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Editor’s Note: One of the bands performing tomorrow night at Free Music Friday is making their on-stage debut: Cat Magnet (Facebook Page). The band is Bethany Bedell, (ukelele, saxophone) Vita Cleveland (drums), Amanda Weidler, (vocals) and Colin St. Michael (keyboards, keytar). Because of prior engagements this week and scheduling conflicts, I was unable to put this together into an actual article, so I’m giving you the unedited transcript of our Facebook IM session. Free Music Friday starts at 9:15 p.m. It’s free (duh!), but you have to be 21 to enter.
How did Cat Magnet form?
AW: Colin had the idea for a girl band with one guy for a long time, and one night in January, we got drunk and he talked me into singing for it. From there we found out Bethany was musical (the three of us work at County Market together) and met Vita at open mic. And there were several other girls that came and went quickly, but the four of us have been the most committed to getting this off the ground.
BB: Like Amanda said our band formed because of Colin’s great idea and we all liked the thought of it and decided to run with it.
CSM: Just about every local band with females in it has only had one chick and a bunch of dudes. I figured we were overdue to turn the status quo inside out. Women are a huge part of music, yet they aren’t a big part of the local music scene in bands or audiences. We’re looking to change that.
Which instruments do each of you play and how do you think it fits with the band?
AW: I sing for Cat Magnet, and so far they like me I think.
BB: I play ukulele and saxophone which I’ve only been playing the uke since December so it’s been a lot of fun!
CSM: I play two keyboards and a keytar. Since we’re aiming for a blend of 80s new wave and 90s dance, my synth and bass tones lend a lot to our sound, which I may start calling “sexually-charged superpop”.
How would you describe your sound?
AW: I think for the most part we will be a dance pop type band, but we all have such varied taste in music, and we are such a new band, we might expand a bit from that.
Have you been writing originals? How does that work?
AW: So far, Miss Bethany wrote lyrics that Vita added to, and Colin did the chords, and I just sang something, and that one came together in about 10 minutes. It’s one of our favorites. Other than that Colin pulled a few originals out over a weekend, and we learned it. Bethany and I try to have one on one practice with Colin when we are learning a new song, so that when the band has practice, we know our parts already.
BB: Our first original “My Place and Time” I came up with when Colin texted me that we should start on originals so I sent him chords and lyrics the same day and the first time we practiced it we knocked it out. Vita found a great rhythm and Amanda sang it so wonderfully that we all loved it and didn’t have to change anything with it and then Colin wrote our other three songs with the help of Vita and they’ve been a lot of fun too!
CSM: The better friends we become, the easier it is for us to write songs together. Sometimes it’s as easy as one of us presenting a song and Vita filling in the gaps. We have four very unique personalities that merge to make one powerful band. We’re like a huge Japanese robot comprised of multiple robots, but we play music instead of fighting giant aliens.
How do you feel the band meshes personalities?
AW: We are all great friends! We have a ton of fun, are completely respectful of each other’s ideas (which I’ve been told isn’t often the case in bands) and we share a lot with each other. We seem to have found some compatible musicians.
BB: Again like Amanda said I’d consider all of my band mates very close friends we get along very well and know how to pick each other up when we are down or frustrated or just having a bad day. We aren’t just in a band for ourselves we are in it together and for each other.
What is your favorite song that you cover and why (individual responses).
AW: Currently my favorite song to cover is “Fading Like A Flower” Roxette. But that changes all the time. My old favorite to cover was “Wake Me Up” Avicii. And I’m sure we will learn some new ones soon after this gig, so that might change again soon.
BB: Personally my favorite songs we do are our originals but my favorite cover to hear Amanda sing is “Fading Like A Flower” or “Alone” but my favorite to play would probably be “Any Way You Want It” because we have a lot of fun with it.
CSM: My favorite cover is ” Any Way You Want It” – not because of the song itself – but because of the moment it represents. We’d gone thru multiple lineup changes, and our usual practice space was unavailable. We were feeling a bit lost and disjointed, but we decided to try that song on a whim, and we had so much fun playing it, we had to do it again. It was the moment we proved to ourselves we had become a tight group, and we realized we could meet challenges whether or not we were in our comfort zone.