As most of you are aware, Kat Katz recently announced the split-up of Salome, the thundering doom project that consisted of Kat, Aaron Deal and Rob Moore. I was a big fan of Salome and I remain a huge fan of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, so I got in touch with Kat to do a quick Q&A.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Kat Katz and I sing for Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Up until recently, I fronted Salome.
How did you get your start in music?
I started doing screaming vocals when I was fifteen. I had some friends who were in a local death metal band, and they invited me to sing with them. I remember being greatly inspired by the experience, and felt that singing was something I needed to pursue.
How did you come into working with Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Salome?
Scott was given a demo of mine by JR, who I met when he was still in Hissing Choir. Scott liked my vocals and asked if I’d do guest vocals on Lost Cause for Pig Destroyer’s Terrifyer. After recording, Scott asked me if I’d be interested in working with ANb, which I thought would be awesome. I had listened to a couple of ANb’s releases before I joined and thought their music was very intense, basically a total assault on the ears. It took a few years to come together, but when he was finally set to record for the split with CROM, Scott had me come in. I was nervous as hell during the session, but Scott seemed impressed with the work I did, so things took off after that. I got the invitation to join full time on my birthday in 2007.
Salome formed around 2006. I had been searching for people to start a doom band with for about a year. I had jammed with many people in the area, and was feeling discouraged. Luckily, my friend Tony from the band, Three Faces of Eve, put me in contact with drummer Aaron Deal. Aaron brought guitarist Rob Moore into the picture, and as soon as we jammed, there was instant chemistry. Honestly, that day was one of the best days of my life. I knew I had found something special, and I fell deeply in love with the music. I’m very upset that we had to part ways.
Aside from Salome and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, have you been a part of any other bands?
Yes, but none I care to name. I’ve been in a bunch of metal and hardcore bands since I started singing. I was even in a goth rock band when I was seventeen.
Do you get the same rush performing now that you did when you started in music?
I do get a rush, but it’s not the same kind of rush I experienced when I was younger. When I was a teenager, the rush would come from the nervousness I felt right before I performed. Now, I’m very comfortable being on stage and the rush I feel is from the energy of performing, as well as the energy of the crowd.
I understand that you have toured quite a bit. For you, what are the ups and downs of touring?
I haven’t toured a whole lot, but I have done some. From my experience, the best part about touring is playing almost every night, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. The negative aspects about touring are the sleep deprivation, not being able to eat regularly and healthily. Also, because I don’t drink or do drugs, I don’t like being around it. That being said, I’m used to it.
There has been a lot of talk about female-fronted metal bands in the last few years. Some say that it’s awesome and some doubt a woman’s ability to play with metal bands. Personally, I am all for equal opportunities in every aspect of life. What are your thoughts on female-fronted bands and the negative stereotypes of close-minded individuals?
I think that there should be more women in metal, but I believe that in general, there needs to be more diversity. I’d love to see more African Americans, Asians, etc. become involved in the metal scene. I am very passionate about human rights, and I think it’s very disheartening that strong discriminatory ideas are still very much alive and prevent people from pursuing their passions and becoming successful. I do think that humanity is evolving past these unethical beliefs, albeit slowly, and I anticipate the metal scene becoming more diverse over time.
I understand that no person listens to metal exclusively. What are some of the more obscure things that you enjoy listening to?
I wouldn’t consider anything that I listen to particularly obscure, but outside of metal, I love listening to Hank Williams Senior, Ralph Stanley, Johnny Cash, Woven Hand, Dead Can Dance, and William Elliott Whitmore. Recently, I’ve been addicted to Portishead’s self-titled album.
Are there any metal bands that have been an influence to you that you could mention?
Pig Destroyer and Yob. Both have been an influence on me vocally. I think there is something incredibly special about these bands. They’re powerful and thought provoking. For me, listening to Pig destroyer is very cathartic (brings up just about every deep-seated issue I have), and listening to Yob is more of spiritual experience.
Can you tell me what some of the things that inspire your writing of lyrics are?
My spiritual practice has become my main source of inspiration. Over time, my writing has made a shift from personal to spiritual/philosophical. I came to feel that my small experiences with relationships, etc. weren’t of much importance. I’d rather write about something much more encompassing, and communicate what I feel is most important, what really needs to be said.
I’d like to thank Kat for this interview and I hope to work with her again in the future. Just because the band is no longer together, don’t stop buying Salome CDs and merch as well as ANb merch. Grind for life!