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A Dirty Dozen with KAT LEON from HOLY WARS – April 2021

| 10 April 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Los Angeles’ dark pop-rock band Holy Wars have released their latest single “TV Dinner” with a bold, eye-catching new music video. A twisted take on mid-century America, the track puts consumer culture on blast with singer Kat Leon’s searing vocals and biting lyrics. Holy Wars is: vocals and lyrics, Kat Leon; guitarist and producer, Nicolas Perez; and drums, Greg Garman. Holy Wars’ music expands genres with a sound that feels like a punch to the face. Unapologetically honest with clever, thought provoking lyrics over a driving, aggressively fun and energetic body. The imagery behind the music tells even more of the story through their creative approach to style and artistic visuals revealing a commentary of the self and society. They connect so deeply to the listener which in turn has made a long lasting fan feel more like family.” We get vocalist Kat to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo Credit: Heather Koepp

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“TV DINNER” touches on several social commentaries. The first verse speaks to the idealistic American family, but what is shown and what is truth reveal secrets, lies, and control buried underneath. The second verse leads with my personal story and then broadens to the empty promise of an American dream and shines a light on the literal starving artist where art is deemed worthy by likes in this new social media world. This song points out many grievances the average person may feel and can relate to. The listener might not catch all of this story in the first or second listen but once you dive in and get beyond the initial fun, driving at time chaotic punch to the face feeling of TV DINNER, you discover a very real and disturbing message about the typical American dream.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been a musician, poet, singer and performer on various stages my whole life but it was later that I would discover the love of songwriting and desire to be in a band. A chance meeting with Alice Cooper and his encouragement to pursue music, gave me the inspiration and confidence to do it and I never looked back.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I remember when I first heard Garbage (“Only Happy When It Rains”) as a kid, I was blown away by Shirley Manson and her lyrics, her personality …all of it. I remember feeling like I could relate to someone out there. I never got too into pop music during that time and there weren’t many female singers I connected to until I heard that song. I felt like she had a voice, a message that I related to and I definitely carry that with me today.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Garbage, Radiohead, NIN, Fiona Apple, and Bjork.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Trent Reznor because I love his lyrics and it’s very aligned with what I write about as well as the sound and his use of Avant-Garde songwriting and production.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would say our music is multi-layered and definitely left of center in some ways. We enjoy genre bending and I feel you really have to digest our whole catalogue to get the full spectrum of who we are. All of our music is honest, raw, self explorative and laced with social commentary packaged with a driving, experimental heavy alternative sound. I wouldn’t say I cringe when I hear this, but we definitely get mistaken with fans of Megadeth thinking we are a Megadeth cover band based on our name and they very quickly see how far from them we are once they hear any song, 🙂

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Our bass player Matt is quite cook, I loves to bake and brings baked goods on tours, and none of us like to bring out the acoustic guitar… I think that is my one rule when on trips or tours. The guitar stays at home, haha.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I was definitely star struck when I ran into Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) she is definitely an idol of mine and I was shocked by my reaction when I saw her, but I had an actual tear slide down my face.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Connecting with the fans when we play live. There is no better feeling than sharing your music with someone who gets you and they feel you get them. Singing our fans sing our music is the greatest gift. If I wasn’t a musician, I am not sure what career I would choose but I would definitely delete all of my social apps and move to somewhere off the grid. Maybe open a bake shop just to have a place to go.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I suppose why we chose this name and why we started this project because it is very important to me that I never lose the meaning of why I do any of this in Holy Wars. I chose this name and started this band after the sudden passing of both of my parents and it was through grief that I wrote our first EP called Mother Father. Not even having a name to call this project, I would eventually choose Holy Wars as that is what I described the years after they passed…like I was living in my own personal Holy War. A constant push and pull of questioning faith that I will see them again, contemplating my own life and an unexpected rebirth of both the light and the dark that I found in myself.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

It’s hard to answer this one because I can’t just choose one. I have made several missteps along the way but I don’t think I would change any of it because it is part of my story and I have learned so much from these missteps that have shaped who I am, how I look at things and what advice I could give others when asked.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Radiohead – OK Computer. I know this sounds cliche but this album has definitely defined my life and every single song on it is so special to me. I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall during the writing and recording of this album.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

I definitely miss playing live and being able to connect with the fans up close but I also just miss the freedom to be able to go anywhere without the fear of the pandemic. I have gained a sense of appreciation for all I had prior and perhaps overlooked. I will cherish every coffee hang from now on.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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