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(added April 2008)
INTERVIEW WITH KATHY FREEMAN
( GUITAR LADY OF KATHY X / HIGHLINERS / DEATH VALLEY SURFERS FAME )
made by John McVicker
How old were you and what influenced you to pick up a guitar ?
I was 12, my brother's guitar was lying around and I picked it up. My parents sent me to classical piano lessons, but even at that tender age I knew the guitar was cooler.
What was your first band and first recording session?
My first gigging band was called Biggles Blues Band. but we rapidly evolved into a Punk band- The Accelerators. I did my first recording sessions with them in 1978 for Rox Records. The "Rox" guy wanted to sign us, but it never happened because our drummer thought he was a dirty capitalist trying to exploit us, got into an argument and threatened to stab him! That´s how it was back then.
What was your first release, how many in total have you featured on?
First release was the vinyl 6- track The Accelerators EP on Spiv Records. I´ve played or sung on 20-25 other releases. My favourites so far are the first recording I did of my song I Let The Devil In (Urban Zombie Records- 2004) and the vinyl 7´´ Declaration made with a member of A10 and Robin Wills of the Barracudas (Innocent Records - 1987).
How did you get involved with The Highliners and Death Valley Surfers? Which of their releases do you feature on?
It was 1998. I´d just called time on my Punk / Metal band Joyride after seven years. All I knew about Psychobilly then was dodgy looking, half naked guys with quiffs and tattoos shoving each other around the dance floor. When Joyride supported Demented Are Go but I was about to learn a lot more. I was auditioning in an East London studio for some heavy rock trio, I went to the canteen for a cup of tea afterwards, where I was chatted up by a gentleman called Stretch (Kevin Feeney of the Highliners). He was tour- managing someone, I forgot who, and he showed off his flashy tour van to me, gave me his card and asked if I'd play guitar for his band. I went to Luke Morgan's home studio and jammed with them. The end result being guitar and writing contribution for Clash Of The Titans on their album Spank-o-matic. I never did hear from the audition band ! Kevin then introduced me to Russ Ward who was looking for a guitarist for his new band Death Valley Surfers. I was their guitarist on and off for about four years and played on 5 track CD Goin Nowhere Fast (1999) and 5 track CD Dead Man´s Surf (2001) both on Punkabilly Records, plus we were on about half a dozen compilation albums.
Do you miss the UK? Will you come back to live here?
Sure I miss the UK, but my life is here (Berlin). As for moving back- no idea!
Why and when did you form Kathy X?
I'd always had a dream of fronting a rockin´ three piece. Mark Pennington of the Caravans produced my solo 4 track CD Kathy X in his studio in August 2002. Then shortly after I met my wonderful bassist RobRaw (ex- Rawheads and Mad Sin) and we were soon gigging. Kathy X is what the Highliners and Death Valley Surfers called me and we kept the name cause we couldn´t be arsed spending hours thinking up band names.
How did you get the deal with Cosmic Records and did you gig in Poland?
We had a show in Warsaw, Cosmic Records were there, and more or less signed us on the spot. first of all were on a compilation album they did with your band Popeye´s Dik, then came the CD. We´ve played Poland quite a few times. The fans are great, they really go for it!
What do your family think of your music?
Depends which one's you ask!
What music do you listen to?
Anything that rocks, from the psychobilly scene like Nigel Lewis, Krewmen and Nekromantix.
What plans do you have for 2008? any recordings or gigs?
It´s hard to find a good permanent drummer. So in the meantime I´m writing a lot and focusing on solo shows. Check out www.myspace.com/kathyfreemansolo . But we hope to record some Kathy X tracks for digital release later this year. For more info check out www.kathy-x.de .