Interview by Roadie Crew 9/5/2004
Why did you take long seven years to release a new Chastain album after the masterpiece "In Dementia"? Was it because you had a baby or David was too busy with his other projects, like Zanister and Southern Gentlemen?
Kate French: Well, I think when you make the decision to have a child you should devote your time to them exclusively..especially in the first few years, I wanted to make sure Trevor had a good start in life and a lot of security and love. I do not believe in having a child to stick them with someone else if you can help it, so, I've been taking care of Trev. I'm kind of old fashion that way..a milk and cookies mom..I like to take care and do things for my family be a housewife. As for David C he is always working on some musical project, so life went on for us for that time period until I was ready to devote my time to Chastain again.
How did you team up with the Vicious Rumors guys? How is going the work (musically and personally) with the new line-up of the band?
Kate French: Actually the Vicious Rumors guys (Dave and Larry) were not even speaking when I met them they both became part of my life at different times and I encouraged them to let bygones be bygones..there was just too much to lose being that they had spent so much of there lives together touring and being in Vicious Rumors. They started to reconcile years after a bad split from VR. I married Larry in 97 and remained friends with Dave who is a great guy and a great bassist. When Chastain approached me to sing on In an Outrage I suggested Larry and Dave since they are both basically family and the rest is history. In any family or band relationship, there is conflict. You just have to remember that hard times pass forgive and forget and move on..and to have fun..we are all great friends now and I'm so proud to be part of the Chastain project with them. They are both great guys in there own right.
Why did you name the album "In An Outrage"?
Kate French: I wrote all the lyrics for the CD and David C picked the title track "In an Outrage". It is having to do with the terrorist attacks on September 11th because I started writing the lyrics for the song that day. I think as a country we where all in complete shock. The song is about the strength of us all coming together to overcome that attack not only on the physical dwellings, but on our spirits and overcoming the sorrow to be a stronger country because of it.
How were the production and the recordings of the new album? Where did you record it?
Kate French: All the recordings we do are done digitally. My job is lyrics, melodies and harmonies. Each of us has our own studio and records our parts at different times to a click track to start with. Everything is layered around that. Drums are last, and done in a large studio to a click track. Larry was super hesitant about playing to a click track lets put it this way..he didn't want to..but with a little encouragement, he did it and he did a fantastic job. All the final edits and mix down packaging and promotions are then done by Mr. Chastain for his Label Leviathan Records.
How can you compare your performance on the new album with "In Dementia" and "Sick Society"?
Kate French: Sick Society was my first effort with David C so we had to get used to one another. He has since let me had some artistic freedom like writing all the lyrics melodies and harmonies for the vocals. Back when I did SS I think I was a little limited vocally I would say my performance is much more dynamic on this CD.
Was there a defining moment that steered you towards Heavy Metal (a particular band, album and concert that was a major influence on your career and music listening choice)?
Kate French: The defining moment for me was when I was eighteen sitting in my apartment with my roommate and he brought home a Chastain record. When he played it, the voice was so strong, I thought it was a man, but it was Leather the first female vocalist David worked with..I just thought she was awesome not to mention the phenomenal guitar work throughout. I used to listed to Chastain every day and mimic Leather singing at the top of my lungs..I have been in several bands since developing my own style..but its ironic that the band that gave me my inspiration would be the band I was in years later.
Tell us about your personal style of singing. Which singers inspired you to get into singing? What do you think about the new generation of women in Metal?
Kate French: Well, I try to mix the male voice with the female voice and for me that's sensual vocals meets heavy vocals..like very sensual, just different parts of my personality. I'm super passionate. I want listening to me to be like having sex with me..slow and soft but then super rough at times. I think there are two classifications of the new women in metal..either cookie monster male wanabees or the Barbara Streisand wants to sing the metal hits girls. I'm not hearing too much power or control (like the originators of the true metal voice Halford/Scott/Dio/Dickenson) just women trying to be men or trendy.
Do you think nowadays the acceptance for women singing Metal is better? Talking about it, what do you think about Angela Gossow the Arch Enemy singer?
Kate French: I think music in all forms is art and some people will like your art others will not. I don't think it's about gender. I think its about how many people dig on your art form, what the trends (if you can make something your selling into a trend) are and how much publicity you get to reach the people to get them to make your music into an addiction or something to relate to. Angela (Arch Enemy vocalist) is out there with her label (Century Media) and Arch Enemy, pushing the product working their asses off everyday and though some of us may not like the art form, you gotta respect the band, the girl, and the label for the work they have put into it. Kudos mostly should go to the guitarist/songwriter/producer who worked his butt off to get that band where they are today cause without him you would not even know who Arch Enemy is.
Talking about it, how did you get together with David Chastain ten years ago?
Kate French: I met David in L.A. at an industry convention called Foundations Forum. I was handing out my demo to all the Label owners there, I was hoping David C would be there because I knew Leather was no longer in the band and that my voice was similar to hers. Sure enough, he was, and I gave him one of my tapes. He called and asked if I would be interested, I said yes, he flew me to Atlanta, we wrote songs for ten days straight. I sang and recorded in his studio every night. He liked what I did and signed me to Leviathan. Sick Society would follow shortly after.
Do you like any Brazilian band? Do you have any contact with your Brazilian fans? What about the distribution of the new album in Brazil?
Kate French: The guys in Sepultura ROCK!. The Brazilian people ROCK!!! I did an interview a few years back and I had so many wonderful responses. Thanks to everyone for listening, your compliments, and being so cool. There will be distribution of Chastain's new CD "In an Outrage" In Brazil..pick it up on Rock Brigade Records, and let us know what you think! I wrote the lyrics to give the listener strength through power to overcome adversity and kick this life's ass..because well, you can!!!!!
What are the touring plans for this record?
Kate French: Touring plans are up to the man. David C that is. I would LOVE to tour Brazil!! We shall see.
A lot of musicians are doing side projects, but if you would do your own solo project as Kate French, whom will you invite to be recording and composing with you?
Kate French: I am doing a project right now much like David C breaks off and does his thing..he referred me to an extraordinary band seeking a vocalist, they are called Vainglory. I am now singing for them. We are almost done with the new CD. Corbin King is the guitarist and he is AMAZING, like Yngwie on ten, a total shredder. The band is also on the Leviathan. So Corbin King is who I'm working with right now and who I will most likely be working with if I do a solo project, he and David C producing. I play guitar and write my own songs, so they would just be improving on my ideas for me. As for a solo project..if I could work with ANYONE in the business... it would be Zakk Wylde and Rob Halford..I can dream, cant I..
Do you listen to Chastain CDs on a regular basis?
Kate French: Well in the recording process you listen to the material about a million times in a row, so you really don't like to listen to the stuff too much when its done..but I've been listening to this one a lot lately (In an Outrage) and In Dementia..occasionally Sick Society, Its like revisiting the past for me, like what I was feeling or doing at the time I was singing a particular song. Kind of cool.
Leave a message to your Brazilian fans.
Kate French: LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Hope to see you and sing for you soon!!
We have a special section in our magazine (Roadie Crew) and we would like to know the best 5 Metal albums you've heard in your entire life.
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CHASTAIN "In An Outrage" Cd $9.99
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