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Sit Kitty Sit

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Sit Kitty Sit from 2018

MSJ:

It's been about seven years since we interviewed you at Music Street Journal. What things have been going on in the world of Sit Kitty Sit?

Kat Downs:  Tectonic will be our fourth album – so, a lot!  We’ve toured all over the US as well as in Europe, released a bunch of music videos and a few singles, as well.

Mike Thompson:  Yes, it’s been quite the journey since we last connected with you.  The rollercoaster of life has hit us from every direction both as a band and in our own personal lives, which has provided a constant stream of inspiration for us to purge our experiences both good and bad.     

MSJ: Your upcoming album has a song about suicide. What can you tell us about that song, and what your thoughts are on this important topic?

Kat Downs: The song is called "Paper Doll."  To me, the music is more important than the lyrics of this piece.  I wrote what my body felt like while I was in the deepest part of my suicidal depression.  The lyrics are more shallow because that’s also what it felt like at the time.  Everything was an act....fake....papery.  It’s not a literal translation – but to me it completely captures the feeling. 

I find it silly that suicide is such a taboo topic.  So many people experience suicidal depression and nine out of ten of them feel that it’s totally inappropriate to speak about it out loud.  Why?  I know it’s scary for some people to grasp someone not wanting to be alive anymore, but if a person feels that way they should  talk about it.  And it doesn’t even have to be that big of a deal.  My therapist was so chill when I told her I was suicidal.  She took all the right steps and went through all the protocol, but she was completely calm about it like it was any other day.  The friends I have in my inner circle – we’ll text each other.  The deal is it’s okay to feel that way, but when you do, you have to tell someone.  So every once in a while I will get or send a text that says “feeling suicidal this morning,” and the response is always a very calm, “Thanks for telling me.  I love you. Let me know if you need anything.”  I think if most people were more calm about it, then people on the brink would be more willing to ask for help because they wouldn’t feel like they were being treated like they’re crazy.  You’re not crazy.

MSJ:
What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

Kat Downs: That it was a religious experience.  We’ve been lucky enough to hear that a lot over the years from a wide variety of people all across the world.  It’s very humbling and inspiring to hear.

Mike Thompson:  Agreed.  Inevitably, any time we play in front of a new audience we’ll hear “wow, you produce so much power for only two people!”  And that’s usually said with an air of relief in their voice. So unexpected but so relieving to them.  I love that.

MSJ:
What's ahead for you?

Kat Downs: Touring to promote Tectonic as well as more music videos based on its songs. We’ve got a busy two years ahead of us!  We’ll also be releasing some more new tunes for our -Patrons on Patreon.com/katdowns

Mike Thompson:  Yeah, it’s been four long years since our last full-length release, so we have a lot of time to make up for.  But this record is such a force, it will only be a pleasure to work that much harder to support it.

MSJ:
What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

Kat Downs: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Paul Simon. He is hands down one of my favorites, and since putting out an album is a lot of stress I’m going back to what comforts me lately.  (laughter)

Mike Thompson:  The last album I downloaded was Wrong Creatures by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which I love.  As far as last physical CD I bought?  I honestly can’t remember. All my recent acquisitions have been in trade with bands we do shows with.  

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?

Kat Downs:  Yes absolutely.  I just re-read the first book of the Maze Runner series and remembered why I liked it in the first place.  I also got into the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (almost done) and am diving in to American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  

Mike Thompson:  (laughter) Ohhh yeah... How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand - essential read.

MSJ:
What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Kat Downs:  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.  Mike took me as it’s one of his favorite bands, and I had a blast!

Mike Thompson:  Yes! That was a phenomenal show, as always with them.  And just before that I saw Queens of the Stone Age for the first time, which hit me right where I needed - super tight and straight to the throat.

MSJ:
Do you remember the first concert you attended?
Kat Downs:  The very first one?  Yes of course!  It was the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.  My parents had season tickets.  I don’t remember which pieces were performed though.

Mike Thompson:  100 percent remember - Rush at Providence Civic Center.  I was 12 years old and had been playing drums for two years at that point.  My Dad (also a drummer) got us tickets as a Christmas present, and Neil Peart proceeded to melt my face and make me realize that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

MSJ:
Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

Kat Downs:  I love doing more raw DIY recordings of my solo piano stuff, so I’ve just recently started experimenting with the Shure MV51.  I’m only getting started but I like it so far!

MSJ:
Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Kat Downs:  Tectonic is all about the time span between our last album (Everlasting Fire) in 2014 and now when both Mike’s and my personal lives crumbled.  This album is the music I wrote to help both of us purge that experience, heal, and move on - turning a lot of negative into a positive.  We are extremely proud of this album!

Mike Thompson:  I think this is definitely the most emotionally raw material we’ve put out as SKS-- incredibly hard to face straight on, but absolutely necessary to lay it all out on the line and conquer it.  At the end of the day this record is a testament to the power of the human spirit and I hope that it can be a source of hope and inspiration to others as it is to us.

 

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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