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A talk with CAT


First things first and same questions as usual to start this interview, a briefing history about Black Widow.  What are the most important things to know about the band?
Cat:  Probably that Johnny, Tom and I have really kept at it for nearly 7 years, in an area that didn't support us as a cover band, and even less as an original act.  We've been through a lot, and yet, we always seem to keep "banging our heads" (pardon the pun!) against the wall to stick to our guns.  As far as history; as a cover band we've been privileged to open for Ratt, Jackyl, Udo, Y & T, Slaughter, Great White, Quiet Riot, and the legendary Saxon...


How did you decide to form Black Widow together?  Were you in bands together previously?

Cat:Tom and I have been in a few cover bands together, with one attempt at an original band in the 80's.  Johnny moved to our area in 1996 and answered our ad for a Metal cover band - he had previously been in Sinister in the Los Angeles area.  We initially just wanted to get out and share the music that we loved - little did we know we'd get serious!


Did you always know from an early age that you wanted to be in a Metal band?
Cat: I always knew I loved to sing - when "Metal" came along, I knew that I felt such passion from the music, that I couldn't imagine singing anything else.  There is no music that has the fire that Metal does.


How has the music evolved since you first began with Black Widow?
Cat:Our new material is heavier and more powerful than those first originals heard on "Satan's Playground...and our influences have changed the more we get into bands like Primal Fear. 


What do you think has/will be the pinnacle in your career as a musician?
Cat: For the band, playing European festivals will be the high point...for me personally, it will be seeing a sea of metalheads enjoying our music - I've always wondered how it is to see people singing your lyrics back at you...


Give me the necessary information about the band members please.
Cat: I'm the lead vocalist, with little help from Johnny and Dean (usually I have to force them to do back-ups!) Tom is the drummer, and the "Dad" of the band - he keeps us in line. Dean is our solid ball of rock on bass.  Johnny is the guitarist and writing force, and an original Bad Boy Of Metal (oh, the stories I could tell...)


What's the story behind Black Widow, I mean the band name.  A special reason?
Cat: Just like most bands, after we had the members and a little of the music, we sat around and discussed names...we came up with some great ones (ha!), like "Cherry and the Pits", "Crue-ella Deville (combo of Motley Crue and Cinderella and the Disney character), etc.  Then when the laughter stopped, we wanted something "Metal", something sinister, deadly, ominous...Johnny came up with the name, and here we are.


I live in a world of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal since 1978 and I knew three bands with the name Black Widow so far.  Did you know about that?

Unfortunately, they all didn't exist no more.  So you guys are the fourth in line with these name, right?
Cat: When we first thought about the name, we knew there was a European band that had some success in the early Metal years, but we took a chance and later found out that they were no longer a viable band.  That band still has material available in some locations, so I hope no one gets confused.  Guess it's a good name, huh?


Do you have a daily job to do or only living for the band and playing Metal like hell?
Cat: We all wish we could play "Metal like hell", but in this area, and in most of the US, it doesn't pay the bills, so we all work day jobs.


Which individuals influenced the band and why and what are the band currently up to these days?
Cat: I didn't really have a lot of metal influences, since there were not a lot of female vocalists in Metal...of course, there's Lita Ford and Doro, whom I admire greatly.  They had to prove themselves over and over again.  Tom's influences begin with Tommy Aldridge and Bonham, and now he's into Klaus Sperling of Primal Fear.  Johnny has always been a huge fan of Michael Shenker, and early on, Randy Rhoads.  Dean is a fan of anyone who plays fast and heavy!
Currently, we're writing material for the new CD, which will hopefully be out by the summer.  We've taken a break for the holidays from playing out, but have some places for the beginning of the year.


Let's talk about your new album "Satan's Playground" now.  A typical US Metal and great album to me.  Is the album available world-wide or just by ordering on your website.  Otherwise, you can mention the address where the Metal Maniacs can order this awesome album.
Cat: It's available on the,, and we've just been picked up by in Germany.  You can also go to our website, to order.  And thanks for your kind words...


Any particular favorite number of the album you prefer to play live on stage and why?
Cat: Only speaking for myself, I love the atmosphere of the title track, "Satan's Playground" - it has a twisted intro that leads into the power of the song.  Lyrically, my favorite is "Ends of the Earth".


Give me one reason why the Metal to Infinity readers should have Satan's Playground in their CD collection?
Cat: Now you're asking me to brag...because it has a combination of traditional Metal and Power Metal that your readers love - it has strong guitar work, a heavy, heavy rhythm team, and it's not over-produced or compressed or altered - what you hear, is what you get - honest, heart-felt HEAVY METAL...


Was it your first full length release since the day Black Widow was born or not?
Cat: The very first, and hopefully, the first of many...


Do all the band members dealing in the progress of making new songs?

Cat: Johnny usually comes up with a riff and a jam happens, or he has an entire concept of a song.  We share the lyric writing.  He knows exactly what he wants and conveys it to Tom and Dean and then they run with it.  I've done all the melody lines, with some input from I said, he knows what he wants!  Being together so long, we have a mutual respect and will listen to everyone's ideas - we know it works when it works.


Are you the type of band that is writing material all of the time or do you tend to get most of the writing done when an album deadline is approaching?
Cat: Since we're not a "signed" band yet, the only deadline we make is the one that we establish.  Johnny is continually writing, so its just a matter of taking the time to put it all together.  We are religious about getting together and rehearsing, so that helps the process.


Wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity to sink a major record deal or isn't that important to you?  Do you have a record company in mind?
Cat: Oh, it would be wonderful, and it's very important to us...we would have the money and the time to really create the music that we love - a record deal would give us the freedom to really be aggressive in sharing our passion with our fellow metalheads.  We have sent many, many packages to record company, but the only one we have in mind is one that will support us and believe in us.

Can you give me some names of bands you were playing with as support act?  Tell me about your first stage experiences.
As I mentioned earlier, we were honored to be asked to play with some of our Rock icons..Slaughter, Jackyl, Ratt (twice), Udo, Y & T, Quiet Riot, Saxon, and Great White (we were scheduled to play with them the night after the fire in Rhode Island...)
My first stage experiences were in high school, and I don't know if I can remember back that far!  Even though I don't suffer with nerves, it's always a mental preparation when you put yourself in front of people - I only have confidence because I truly believe in Black Widow's music.


In the history of Heavy Metal, how would you like Black Widow to be remembered?
Cat: That's a really good question, and a really hard one to answer...I'd like Black Widow to be remembered as a band that persevered through rough times (through many bass players!),  that fought the good fight, and above all else, gave the Metal world the music that is true to the passion of their souls - Heavy Metal.


Well, I wish that everything goes the right way, thanx for your time anyway and if you want add some final comments...

Cat: I'd like to thank you, Stefan, and everyone at Metal to Infinity for all you do to promote METAL.  We appreciate all your hard work to get the word out about bands like us.  I know you'll be a part of our success, and we thank you from the bottom of our Metal hearts...and now, "Can you come out and play?"