By now it's no secret the purest of the pure heavy metal guitarists spent much of their time in conservatories or at least drowning themselves in private shelters studying the complex bars and sheets of classical symposiums from Bach, Grieg, Wagner, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Tchiakovsky, Vivaldi and of course, the glorious Ludwig Van (to quote Malcolm McDowell from nearly 40 years ago). All of that being said, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, along with Beethoven, has to be looked upon as the headbanger of his time.
The Great Kat has spent much time since the late eighties trying to resurrect the respectability factor of these timeless masterpieces by ushering their complex note sequences via modern distortion and blinding guitar shred. Moreover, through her ballcrushing persona, The Great Kat has historically thrown down against the masculine with uber-feminine self-fanatacism. Kat mimicks and directly cries foul against a perceived alpha narcissism flowing throughout rock and metal's testicular-pressed existence. If Kat herself swings low like the men she'd obligingly stick the butt-end prong of a Flying V up their wazoos, we're all in freaking trouble.
The fact of the matter is you either get The Great Kat or you don't. It frankly doesn't matter to her, so long as she can not only prove her worth on the six strings but also prove the old masters rank amongst the finest musicians to ever walk the earth if not the finest. Alias Kathryn Thomas, The Great Kat's character is a grand inquisitor who will just as soon seduce you in satin as well as wallop you over the head and torture you for hours ala those perverted rich gonzos in the Hostel flicks. Just as long as the score to such savagery is Beethoven set at hyperspeed, which The Great Kat is promoting these days courtesy of her new DVD Beethoven's Guitar Shred.
Suffice it to say, Kat had more than a few colorful words to say to The Metal Minute...
The Metal Minute: If they ever dare take on a contemporary remake of A Clockwork Orange, I’m demanding they consign you to do Beethoven’s "9th Symphony" since your frenetic playing would be apropos for this 24-7, never-rest generation. How would you meet such a proposal and what kind of scene(s) would best fit your scorching style of playing?
The Great Kat: A Clockwork Orange is a masterpiece worthy of The Great Kat’s shred-classic music! If they remake this movie, The Great Kat’s version of Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” would be vicious, fast, furious and virtuosic, with full classical orchestration and a metal band, with finger-blistering guitar virtuosity! The scene fitting for this would be like The Great Kat’s “Blood” music video (clip at http://www.greatkat.com/metalvideos/blood.wmv): a wild, vicious, bloody orgy scene with outrageous religious symbolism and dead bodies thrown around!
MM: Your new DVD Beethoven’s Guitar Shred is like your Wagner’s War video; hit ‘em fast, hit ‘em hard, leave ‘em wondering what the hell just happened. Both image and sound-wise, Beethoven’s Guitar Shred is sensory overload, be it your take on “Flight of the Bumblebee,” “Caprice 24” or Beethoven’s "5th Symphony." Do you feel in order to make an impact on a society which arrogantly feels it has seen it all you have to go full-out with as many bpms and scorching note sequences as you do?
TGK: Yes, the more bpms and scorching note sequences, the better! The Great Kat is forcing your brain to wake up with viciously fast guitar shredding of complex, countrapuntal classical music and vicious metal, which demands your attention with speed and complexity!
MM: On the flipside, your rendition of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto # 3” is not only gorgeous, it’s a chance for us to see a slightly more sensual side of The Great Kat. You even dress in white for this piece and even though your band is amusingly hamming it up in Victorian garb, I have to say there’s a direct antithesis to the throat-slitting bloody mayhem of the videos preceding it. Do you want the world to see there’s a duality to The Great Kat?
TGK: The Great Kat is a multifaceted Goddess! The Great Kat can be a bloody, evil, abusive, torturing dominatrix well as a Bach Baroque-era, lingerie-wearing, adorable Goddess! See for yourselves the multiple personalities of The Great Kat on Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto #3” music video!
MM: Respect is something fiercely contested for in the modern age, particularly with triple the population much less the number of artists in varying media including metal guitarists. Over the years you’ve been ramming your frets into the face of the metal scene and you’ve garnished a good bit of press not to mention making Guitar World and Guitar One magazines’ selective all-time lists. How has this long journey been for you in making your mark on a scene which values its guitar heroes and heroines in scrutinizing measures?
TGK: The Great Kat is on a lifelong, singlehanded mission to bring classical music to the masses using metal shred guitar and to wake up the entire civilization to the genius of classical music!
MM: The last time we interviewed, you offered to sodomize me with a stiletto! (laughs) I look at you as a modern day Red Sonja of the six string and violin; whomever you choose to be your partner is going to have to do serious battle to win your heart. Given your long-standing alpha-ego satirizing within your music and persona, what type of individual is going to win The Great Kat over?
TGK: WHO CARES?!? By the way, Ray, the offer of sodomizing you with The Great Kat’s stilletto still stands! Only now I will add in a little whipping, beating and waterboarding for good measure, now bow, peasant!
The Great Kat’s new “BEETHOVEN’S GUITAR SHRED” DVD Features:
-BEETHOVEN’S “5th SYMPHONY” http://www.greatkat.com/beethovens5thsymphonynew.wmv
-“The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee” http://www.greatkat.com/metalvideos/TheFlightOfTheBumbleBeeMusicVideo.wmv
-Paganini’s “Caprice #24” http://www.greatkat.com/metalvideos/PaganinisCaprice24.wmv
-Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto #3 http://www.greatkat.com/BachsBrandenburgConcerto3.wmv
and “BLOOD” Music video at http://www.greatkat.com/metalvideos/blood.wmv
DVD trailer at: http://www.greatkat.com/BeethovensGuitarShredVideosMenuMED.wmv
More DVD Video Clips: http://www.greatkat.com/dvd/dvd.html
Kat web site: http://www.greatkat.com
Copyright 2009 Ray Van Horn, Jr. / The Metal Minute