Q&A with Kat of Kat and The Mad Dogz

Kat Kat 2Q: Tell me about how you got to where you are, how did it all start? 

A: “I started playing the violin in sixth grade. I grew up in Austin, Texas (The Live Music Capital of the World) and it was the greatest place for me to pick up an instrument.”

 “I was in a band with a friend when I was in 8th grade, we were called ‘Day Katz’ and we were adorable. It was my friend, Daley, and I, singing.”

Q: Did you always plan to be in a band or did you try to do solo shows?

A. “I always wanted to play in a band. I played in the Tehachapi Symphony when our family moved to California. I also picked up the cello in ninth grade. I moved around with my family from California to Washington State. When there, I performed with a symphony. When we moved to Pa. I played with the West Chester Symphony before graduating college.”

Q: How did you go about finding a band?

A: “I found several on Craigslist. I found an 80s metal band, which I performed with for a while out in Allentown. I also found the Trans Siberian Orchestra and performed with them for a while.”

Q: How did you go about finding the “Mad Dogz”?

A: “I found them online and after a few members switched, we have the group that’s currently performing. That includes: John Doer on the drums, Jim Speck on the base, and Ken Young on the guitar.”

Q: How did the band “Kat and The Mad Dogz” get its name?

A: “John [Doer] came up with it, I think because it just goes well with Kat [cats and dogs].

Q: Your voice is amazing. Did you take professional voice lessons? 

A: “I did for a bit. I credit my good genes for my voice. My grandmother, Bette Watson, was an opera singer. I didn’t really get a benefit from lessons; the teachers didn’t really like my gritty style. My father, Bob Watson, is my biggest critique and biggest fan. He would tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

Q: I’ve seen you perform several times and I’m always blown away by your energy, you really put all you’ve got into each song. Were you always this way?

A: “Yes. I think over time, as I get older, I have become more confident, but I’ve always been high-energy and intense with my music. I’m ok making a fool out of myself. I like going to run up and dance with someone [in the crowd] or on the bar, just because I can. I always put all of myself into each song.”

Q: You play the violin and the chello. Which one is your favorite?

A: “I have taken violin lessons and studied under many players. I think I have more formal training in the violin than anything else. When I’m having a bad day, and I come home, 90 percent of the time I’m going to pick up my violin and play to get out my frustrations.”

Q: How do you get along with the other members of the band?

A:   “I adore my ‘mad dogz’ band family. There are no egos and I feel safe. They are like family and I trust them. I love the people I play music with which is why I’m willing to give up sleep and be exhausted because playing with them and hanging out with them is my happy place.”

Q: You’ve been pretty busy with gigs in the last year. How are you keeping the show interesting or new?

A: “I think the people make each event different. Meeting new people, and learning new songs, and playing at different venues, is always going to make the performance interesting. The people I meet are the best part, I love talking with and meeting new people.”

Q: What do you love the most about performing?

A: “The ability to let go of my emotions. I am a red head and very emotional [laughing].  I love to be able to release that energy good or bad, I still enjoy the experience of being able to release that energy.

Q: I’ve seen you play a few times, but usually you perform covers, do you have any originals? 

A: “We have one original that we are preforming during gigs. We are working on getting enough songs together to do an album, but we all have day jobs, so it makes it hard to get together for band practice much less to record. I’m also in an acoustic band with Rich Wise. We are called ‘Watson and Wise’ and we are working on an album of original songs.”

Q: I had no idea you were in another group! What kind of music is that and where do you two perform?

A: “We have played Sunday brunches and we are kind-of folk and pop. We took a break for a while due to some medical issues that Rich had, but we opened for Holly Williams during this year’s Launch Festival in Lancaster.”

“Watson and Wise are scheduled to perform at MoMo’s BBQ & Grille on Friday, October 4 from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ”

Q: How many hours do you practice?

A: “I practice a lot. With ‘Kat and the Mad Dogz’ about three hours a week, with

‘Watson and Wise’ about  three hours a week, plus I practice on my own for over 10 hours each week.

Q: What are your goals going forward?

A: “I’m not sure. Part of me would love to just do music, but I don’t know by making my passion my only source of income, if I would enjoy it the most. What amount of music I can do before it becomes too much of a job? I don’t ever want my music to be stressful. I am an accountant by day now, but I don’t want to do that for the rest of my life. If a musical opportunity comes along, I’d be open to it. Right now we [Kat and the Mad Dogz] are booked every single weekend till the end of the year.”

Q: How do you deal with it all, performing, work, and just day-to-day stress?

A: “I workout and burn off the stress. I get up for the day job, but I’m always looking forward to the next show.”

Q: What’s your biggest challenge right now?

A: “Social Media [laughing]… I am not very technologically savy. I do love when people send messages on Facebook.

Q: Why do you love performing?

A: It is my happiness, I feel that I belong. Also I love meeting new people and music gives me the opportunity to always interact with new and interesting people.”

Go to Kat and The Mad Dogz’s website to check out their upcoming shows in Central Pennsylvania. Make sure to get to a gig!

Thanks to Kat for taking the time to talk with me!

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