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Rockers And Other Animals is pleased to host one of the international heavy metal legends, KAT.
Musically, KAT have always been an unpredictable metal monster that thrived in speed, heavy metal, black metal and later in thrash metal. In 2019 they are HEAVIER THAN EVER. The Quartet with the band’s constant leader and guitarist Piotr Luczyk at the forefront is tearing slowly at the guts of Heavy Metal. The monstrous guitar, however, always remains classically melodic. KAT left the old relationships to Venom and Sodom far behind, but in 2019 they compete with Accept and Rage. KAT will be in full bloom in 2019.
Let's get to know them better.
Hello Piotr, welcome on the Rockers website and Other Animals, first of all, can you give us basic information about you and about your band? For those who do not know KAT.
Hello, KAT is a band that I founded a long time ago, in December 1979. The band started as a Hard Rock outfit. Later it evolved through a number of stages until it came to Thrash Metal. My musical education started with a classical guitar so in KAT's music you can hear something of the classics. We recorded 11 original albums, several concerts, DVDs and compilations. There are several dozen pirate releases of our records on the market. We have played tours together with Metallica, Helloween, Six Feet Under and many more. We have also played with Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Pretty Mids. I am the originator of the Metalmania festival and Cover Festival. And that's just for starters.
All details can be found at www.kat-band.com
Whose idea was it to start a music project?
In 1978, I heard a concert by Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant, as if he was calling out to me. At that time I knew only of The Beatles and other such bands. I thought that Zeppelin were incredible. Later, I discovered Deep Purple and Black Sabbath and became immersed in this kind of music. Over time, I learned to play and discovered novelties and technique. It was only years later that I understood that music consciousness is the most important thing. Some artists work for years alone while others have producers. Anyway, music has become my life.
What is "KAT" for you?
Literally translated the word means 'Executioner'. I came up with the name at school when I was 12 years old. It was about someone who brings justice. Such children’s visions! Currently, apart from my family, the band is the most important part of my life. Here in Poland where I started I did not think that I would ever go abroad and, more particularly, that I would play with some of the greats! Those were different times. Music from the west made a huge impression. I bought posters of my idols and of course I wanted to match them. 6 years after KAT's first manifestation, we played with Metallica on the Master Of Puppets tour.
Can you say something more about the upcoming album "Without Looking Back”?
The new KAT album is a story about my musical maturation. You can hear echoes of our idols, but I hear that on the albums of all artists. KAT's music has changed over the years. We never repeated ideas from old albums. Before the release of this record I had a few years break and therefore, time to think about it. I approached WLB with time and great distance. I decided to play what I really like, regardless of time or genre. The most important thing for me was that I should be able to listen to this record for my own pleasure. In the past, this has not always succeeded. The tracks are varied but you can hear our style on all of them. Playing songs from WLB we have a smile on our faces all the time and that's what I intended. WLB is the most mature album and the one from which I have derived the most satisfaction. This record opens a new chapter in the life of KAT.
Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics in your songs?
The author of the lyrics is Robert Millord. He wrote outstanding lyrics for KAT's first single in 1985, thanks to which KAT established its identity. Robert has lived in the USA for over 30 years but we are in constant contact. I live in the UK, so the world is small!
What is your inspiration for writing lyrics?
It usually comes from several different sources.
First, I get music ideas, demos, and they evoke in me some painting-like impressions. I can see music, its colors, intensity, contrasts between darkness and light – I start to see scenes and look for words to paint them with.
Very often the scenes correspond relate to the political events, social affairs and personal episodes surrounding me in the time of writing.
The words have to be, of course, in harmony with music, its rhythm and sound. Vocals are very important instruments in a musical composition.
My lyrics have always been very inter-fused with politics. There are real political and social events depicted in the texts I write. My way of seeing the world in a rebellious way probably originated from the reality of the world, completely soaked in “righteous” political rhetoric of the communistic regime, I was unfortunately born and raised in.
The explicit expressions in my lyrics are oftentimes referenced to religion as one of the most significant burden of humanity with eternal and not so obvious war between Good and Evil. The distinction between the two is often lost and far from clear.
If possible, give an overview of all your work.
I can, but it's quite a lot. I think that apart from Without Looking Back, our most important albums are Mind Cannibals and the Oddech Wymarlych Swiatow (Breath of Extinct Worlds). We debuted with Metal and Hell. Metal and Hell was recently hailed by Metal Hammer and awarded to the position of one of the 40 most important HM records. And for a change, I recommend our Acoustic 8 Filmow. These are acoustic versions of our most famous songs from years ago. Find details at www.kat-band.com
What do you want to convey to those who listen to your albums and those who come to your concerts?
I guess the mere pleasure of diving into a world that suits them. In my opinion music is one of the few invisible things that can change your mood, and make you happy for a moment. Music can transfer you to your personal intangible world without drugs, alcohol or money. This is very unique. I experience it myself and I hope I give it to others.
What are your influences and inspirations?
Here I will show my age! I grew up with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. When we played together with Metallica on the Master of Puppets Tour, I talked to Lars about our sources of inspiration. We we had many of the same idols. He lived in the US and had to borrow from the blues. I lived in Europe and did my own thing. I was curious that many artists have the same inspiration and play such different music. Although theoretically there are many points in common. In KAT's music there are a lot of classical influences mixed with the general craziness. I I am satisfied that our fans identify KAT's own style. This is very important to me.
How do you think the world of hard rock and metal music has changed?
Inevitably, audiences have grown older. Hard rock and metal were an aesthetic, a style, and an alternative to 'hippie' music. So for example, The Byrds vs. Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane vs. Black Sabbath. This dynamic is no longer with us. Perhaps it is difficult to attract new audiences. There is now a variety of popular music, and much of it 'processed'.
Another aspect is the visual element. Audiences expect video, lighting, dancing, choreography. Gone are the great albums that you just listened to for weeks! An example for me is Led Zeppelin 1. I listened to that album for months. And I suppose it was the record which gave me the impulse to see them play live.
Communities, radio stations, record companies, confused period in the Internet age, we all know pros, a lot of musical diffusion, but what is lost in choosing a disc or discovering a group?
What is lost, I think, is the personal element. Listening to an album with friends was a kind of character reference. If you go back to Robert Johnson, it's just the music, the feel. I think now music is a lot more about business - merchandise. And audiences expect more than instrumental virtuosity or great song writing.
The want to be entertained
Thank you very much for this chat, is there anything I did not ask you for and would you like to say?
Yes. First of all, I invite you to our concerts, secondly I have to say that rock fans treat music almost like a religion and this demonstrates that such music will live forever. If you want to write a review of Without Looking Back, we will send autographed CD's of the album to the three most interesting and insightful contributions. Keep Rockin KAT!!