An Interview with Greg Kowalczyk, singer and guitarist for Blind Cats
GENRE: Rock And Roll
MEMBERS: Greg Kowalczyk (Guitar, Vocals), Mip (Bass, Vocals), Devin Jannetta (Drums)
Self Titled (2008 EP)
One More Year (2011 EP)
2007-1012 (compilation of previous albums, and live covers)
Take My Blood (2014 LP)
WEBSITE LINK: blindcats.ca
In what year was the band formed and how did it come to fruition?
The band started in 2007 when my friend Jeff and I started jamming together and writing songs. We made some recordings with a drum machine and got a drummer in 2008 to start playing shows.
Who are some of your musical inspirations and how have they influenced your sound?
I have many musical influences. But relevant to this band, I listen to lots of old rock and roll, blues, and early punk rock. Being a 90's kid, I was influenced by the music of that time as well. Some of my favourite artists are The Stooges, The Rolling Stones, Babes In Toyland, Skip James, and Joy Division.
Can you describe the musical community you come from, and how it has helped or shaped the band you are today?
The Queen St. West punk scene in Toronto has been a home for this band for years. The Bovine booked us on one of their Tuesday nights very early on, and we've been playing there since, making lots of friends. Also, at our beginnings we played bar gigs and house shows in Mississauga, where we made some of our earliest connections with other artists.
What sort of ideology or themes does the band potray in a lyrical sense?
The lyrics are generally based on my experiences. Some of these experiences comment on politics and society, but it's mostly personal. Since I often sing them in front of poeople I'm close with, there's often a connection between me and a person in the audience who recognizes the memory, or person, in the songs, which I find feeds my performance. Sometimes I say things to people in my songs that I don't have the opportunity, or will to say in real life.
Have you toured or played any shows outside of your stomping grounds? If so, where have you been, what have you seen, and what has been your best memories?
We've played mostly localy. We venture a few hours out of town, but never an extended tour. The memories are so many, it's hard to pick. One memory that sticks out was at a basement show in Mississauga in the early days. I was shirtless, drinking rum on stage, and playing sloppy covers. We slept on the couches/floor. Glad to still share the stage with people from that time. Our first show ever was actually in London, Ontario, at the Embassy Hotel (RIP). It was a big place, and pretty empty, but I recall the warm reception we got there. Felt like everyone in the place came right up front and welcomed us at our first gig. Oh, and this one night at 460 (RIP) where we played our song Hey for the first time. We were waring weird costumes. I always turned into the beer fairy at that place, walking around with a pitcher topping people off. That performance can actually be found on YouTube under “Blind Cats - Hey”. The video is grainy, but it captures the moment perfectly.
Have you ever been to Sudbury, or played a show here before?
Nope, never been to Sudbury. We're looking forward to it! We've heard good things about The Asylum from some of our Toronto friends.
What can fans look forward to at your upcoming show at The Asylum?
Well, we have a new lineup that sounds better than ever in my opinion. I'm lucky to be playing with Mip and Devin. They make these songs sound the way they do in my head. We'll be playing some older tunes that can be found on our releases, and some new unrecorded material we've been working on as well.
Do you have some wise words of wisdom for our readers?
Leave the cowbell, take the cannoli.
Plug your tuneage! Tell us how to listen, how to buy, and how to support your bands music.
You can find our music at blindcats.ca which links to our bandcamp. Physical copies are sold at shows, on CD and vinyl, so come out and pick one up. We are currently working on a new EP with our new lineup, re-recording some old songs. That will be out online shortly as well.