There’s a grungy metal goddess in Kat Cuthbertson. She writes searing rock licks that chill the spine. That’s a good thing, especially if you’re missing Black Crowes-esque, hair-flingin’ rock from the ’90s.
With that said, Kat is by no means short on pop sensibilities. Her BandLab covers reveal an endearing sensitivity that pays homage to the originals. Kat definitely has a great ear for the classics. Her solid renditions of The Strokes’ ‘You Only Live Once’, Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ and Alice In Chains’ ‘Man In A Box’ are note-perfect for a whisky night with the squad.
In our interview, we chat about her musical inspirations, her creative process with BandLab, and a defining live show where she surprised everyone in the audience.
Who are you, as an artist?
I’m still finding myself as an artist. I can’t pin myself down to one genre, I sound more folk, indie probably, but at the same time, I tend to draw inspiration from the ’90s rock I was raised on. I would definitely say my voice is unique. I really like taking cover songs and putting my own spin on them, and it seems that people respond well to that.
Who were your music heroes growing up? Tell us why.
It would have to be Ed Roland from Collective Soul, for two reasons. The first being that when he sings, he totally embraces everything in his voice that makes him unique. In doing that, he conveys so much emotion to his listeners.
Second, when you see him in concert, you see the sheer happiness and joy that he gets from playing music, and it’s electric. I think those two reasons over the years have made me admire him a lot. He reminds me that as a musician, what’s important is not the quest for fame or fortune, it’s really about loving the music, the high you get from doing it.
Nothing else can get you that natural high.
What makes you truly happy?
Making music makes me completely happy. When I’m making music, I’m peaceful, I’m relaxed. I’m a very creative person and music is my creative outlet. When I’ve written a song and I’ve polished it up, I get a huge satisfaction from that.
What was your earliest memory of music?
It would have to be me playing music with my dad. That has always been very special to me.
I will always remember how, one night when I was playing with my old classic rock band, I was supposed to sing ‘Jealous again’ by the Black Crowes. Now, normally, I would sing next to my keyboard because I was shy, and I didn’t want to be out in front of everyone.
But that night, my dad, who was also in the band, made me get out to the front of the stage. He was like, “put on a show.” I was so nervous, I didn’t want to be up in front of everybody, but I said to myself, “you know what, just let yourself go and sing.”
And that’s what I did. I let my voice do what it does naturally. The crowd was very responsive, and afterwards, this girl came up to me and said, “you know, I saw this shy, little timid thing step out of the shadows, and I did not expect what came out when you started to sing.”
That for me was really huge. It gave me the confidence I needed to be myself musically. Not to try to be someone else and make my voice sound better, but just embrace it and really be me.
Tell us about your experience with BandLab.
I found BandLab while searching for an app that I could use on my phone to record music. It was at the top of the app list, and I thought, “Oh, I’ll give it a try.” It turned out to be really good.
I used the mobile app on my phone. It was really great, easy to use, featuring great recordings. I’ve since started using it on my PC, and I love all the different features that come with it. I must say, I’m getting a little addicted to it. All I want to do now is make music.
Another thing that is really great about BandLab is the Community. The people are so friendly and helpful and they eventually turn out to be friends. In a world where so much is going wrong, we can all come together in this one place and celebrate this one thing that means a lot to us, and that’s music.
Dream a bit here. What would your superpower be?
I would want to have the power of flight. That ability would let me visit all the friends that I’ve met on BandLab. Or maybe the super ability to persuade people with my voice. They would hear me sing, and maybe feel more peaceful, calm, and kinder to those around them. I guess that’s a nice thought.