April 04/28/15, 2015
Sit Kitty Sit crosses rock and pop, with piano laden elements, creating a vibrancy and burst of light in the San Francisco scene. The duo of Kat Downs Gaudette and Mike Thompson provide a strong and powerful sound that is energetic and endearing. Their latest record, "Everlasting Fire," has been a steady favorite of mine. With Kat's gorgeous and in-your-face vocals and piano skills, she works in perfect unison with Mike's heavy-hitting yet intricate drumming. Kat and Mike speak with us today about Sit Kitty Sit, which is an interesting read you will find below.
What is the meaning behind the name Sit Kitty Sit?
Kat- The name is actually making fun of me. The way I bounce around in my chair when I play, legs and hair flying everywhere. My friend saw me and said “Sit, Kitty! Sit! Good Kitty!” And the name was born.
Tell us about the making of "Everlasting Fire" the concept behind it?
Kat- Everlasting Fire tells the story of Dante’s Inferno. The songs follow Dante through each level of hell and depict what he experienced there. This was an incredibly fun project to work on. I wrote full scores for a few of the songs, and incorporated instrumentation away from the standard piano and drums. We got to do a lot of research and stretch way outside the normal boundaries of a rock album. For instance, the song "The Abyss” only uses found household type items for all of the percussion. No actual drums were used.
You seemingly crossover genres within the new record. How did this come about?
Kat- Instead of forcing the story to fit inside of a specific genre we decided the story should choose what best represents it. So, Lust is a tango, Anger is a blues tune and Greed is an “organ” that is actually composed of four flutes and four voices. The subject matter really let my imagination go wild when it came to the compositions and lyrics.
Mike- Right. We tried to write in different styles to match the different circles of hell, so you'll hear everything from jazz, blues, pop, ethereal & even metal.
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose?
Kat- The Greek Theatre on the UC Berkeley campus.
Mike- Hmm, that's a good one. The Greek is amazing. Madison Square Garden comes to mind pretty quickly.
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? Explain your reason.
Kat- I always prefer performing live on stage over recording. To me songs are never more alive than they are on stage. All you have is that present moment, one shot, and there’s something about that energy that breathes extra life into that song at that moment. And I’m not playing the song, the song is playing me. It’s like nothing else on earth. Studio recording is a balance between playing perfectly and capturing the energy that correctly represents the song. And that means you might need to play that song 5 times in a row to catch it. Live versus studio are two completely different creatures.
Mike- Couldn't have said it better myself ;)
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?
Kat- Music encompasses many different art forms to me, which is why I love it so much. Music tells stories, paints pictures in my head, forms shapes and has personality. I love that sound can make me hyper or calm or make me cry or laugh. Getting on stage and feeling Mike’s kick drum in my chest and the vibration of the piano up through my hands is just about the happiest place on earth for me. I have a big grin on my face just thinking about it.
Mike- Agreed. I feel making music is really our way of contributing something positive to the world. When I see people getting as high as we do off of what we create it's just about the best feeling on the planet.