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Dear diary... how I spent 2006 with Katagory V

Discussion in 'Katagory V' started by Dustin, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    Now that "The Rising Anger" has been out there circulating for several months, and we are now getting ready to move onto the next chapter of Katagory V by recording our 4th album in a few short months, I wanted to take some time to give my thoughts on the past year or so of events, responses to fans and reviews, and where things stand with the band compared to when we first formed.

    I normally don’t do this type of thing, and usually don’t have the time, but felt that while I had a chance to let loose and do it while I had some spare time, I do it now before I got busy with life again.

    Caution: this is going to be long...


    Part I: Reflections, performing live and fan kudos


    Compared to 2005, performing live this year has been few and far between. I had explained this in several interviews recently that it was due in part to our band working really hard on the next album and not having as many offers from promoters or booking agents. However, we did manage to hit the stage a few times, and all the shows we've played this year have gone above and beyond our expectations. We have been getting many requests from fans to tour the U.S. but also to get over and play live or do festivals in Greece, U.K., Holland, and for several years now... Germany. Sadly, this has not happened as of yet even though we would have liked it to. For all the fans out there that have been contacting us, requesting us to come over and play their respective city or country, thank you so much for letting us know how much you love our music and wanting us to come out and perform, there is nothing more than we would love to do is perform live for our fans! However, these things can be very expensive, and although we don’t mind digging into our own pockets to get out there for the fans, Katagory V doesn't have the financial support to do some of these shows on our own. If you really, really want us to be able to tour or come out and play live where you are, take it to the next level and contact promoters in your area, spread the word by telling other metal fans about Katagory V and tell them exactly what you've been telling us! Even with the good reviews in magazines, interviews, and fans that buy our albums; unless promoters/booking agents see or hear you and other metal fans talking about us regularly, they may not know of us because there are SO MANY bands out there to consider. We certainly hope we get a chance to get out and play more shows in 2007, and are really looking forward to meeting everyone when that time comes.

    So, another bridge lies ahead of us to travel across, and looking back down the road from the off-ramp we just got off of, it's been interesting to see how things have shaped up with our last album since it's release. It was a fairly rough road that we had to travel just to get "The Rising Anger" out there for you all, and it's amazing that we made it as far as we have considering the road blocks, internal and external dramas and hoops we had to jump through just to get our music out there. Of course, this means nothing in the whole spectrum of things, especially to the critics. We have had many, many reviews speaking high praise over “The Rising Anger”, airplay on many stations, excellent interviews, many new fans who have discovered us and connected with our music, and many old fans who feel we have taken leaps and bounds compared to when we first hit the scene. It is also good to know that we have redeemed ourselves to most of our German fan base, which we truly appreciate the faithful support many of them have given us over the last seven years. For all the fans that understand us and support us, there is no measure of thanks or gratitude that we can express, you are why we keep on going.


    Part II: Critics – the other side of heaven… is hell of course!


    But all is not perfect, nor paradise. We've also had our fare shake of poor reviews and media attention, every band does, it's the nature of the beast. But what fascinates us, is that when we formed this band, our goal was to make metal music that was diverse and thought provoking, we were not on a mission to be original or create our own sound, we just wanted to write strong metal songs with variety where each song stands apart from one another. It seems we are getting closer to this goal, because there are several critics and/or metal fans that have completely conflicting opinions on this last album and seem confused, or at the very least, disappointed in what they hear because of this.

    We have seen it all, and been told and/or read on occasion that our recent album "The Rising Anger" was too progressive and less song oriented, and within days read somewhere else that it's unoriginal, generic power metal, or find another critic stating that it's too technical to listen to because there is no actual "songs", and then another voice in the media saying that it's not technical enough. It makes one wonder if any of these people are listing to the same album, or if they even listen to it at all, but it appears that they have... That's the beauty of this; they just have opinions and expectations that the album didn't meet. However, we have a theory that many of them want to hear the same style or formula through out an album, and have to conclude with one side or the other of what they want to hear after only one or two spins, be it positive or negative. Of course, those that hear it only two or three times through will side with the later choice. One thing we refuse to do, is write music or an album that follows the same style or formula, and that is hard for some people to swallow because simplicity and repetition is a comfort zone for many, its human nature. But I'll say it right now, Katagory V is not for everyone - It takes more than a few spins and a very open mind to really appreciate what we do, and I know that many of you already know this. Then again, it could all just be a matter of taste.
    I think the most critical, yet comical part concerning the negative feedback, is the condemning of our album based entirely on superficial reasons, such as the album cover being terrible/ugly/lame, the singer looking old, the drummer and bassist being bald and not "looking metal", even down to the whining about the font used in the booklet! Anyone who takes these attributes seriously is moronic and has far too much time on their hands, as well as those that take reviews like this as gospel. But on the up side, it also gives all of us a good laugh when I bring these to the boys at the studio!

    Part III: Ear training not required - Inquire within!

    Finally, I’m going to take this moment and go to bat for our beloved lead signer, Lynn. For many, the lead vocalist IS the band, and pretty much will make or break any band depending on the vocals. As a huge fan of music, I find that to be a rather shallow assessment to judge a band by, but still a valid one none the less. It appears there is a minority of critics that feel he is not a competent or capable singer to front Katagory V. We have read or been told on occasion that his vocals pretty much condemn Katagory V from really reaching out to metal fans, hold the band back and claiming his voice is pitchy, sharp/flat, or weak. I can assure you that he is a well trained lead singer, with two decades of vocal experience and schooling, who can without a doubt out sing many vocalists out there that are more well known.
    When we recorded the last album (as with any album), we ran all the vocals through pitch correction to make sure things were tight – he was only out of pitch or sharp/flat 3-5% of the time, and those parts were fixed before the tapes even left the studio. Our conclusion to this, is that many of the music popes out there are confusing “timbre” with “pitch”. Without giving the Dictionary explanation - It is perfectly understandable to dislike a singer for his “timbre” and even more so if he is out of “pitch”. But Lynn is not out of pitch, or sharp/flat anywhere on the album - So we can only asses that it is his timbre that these people hear that they don’t like. There is a big difference between the two. Some folks need to understand music a bit better before they decide to be full-time critic so they don’t sound incompetent themselves when critiquing.

    At the end of the day, we are very humble, and appreciative of all the support from those out there who help carry the rebellion flag for Katagory V, and never take for granted all the feedback from our fans, I’ll say it again, without our fans, there is no Katagory V. We’re just five normal blokes who get up early to go to work like everyone else, and go home at night for supper with the family. However, we like to moonlight as heavy metal musicians for your listening pleasure!


    Part IV: The next chapter...


    Okay, I’ll get off the soap box now. Onto more relevant and positive things, such as an update on how things are going right now with the demo recordings for album #4!

    At this moment, we are nearly complete with the recordings. Things are sounding pretty impressive and solid. This was the first time we’ve ever recorded anything with all five of us in the room at the same time. Of course, as with any recording, all of us had to go back and re-track a few sections, but for the most part it’s come together very quickly while retaining and above-average sound for being demos. If we can tighten a few more bolts on this machine during the next month or so, then recoding the new album next January/February should go over slicker than snot!

    I am personally very excited about the new songs, as they probably represent us more so now than our previous albums. There seems to be a lot of growth in the song writing as well as in the overall delivery. It would be safe to say that there will be an even bigger variance of metal sounds and styles on this next album.

    Right now Curtis and Marc are laying down rough versions of their solo parts and Lynn is making some minor adjustments with melodies and sounds and then re-tracking his vocals on some of the songs. Me and Matt have done all that we can do live with our parts up to this point. Matt is now on a short vacation, however, I still go down to the studio to oversee the progress of everything, and give my input and advice… which is usually unwanted, but still given. Of course, I’m sure the guys would rather me take a damn day off form the studio, but I can’t help it – If I do, I feel like I’m going to miss something exciting!

    There are a few things that we have not really decided on just yet. One of them would be the name of the album. Nothing is really coming out and biting us right now, so hopefully we’ll have a better idea of what were going to call this thing next year when we start recording it. Another thing is that we are trying to decide whether or not we are going to post any sound clips of the demos on our website. We have always done that in the past, but we are wondering if we should throw out that idea this time in favor of having the fans tonghit out a few more months by posting short clips of the songs from the actual album after its been recorded next year. I feel a poll coming on…
     
  2. MrStrype

    MrStrype New Metal Member

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    Hi Dustin, Long time no see!
    How about a poll of your friends and fans for Album name ideas?
    As for me, I think the last two albums names kinda seem to be on a parallel course. And I think perhaps the next logical step would be a name something like "Revolution". That could also be a tribute to Queensryche, who I know some band members cite as an influence. Anyway, just my 2 cents worth. Good luck whatever you decide! :headbang:

    Your friend,
    Mark Rakes (MrStrype)
     
  3. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    Hey Mark!

    Acutally, taiking some ideas from the fans and other people out there isn't such a bad idea, seeing how we haven't really confirmed the name of the album yet. :cool: I think "Revoluton" has probably been used a few too many times in one for or another, however, we're always willing to tip our hat to our influences liek the ol'[ Ryche of old.

    Ironcily, the tenative (and let me really emphasis on the word tenative!) title of the next album is "Hymns of Dissension". And, Dissension is just another form of revolution, only in a less physical and more verbal form. So, you were damn close with your idea as it is!
    :headbang:
     

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