Miss Kittin The Exclaim! Questionnaire

Miss Kittin The Exclaim! Questionnaire
What are you up to?
Drinking water in parties.

What are your current fixations?
No TV, I don't have TV at home. I miss going to the movies a lot, but I buy DVDs all the time. At the moment I watch old Josef Mankiewicz movies like All About Eve and The Barefoot Contessa. I read a lot of books, French ones, everything, and the last one was My Name Is Asher Lev from Chaim Potok, about a straight Hassidic Jew from Brooklyn get torn apart between his religion and his gift as a painter. It´s one of my fav books ever.

Why do you live where you do?
[In Berlin] because it's cheap, wide, green and without stress, so there's a good energy to live and be creative.

What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
I want to say Sonar last year, 2003, in Barcelona, when I released my Radio Caroline CD. The festival asked me to play something really, really special in the same style of the compilation. So I took my best classic records that aren't club tunes at all, but more home listening, it turned to be totally emotional. People were screaming and dancing to this intense quiet music.

What have been your career highs and lows?
The lows were a long time ago, when I started in France, playing in some crazy dirty raves where your dinner was a McDonald's menu, no hotel, sitting on my records in the cold waiting for a promoter who never comes as he ran away with the money, spending my last bills on the train ticket to go home. Since then, only highs, especially with the Hacker.

What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
A long time ago, I played back to back with Mika Vainio from Pan Sonic for an art thing, we played rockabilly and pre-punk obscure bands to early acid shit. A guy came next to me, I was waiting for my turn to play the next record. The guy said "Are you also here to complain about the bad music?" I was laughing my ass off. It's not really mean, I thought it was excellent!

What should everyone shut up about?
Everything we don't have a clue about. So actually, a lot!

What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
To be faithful, and to be moody-rude when I am tired.

What do you think of when you think of Canada?
My brother. He lives and study in Montreal.

What is your vital daily ritual?
At least one nice chat with a friend.

What are your feelings on piracy, internet or otherwise?
I would care if I was depending on record sales but I don't. I live from performances.

What was your most memorable day job?
Other than DJing? Probably being a cashier in a huge supermarket for three months to pay for my turntables. I had to ride my bike ten km to get there and bear a fucking woman boss who liked to torture me because I didn't fit into the norm.

How do you spoil yourself?
Good food and a bath.

If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Anything creative, a writer, painter, journalist, having a radio show, or taking care of animals.

What do you fear most?
Aggressive people.

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
I won't tell.

What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Meeting [artist] Keith Haring in a dream.

What does your mother wish you were doing instead?
Having a baby maybe.

Given the opportunity to choose, how would you like to die?
Having fun with my best friends.

Caroline Herve has claws. You might have suspected as much when her electro alter ego Miss Kittin entered pop consciousness purring the immortal chorus "To be famous is so nice / suck my dick / lick my ass" in her inimitable Euro-deadpan.

That 1998 single "Frank Sinatra" — done with long-time partner the Hacker on DJ Hell's International DeeJay Gigolos label before getting widespread release on First Album, their 2000 full-length — was the opening salvo in a series of collaborations in the early 2000s that would see her dubbed the queen of electroclash.

But even the death of that ill-fated micro-movement could do nothing to dull the wonderful work she did with Felix da Housecat ("Silver Screen / Shower Scene," "Madame Hollywood"), Golden Boy (the icy murder ballad "Rippin Kittin") and Sven Vath (a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus").

After the deluge, Kittin concentrated on her techno DJ career — skills she shows off on the fantastic 2003 mix-disc Radio Caroline — and moved to Berlin to work on her solo album I Com. She sardonically mocks her own delayed debut by printing on the CD itself, "I heard someone saying there should not be any ‘Miss Kittin' section in record stores, but a ‘featuring Miss Kittin' one."

That would be a shame, since I Com is wildly eclectic record that jumps from euphoric dance-punk to post-feminist ghetto-tech to emotional electro-pop — and always lands on its feet.
Joshua Ostroff