- "KEEP PLUCKING" The Great Kat Interview in "The
Statesman" India Newspaper
- By Mathures Paul, The Statesman India Newspaper
- Keep plucking
The Great Kats music cuts like a knife. The worlds
fastest woman guitarist has given the music of Beethoven, Wagner and Bach a twist that
jolts sensibilities of traditionalists and heavy metal musicians a new avenue, writes
Take one part Juilliard graduate, one part metal-head, one part classical music
virtuoso, and one part pure, all-consuming politically incorrect passion, mix vigorously,
and you might have a portion of The Great Kat. This is how Harris Fogel described
The Great Kat, the inventor of shred-classical music, a combination of actual classical
masterpieces (that of Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, Paganini and others) mixed with fast,
vicious ripping shred metal. She is among the top 10 fastest shredders of all time!
Dont expect to find an angel with rainbow-coloured wings and a halo on her head when
you read about The Great Kat. She is one tough woman.
Born Katherine Thomas in Swindon, England (in a US Air Force base military hospital), she
moved to the US at the age of three. She grew up listening to Beethoven and this inspired
her to become a composer and musical revolutionary. She learnt the piano at age seven and
at age nine she began classical violin studies in New York.
- The first question that comes to mind when you speak to her is how does she turn a
classical composition into a speedy version with modern instruments?
- The Great Kat is a guitar shredder and Juilliard graduate classically trained
violin virtuoso who is actually taking classical masterpieces from Wagner, Beethoven,
Rossini, Vivaldi, Paganini and other geniuses and mixes it with metal shred. Then
she will command you to watch her new DVD, Extreme Guitar Shred. It features six extreme
guitar music videos ~ Zapateado (classical violin/guitar virtuosity, shred version of
Pablo de Sarasates virtuoso violin piece Zapateado), Torture Chamber, Live in
Chicago, Dominatrix and War (her response to 9/11). It also has shred versions of
classical music masterpieces ~ Wagners The Ride of the Valkyries (from Wagners
opera Die Walkure), Liszts Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Vivaldis The Four
Seasons, Bazzinis The Round of the Goblins and Sarasates Zapateado.
- The Great Kat won a full scholarship to attend at age 15 to go to the prestigious
Juilliard School in New York City as a violin student. She became the concert master of
the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra and won the Robert Hufstader Scholarship in theory at
Juilliard. The Great Kat graduated with honours from Juilliard School and began
performing, first as a Classical violin soloist at Carnegie Recital Hall and then soloing
extensively in Mexico, the US and Europe.
- The masses want eccentricity and excitement and thats what The Great Kat is
giving them, she replies in third person. Michael Molenda of Guitar Player Magazine
once said: The Great Kat can outplay just about every guitarist on the planet. She
can zoom up and down a fret board faster than a hungry cheetah on steroids. Her fret board
speed is awesome. And how right he was!
- Her guitar gurus and favourite Western classical music composers are diverse. Among her
guitar gurus are Hendrix and, ahem, herself. Her favourite Western classical music
composers are Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Rossini!
- All composers after Beethoven are boring. Beethoven was an exciting composer and
wrote music to energise. And thats the whole point of The Great Kats
shred-classical music ~ speeding your brain up with complex music and making you a quick
thinker, a genius who is able to compete in an Internet-driven society.
- She is the only musician taking note-for-note authentic classical music scores (from
Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Liszt, Paganini and Rossini) and entering the original
scores into music-notation software for editing, arranging and orchestrating it with shred
guitar. Finally, she mixes it with speed metal band and classical orchestra. The Great
Kats music is known worldwide for its phenomenal speeds, complex motives,
counterpoint layering, guitar riffs, maniacal screams, heavy rhythms and thrashing sounds.
- She is always dressed in leather and looks like a heavy metal star even from miles
always. Some can even say her dress sense is outrageous. But what she is doing is
different, extremely different (whether you like it or not) and is being received by a
niche audience. Its all a part of The Great Kats outrageous, brilliant
and eccentric persona! Now, who can counter such statements.
- Her music is even spreading in Hollywood. Her rendition of Liszts Hungarian
Rhapsody No. 2 has been featured in Jason Bunchs new comedy film Coming Attractions.
She recently performed on NBC TVs Weekend Today in NY as the worlds
fastest female guitarist. Her numbers in the show were renditions of The Flight Of
The Bumble-Bee and Liszts piece.
- And her future plans. Continuing in third person she says,She is in the
pre-production stage for the Super Virtuoso CD, which will feature the first shredding
violin and guitar version of Paganinis Caprice No 24 and the outrageously fast
Flight of the Bumble-Bee. So, wake up! She hopes to spread shred-classical music to fans