New York transplant Audrey Moesch founded Kitten with a Whip with Mark Cover in 1995 as an alt-rock and groove band. “A mixture of styles,” she says, “and some punk.” For various reasons, they broke up in 2003. “We had some members move, and some members got married. We tried to keep it going but after a while,” she says, “I thought, Why not give it a rest?”
A veteran of the local underground rock scene with roots that go back to long-defunct venues such as the Spirit Club (now Brick by Brick), Moesch found early success in the local all-girl band Luna. “I don’t know if it’s that different being a woman rocker. People might label you a woman musician and think you’re not a good guitarist. But they’re surprised when I play a good solo. They don’t see that too often.” One of Luna’s originals made it onto a 91X compilation CD.
Is Moesch the kitten with a whip? Yes and no, she says. “The thing people say about me is that I’m different onstage. Dressing in skirts and fishnets once in a while helps.” Friends of friends, she says, came up with the band name. “And it worked.” There’s a yin-yang aspect to it, she explains, “cutesy versus tough.” When asked if the kitten with a whip theme connotes an underlying sexuality, Moesch says, “it could be about anything you want it to be.”
That, and Kitten with a Whip is also the title of an old Ann-Margret film. Yes, she’s seen it. “It’s about Ann’s character seducing a politician,” says Moesch, “and then blackmailing him.”
Aside from the occasional reunion gig, the Kitten remained silent for several years, until 2010. “We did a birthday gig in 2010 at Portugalia in O.B.,” Moesch says. It was her birthday, actually. “That’s what I like to do.” After Moesch’s birthday bash, KWW drummer Rick Favale wanted to get the band back together. “Rick and I haven’t played together for almost ten years, except for when we performed at our friend Gary’s birthday party on the roof of his garage,” says Moesch. “I really missed playing in the band.”
Moesch is the principal songwriter in the reunited Kitten. She says a lot of her material is about “dealing with relationships and breakups, getting through them and hanging in there...hope and strength.”
As of 2011, the lineup includes bassist Laura Payne and Eddie Kolenski on guitar. Mark Cover is no longer with the group.