"KEEP PLUCKING" The Great Kat Interview in "The Statesman" India Newspaper
By Mathures Paul, The Statesman India Newspaper NEW!! "KEEP PLUCKING": "The Statesman" India Newspaper Interview with The Great Kat!! - By Mathures Paul - "The Great Kat’s music cuts like a knife. The world’s 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." - Mathures Paul, The Statesman
"KEEP PLUCKING" The Great Kat Interview in "The Statesman" India Newspaper"KEEP PLUCKING" The Great Kat Interview in "The Statesman" India Newspaper
Keep plucking
The Great Kat’s music cuts like a knife. The world’s 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 Mathures Paul

‘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! Don’t 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 Sarasate’s 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 ~ Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries (from Wagner’s opera Die Walkure), Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Bazzini’s The Round of the Goblins and Sarasate’s 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 that’s 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 that’s the whole point of The Great Kat’s 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.”

"KEEP PLUCKING" The Great Kat Interview in "The Statesman" India Newspaper
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 Kat’s 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. “It’s all a part of The Great Kat’s outrageous, brilliant and eccentric persona!” Now, who can counter such statements.

Her music is even spreading in Hollywood. Her rendition of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 has been featured in Jason Bunch’s new comedy film Coming Attractions. She recently performed on NBC TV’s Weekend Today in NY as the “world’s fastest female guitarist”. Her numbers in the show were renditions of The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee and Liszt’s 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 Paganini’s Caprice No 24 and the outrageously fast Flight of the Bumble-Bee. So, wake up! She hopes to spread shred-classical music to fans in India.”


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