cover photography Rudolf Bekker
Baby Alpaca’s sound is a summery medley of heartwarming dreams, alluring undertones, and haunting rhythms, all wrapped up in ethereal goodness. The band’s members, Chris Kittrell and Zach McMillan, find themselves continuously traveling between Seattle and New York for music. With the little free time they have, they design and paint clothes, film music videos, and sail along the west coast. The charming talent of the two will hoist you up from wherever you are, and carry you through a dazzling and meditative reverie, flooded with effortless happiness.
How was the Strictly Sexual remix show in NYC?
We played a few shows and they were all different and wonderful in their own way. My favorite was our performance in The Boom Boom Room, atop the Standard Hotel. It is such a beautiful classic space. And has such a great view of the Hudson River and Manhattan. It is like a big fancy glass tree house with a grand piano. A lot of my friends came and it's just always so fun to [have] a release to celebrate the end of a lot of hard work.
Who remixed the songs for you and how did you decide which ones would be released?
We started reaching out to our music world friends, then listened to everything we received when it was time to turn the tracks in. Anything that got me dancing and made us happy made the list.
You have your own clothing line. What inspired you to start it?
I was in my friend Kevin Baker's art studio one day and had been making tank tops for our band t-shirts and made a stencil to paint our logo on. Being around all the paint and art supplies lead to me splatter-painting the tanks (which was also similar to a demo music video I made for Run With You with Baker that Interview Magazine premiered). I started making splatter clothes in a bunch of different styles and that was pretty much the beginning of it.
Do you have a particular muse in mind when designing?
All of my friends act as muses. I want to keep the collection comfy, soft, and sexy.
You travel a lot across the States. Do you find elements of traveling (ie: flying, clouds, random people, time away from scheduled life) play a role in your ethereal sound?
Definitely. All of my travels and experiences on the road turn into the music in one way or another. The sound is also true to the things I hear swarming around the deep crevices of my brain.
What is an important aspect you look for in people when choosing friends or significant others?
I don't think about it much. My relationships seem to choose me. I have a reaction when I first meet someone and I always try to follow that reaction. I love love at first sight.
What are some pros and cons of both the fashion and music industries?
PROS: Freedom to be creative with friends
CONS: Things seems to take five times as long as you would like them to
What is your heritage and has it played a role in your music?
I have been interested in my Native American (Cherokee Indian) heritage recently. I love all of the fetish charms and symbols as well as being in touch with nature and the things we can lift from it and learn from it.
Do you view music as a mere creative outlet or more?
It is a creative outlet for sure, but also philosophical. I express the lessons of my life in the lyrics I write, it helps me work through things. It acts as a cathartic activity.
What's the biggest personal change you've ever made?
Losing all thoughts of judgment. Constantly checking myself. But much less these days. Being an understanding person is the most beautiful and wise thing in my opinion.
Do you believe in a spiritual realm that humanity rarely taps into?
I am definitely spiritual. I believe most in our personal human spirit and the way our energy combines with those around us to make something bigger and more powerful than just one. For example, thousands of people applauding after they hear their favorite song at a big concert. That is so special – it's a lot of spirit, infectious applause, laughter, and smiles.
Have you ever had a spiritual experience?
Once I was at a Beach House concert at Webster Hall in New York and was so happy. I couldn't keep my eyes off of Victoria Legrand the whole show. And she kept looking at me! First I thought it was in my head, then my friend was like, "Dude, she keeps looking at you!" It was their last song, “Gila”, and I was swaying and dancing and smiling really big and then started laughing and Victoria looked at me, she started laughing, the guitarist started laughing, and then almost everyone in Webster Hall laughed. It was such a cool chain reaction and one of my favorite musical experiences ever.
Did you attend post-secondary school?
I did. I first attended The Lee Strasberg Institute for acting, then The University of Cincinnati (where I studied psychology, art history, creative writing, fine arts, and fashion). I also went to The Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. Additionally, a lot of private voice teaching.
Do you think it aided you or no?
My education, which is all across the board, has given me many skills that I use daily. But I am always learning, whether in school or not.
When and where are you the happiest?
With my family (and by this I mean all of my friends, a chosen/curated family). What we do and share with each other makes me so happy!