Detroit Proud was hard pressed to find a local band that was more primed to shine on the national stage than Detroit-based Kaleido. Kaleido is a five piece rock band that belts out a refreshing blend of hard rock and melodic melodies. Their exhilarating live performances have led Kaleido to conquer the Vans Warped Tour, opening for big names like Kid Rock, Evanescence, The Offspring, Chevelle, Skid Row, Tesla, Awolnation – as well as recently being named the Best Band in Detroit.
CBS 62 got the chance to chat with lead singer Christina Chriss – known for her vocal prowess – about Kaleido’s success, their new album Unbreakable, her “KaleidoFam,” and the band’s upcoming national tour. Check it out!
For those who don’t know, tell us about yourself and Kaleido!
I am the lead singer of Kaleido. We’ve been together for three years and just finished our second album, Unbreakable. We leave soon for our first national tour with Alien Ant Farm.
How did your passion for music start?
At four years old, I started singing Patsy Cline songs with my Grandma. I started playing the violin at seven and then later the guitar…music has always been a part of my life. Growing up I was involved in theater and always loved performing – being on stage came pretty natural to me.
Patsy Cline is a legend, what other artists were part of your early influences?
Loved Jewel, I performed all of her songs acoustically. I was really inspired by Patsy Cline and Jewel’s singing and songwriting abilities. My love for rock music started because of my Dad, he listed to a lot of Classic Rock, AC/DC, and Guns N’ Roses.
You’re achieving your music dreams and Kaleido has quickly gained popularity…has it been a little surreal?
It’s been a truly amazing experience. This three years has flown by. We have a great team working with us that has allowed us to accomplish so much. Our manager, Mikey Eckstein, and his team have given us the opportunity to perform with so many successful artists – it has been amazing.
What has been your greatest “Wow” moment since Kaleido has taken off?
*Laughs* A few years ago I went to Kid Rock’s house. Standing in his front yard, I watched him carrying in his groceries and was like “WOW, where am I?” When was young, I remember my Dad blasting Kid Rock in his truck while I ran around in the front yard. It was a pretty memorable experience.
Tell me about what it was like recording your latest album, Unbreakable.
It was great, so much fun. We recorded at Pearl Studio in Canton. Our producer, Chuck Alkazian, kept things fun and professional.
Describe what it’s like to have the KaleidoFam supporting you! What’s your most memorable fan experience?
It’s amazing. Their support is so tremendous. They have been compared to some of the strongest, most hardcore fan bases out there. The KaleidoFam called 89x and helped us win the People’s Choice for 11 consecutive nights, beating out songs by artists we have looked up to for a long time. It was mind-blowing to us because we didn’t realize the extent of support we had at that time. I feel like that experience was the birth of the KaleidoFam, and it has just been growing ever since. We love hanging out at our merch table after our shows to meet fans. It’s awesome our music can touch people and connect with them, and the KaleidoFam’s support means so much. Feels great to touch lives.
The most memorable experience was meeting with a fan named Jeremiah. He was a very ill, and his Dad reached out to the band asking us to visit him. His dad explained that he was really scared and feeling down while in the hospital. He told us that it would mean the world to him if we could stop in to visit him. So we did just that. To see that little boy light up when we walked in the door, it was something I’ll never forget. It’s so incredible that our music can touch people’s lives in such a way. Jeremiah is all better and is a frequent front row fixture at our shows. We’ve got such an appreciation and love for our “KaleidoFam.”
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Alien Ant Farm?
I’m looking forward to touring cities we’ve never been to before, especially with such a successful band like Alien Ant Farm. I’m really looking forward to enjoying the road, excited to grow the KaleidoFam to other states once we hit the road.
Growing up here, describe what it’s like to perform in Detroit. What makes you proud about being a musician from Detroit?
Detroit is electric, full of life and excitement, so many great artists and great music. The history of Detroit music makes me really proud to be a part of; it’s such a musically rich city. It’s Detroit Rock City for a reason. When I perform here, I feel so much love, I’m comfortable, I feel like I’m with my people. Detroit music is very authentic, and the music scene should be respected. Detroit is a city you need to work hard to get anywhere, no one is going to give you anything. Everyone deserves what they’ve earned because they’ve worked hard for it.
Is there a Detroit music legend that has been an inspiration for you?
I grew up going to Ted Nugent concerts with my parents. We opened for Kid Rock in Vegas, which was a big highlight. Of course, Eminem and Aretha Franklin, they are inspirational, such large Detroit icons. Ty Stone is another influence, I performed with him and he was great, I love his music.
If you could create your dream concert with artists to perform with Kaleido, who would be on the bill?
First of all, it would be at The Fillmore. The architecture is amazing, the sound is amazing, I love the size; it’s big enough, but it’s still an intimate experience. The performers would be Kid Rock and Eminem, they’re an easy choice. I just watched a documentary on the punk band Death, their story is incredible; I’d add Death and Wilson. Wilson is doing big things. *Laughs* If I could, I’d bribe Bob Seger to perform the encore.
During your downtime, what’s your favorite restaurant to pig out?
Bucharest Grill, I love that place. I’d order the chicken shawarma, red pepper hummus, and a Bloody Mary. They have great Bloody Mary’s.
There you have it! We wish Christina Chriss and Kaleido all the best as they start their tour and rock the road! Catch Kaliedo on tour NOW with Alien Ant Farm! They will be in Battle Creek at Planet Rock on 8/14 and in Chesterfield at The Diesel Lounge on 8/24!
More information about Kaleido, including their new album Unbreakable, can be found at KaleidoBand.com and Kaleido’s Facebook page. Plus, click HERE to check out footage from Kaleido’s release of Unbreakable at the Majestic on 3/29. Video contains performance footage and an interview about their new album!