," adds Laura Larson. "So it feels like there's always been this sense of creating a community that feels safe and inclusive."

"And we can't do it alone," Harrigan adds. "That's something the community has to work towards together."

Kitten Forever also reflected on how they've managed to stay together — and remain close friends — for the past decade. "We have a really tight friendship, but I think in a sense we're almost like sisters, where if we do get in a fight, there isn't that finality to our relationship," says Larson. "We have a bond that will bring us back together no matter what."

Songs Performed


All songs off Kitten Forever's album 7 HEARTS, out now on Atlas Chair Records.

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Produced by Andrea Swensson
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Web feature by Andrea Swensson
Visuals by Nate Ryan

5 Photos

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    Kitten Forever's Liz Elton performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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    Kitten Forever's Corrie Harrigan performing live in The Currents studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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    Kitten Forever performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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    Kitten Forever's Laura Larson performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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    Kitten Forever's Corrie Harrigan performing live in The Currents studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)