Kilobytes, Komputers, and Kraziness
An Interview With The Great Kat
by: Brian Meloon
Most long-time metal fans are familiar with the Great Kat, the Juilliard-trained violinist who realized that classical music was dead and switched to metal, releasing two albums on RoadRacer in the late 80s. Like many solo guitarists of the time, Kat's style was based upon a fusion of classical music and metal, dubbed "Bach rock", or more appropriately, "neoclassical metal." Kat describes her variant of this style as "Cyberspeed -- the NEXT step in metal and music -- FAST, ripping, vicious classically oriented violin solos on the guitar in speed-metal format. That's brilliant!" However, unlike most of the aforementioned guitar soloists, Kat is still recording neoclassical metal.

       Always having claimed that "THE GREAT KAT IS THE FUTURE!! WAKE UP TO IT NOW!!", Kat tries to live up to that billing, with the release of _Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed_, a combination audio CD/CD-ROM for IBMs and Macs, which Kat believes to be "the wave of the future."

       The idea for _DBoC_ was hatched in the mind of Larry Shiller, CEO of the Bureau of Electronic Publishing (BEP), who saw Kat's _Beethoven on Speed_ CD (RoadRacer, 1990), and according to Kat, "thought it would be a FANTASTIC idea to bring classical music to kids through metal and interactive computer technology." (Well naturally... who would you rather have teaching your kids about classical music than a diminutive lingerie-clad dominatrix who claims to be the reincarnation of Beethoven?) After two years of production, _DBoC_ was finally unleashed upon the world on Nov. 1, 1995. Unlike most other currently available music CD-ROMs, _DBoC_ features more than just music and graphics, including KAT IQ tests about classical composers (with commentary by Kat), KAT TV (including the Kat shopping channel and weather channel), a virtual orchestra, and much more. Clearly a lot of serious work went into this, reflecting Kat's hope that it should "set the standard for ALL CD-ROMs -- music or otherwise -- to come." However, the main intent of _DBoC_ is entertainment, as Kat challenges: "I dare you not to be laughing the whole time you watch this CRAZED CD-ROM." It also contains five new Kat songs, which comprise some of her best work yet. To my ears, they sound cleaner, more precise, and a little bit slower, although Kat disagrees, stating "_Digital Beethoven On Cyberspeed_ is in fact FASTER than anything I've done before -- Listen to Cyberspeed -- DAMMIT!!! If anything, the Kat Tyrannical Maniacal Demonic Speed Machine is faster than ever!"

       A tour is planned in support of _DBoC_, which she claims will be "the UTMOST in multimedia extravaganzas! Lots of videos, lighting, computer technology, WILD Kat Slaves on stage (Rubbing my feet, feeding me candy, bowing, worshipping, etc.), and Cyberspeed music that will get your brain plastered to the wall and send you zooming into the 21st century. Call your local club and DEMAND The Great Kat and Cyberspeed or be left behind in the 16th century."

       In keeping with her desire to be the future of music, a followup CD-ROM is already in the planning stages. Tentative plans call for the inclusion of Kat videos filmed on the _DBoC_ tour, the Kat video game, and Kat's own AI-driven program called "the Riffchecker", which will take a short melody and write a whole piece in Kat's cyberspeed style. Kat explains that she developed the Riffchecker herself, and is currently "dealing with various programmers and computer technology to complete it. It will take a while for programmers to develop it using today's primitive AI methods."

       Only time will tell what the future will hold, but it's safe to assume that computers and multimedia technology are here to stay. The Great Kat is poised to lead the charge of musicians into the new world of CD-ROMs, explaining that, "It's time the rest of the world wakes up and understands the power of computers -- then they'll ALL understand Cyberspeed!! Watch!!!" And until they do, Kat leaves us with a prescription for the future: "Get _Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed_ and wake your brain up to the future. Call the Great Kat personally at 212-799-9392 for the wake up call of your life!!! GET IT SLAVES??? I AM THE FUTURE -- Get USED TO IT NOW!!!!"

For more info, write to Kat at: greatkat@aol.com

or: 75523.2414@compuserve.com

and check out: http://www.bep.com/kat.html

(article submitted 17/1/1996)


ALBUMS
1/16/1999 B Meloon 5 The Great Kat - Bloody Vivaldi
3/16/1997 B Meloon 6 The Great Kat - Guitar Goddess
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