By Jon Roig
Arizona Daily Wildcat September 19, 1996
Multimedia visionary... violin virtuoso... feminist revolutionary... the fastest guitar player in the world. Only in America could a pop-culture icon like The Great Kat appear on the scene. A fanatical devotee to the art of speed-guitar, her unique perso nality has landed her on various talk shows and in magazines across this great land of ours. She's a total freak, an insane virtuoso who considers herself to be the living incarnation of the spirit of Beethoven; and if nothing else, her re-tooled takes o n various classics by Chopin, Paganini, Mozart and others are pretty darn fast.
She used to be such a nice young lady. Her press release notes that "after winning numerous competitions, Kat won a full scholarship to The Juilliard School of Music in New York City at the age of fifteen... She graduated with honors." Deep in the archi ves of the New York Times, the debut recital by Katherine Thomas garnered a lot of praise. 14 years ago, the reviewer praised her "strong technique, strong ideas, and strong will," but worried about her "overstated" Sarasate "Carmen Fantasy" and a Kreisl er "Liebesfreud" that was "too furiously played." I suppose the warning signs were all there, but who would've guessed that Kat would one day proclaim herself to be the fastest guitar player in the world?
Although I've been a fan of The Great Kat for a while now, I assumed that she'd packed it in a few years back. But, oh... how wrong I was. This heavy metal guitarist of yesteryear has been plotting and scheming against modern music, and the fruits of he r labor include a new web site (http://greatkat.com), some new music, and a CD-ROM which is designed to educate kids about classical music.
The Great Kat is exactly how you'd expect her to be - she acts like a crank addict with access to digital technology. She yelled her way through the entire interview in one long free-form rant, pausing to breathe only occasionally. It wasn't really cle ar who was interviewing who, but as a humble junior member of the Great Kat Slave Club, I think we all know who was in charge.
The Great Kat: Have you seen the Web site?
Wildcat: Indeed I have...
GK: And have you downloaded any of the music or videos or anything like that?
WC: Well, no... not really. I mean, I've only got a 14.4 modem so things are kinda slow. But I do have "Beethoven on Speed." It's a great album... you know, you're really fuckin' fast.
GK: Yeah, I am fuckin' fast.
WC: So how fast are you?
GK: How fast am I? Let me put it this way - do you know of anybody faster?
WC: Well, I dunno. I've never seen you go head to head with say, Steve Vai or Joe Satriani.
GK: Have you heard any music that's faster than my shit? No, I don't think so.
WC: You may be right about that.
GK: So you looked at my web site, eh? How did it make you feel?
WC: It made me feel intrigued. It made me say to myself, "You know, I haven't heard from the Great Kat in a while... and I need to talk to her."
GK: Well, let me explain it to you. It's taking classical music and bringing it into the 21st century with metal - the new classical music for the next century. Powerful... genius... exciting... energizing... cybergizing... WAKING YOUR BRAIN UP! This is what the future is going to be. It's not going to be that drugged-out grunge garbage that induces you to kill yourself and take drugs. The future is online - the information superhighway, the web, the internet. As a matter of fact, there's ne w animation... Kat animation. Next week, there should be information on my new CD.
So you'll be able to go up on the web site, click on it, and order the new CD in real-time. You'll be able to download a few seconds of music from the new CD. It's gonna go fast... it's gonna go intelligent... THE MUSIC THAT EXISTS RIGHT NOW IS SHI T!
It's only going to take four years.
WC: Let's talk about your new web site.
GK: The web site is amazing - I did it myself, as a matter of fact. I programmed and developed it all myself. It was the Surfing Pick of the Day. There's Cyberspeed music where you can download song clips, a section called Kat Paparazzi, where you can check out hot Kat photos like "Dominatrix Kat" and "Kat in Pink Lingerie," "Kat in Bed With Guitar," "Hot She-Devil with Whip." There are screen shots from the CD-ROM and video clips. There's a "Kat is God" section. You can order guitar tablat ure, posters, Kat's Lacy Panties, and CD's from the Kat giftshop.
You wanna check it out? Go check it out... Induce your brain into the future through power and genius instead of mediocrity and loser-ship.
WC: So are those really your panties for sale?
WC: So you don't think there's something to be said for simplicity - like a good pop hook?
GK: The only thing that can be said for simplicity is that it'll reach the masses a lot more than complexity. My music is complex, so I have to wake people up for a coupla' years. While they spend their fuckin' dumb shit time waking up, I have t o sit and wait for them. In the mean time, I'm energizing their brains with CD-ROMS, web sites, new music on my new CD.
My job in life is a mission. I was brought up since I was zero years old as the new Beethoven... so that's my mission in life, to be the new classical music genius of the 21st century. And it's fifty-billion times harder being a woman than it is bei ng a guy. There are no powerful women composers - that's a fact.
That's the first obstacle. The second obstacle is updating classical music after its been destroyed by shitheads like Philip Glass and John Cage. The third obstacle is bringin' it to moronic shit like metal and classical. The only good thing about metal is that it's powerful - it has energy, it has power.
So that's the job I've undertaken. As a matter of fact, I did an interview with National Public Radio "Performance Today" last week - a classical music radio show. The first time I did the interview was in March. Afterwards, all these people were like "What's this shit? Why the hell is this girl doing this?" They re-aired it like five months later and now everyone is like "Wow! The Great Kat is God. This is brilliant . amazing."
So that's how fast things are moving now that Bill Gates has indoctrinated everybody's brain with online information, computers, Windows 95, and all that shit. People are starting to understand because people's brains are moving faster. In the 21st century, we won't even have time for half-hour TV shows, it's all going to be dead. Two hour operas are dead; no one goes to see two hour operas.
WC: How are you celebrating the Year of the Rat?
GK: I don't celebrate any years of the rat. That doesn't make sense to me.