JEKKEL
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JEKKEL

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"Katie Cathcart: An Inspirational Story"

Hey TomTom,

My name is Katie Cathcart and here is my story. As far back as I can remember I have had a passion for drums. I got my first play set when I was four and after what seemed like a lifetime of begging Santa, I received a real kit at the age of 6. Needless to say my life has been filled with music. It wasn’t until my senior year in college when I came close to losing it that I realized drumming is truly what I am meant for.
On my way back to USC from home, a reckless driver hit my car and forced it into the center divider. The momentum of the collision caused my car to spin out of control and flip on its side. To protect my body, I braced myself against my door. I watched my window shatter into my left hand. I had severe tendon and nerve damage in my index and middle fingers. My life stopped and I had to slow down to work on getting my hand back.
Throughout my experiences I learned valuable lessons about who I am, patience, and life. I became empathetic with those who suffer from loss and resolved in the belief that the mind is a powerful tool for perseverance. I am now able to play with my band (JEKKEL) again that I formed in middle school with my brother and our best friend. We just released a new music video (One Way Road) and are working on a new EP. I am also working on a drum book. I love your mag and purpose. I feel that the reason why I am still here is so that I may share my love for and knowledge of drums, sound, and music with the world.
I want to inspire and make a difference in people’s lives, especially girls who want to rock and all who need that extra something to believe that they can do it too. I have found many drummers who give up or never try because they compare themselves to everyone else out there. It’s not about drumming to be “the best” it’s about drumming to be the best you. I hope that you can use my story in some way or perhaps if you even just shared my latest video it could inspire a few kick ass girls. Thank you for your time, it means a lot to me.
ROCK - Tom Tom Magazine


"Katie Cathcart: An Inspirational Story"

Hey TomTom,

My name is Katie Cathcart and here is my story. As far back as I can remember I have had a passion for drums. I got my first play set when I was four and after what seemed like a lifetime of begging Santa, I received a real kit at the age of 6. Needless to say my life has been filled with music. It wasn’t until my senior year in college when I came close to losing it that I realized drumming is truly what I am meant for.
On my way back to USC from home, a reckless driver hit my car and forced it into the center divider. The momentum of the collision caused my car to spin out of control and flip on its side. To protect my body, I braced myself against my door. I watched my window shatter into my left hand. I had severe tendon and nerve damage in my index and middle fingers. My life stopped and I had to slow down to work on getting my hand back.
Throughout my experiences I learned valuable lessons about who I am, patience, and life. I became empathetic with those who suffer from loss and resolved in the belief that the mind is a powerful tool for perseverance. I am now able to play with my band (JEKKEL) again that I formed in middle school with my brother and our best friend. We just released a new music video (One Way Road) and are working on a new EP. I am also working on a drum book. I love your mag and purpose. I feel that the reason why I am still here is so that I may share my love for and knowledge of drums, sound, and music with the world.
I want to inspire and make a difference in people’s lives, especially girls who want to rock and all who need that extra something to believe that they can do it too. I have found many drummers who give up or never try because they compare themselves to everyone else out there. It’s not about drumming to be “the best” it’s about drumming to be the best you. I hope that you can use my story in some way or perhaps if you even just shared my latest video it could inspire a few kick ass girls. Thank you for your time, it means a lot to me.
ROCK - Tom Tom Magazine


"JEKKEL"

By CV | April 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm | 614 comments | Columns, Local Music Spotlight

Whatever happened to Jekkel? Ten years ago pop-punk rockers Jekkel were one the desert’s most accomplished young bands. Having been together since they were barely teenagers in middle school, Jim Cathcart (vocals and guitar), sister Katie Cathcart (drums and vocals) and their best friend Laramie Eve (bass) had become highly acclaimed, widely respected and very well known. Their success led them to be one of the very few under age bands to have gotten to play at local bars and clubs And then…they grew up. Talented as they were, they decided that they needed to be prepared to have day jobs. So off they went to college. Jim went to UCLA to study the film industry, Katie to USC to learn about music business and engineering, while Laramie stayed home. Except for the occasional show here or there, you didn’t hear much from them. They would jam intermittently, but their priorities shifted from band first to education first. They made sure they had the ‘back up plan.’ Jim went to work in the film and television industry. Katie spent some time at Interscope Records. “There was a big divide with Los Angeles,” Jim explains. “Me living here…there was a lot of stuff going on. But we always held Jekkel in our hearts.”



But not long after their last official show in the summer of 2009, things changed. Katie was in a serious car accident in which she almost lost the use of her left hand. “My life stopped,” Katie says. “For me, I think my biggest concern was being able to drum.” It took two surgeries for her to regain the ability to hold a drumstick. And it took months of therapy and practice before she could play the drums again. “We had our lives going in all these different directions, going to school and working on different jobs and doing all the ‘back up’ plans,” she says. “So I like to think of it as a wake-up call and that there is a reason why I’m doing this. For me, the fact that I’m still able to do it, I have to use it. I just can’t let it go.”



What could have resulted in a terrible tragedy instead led to the rebirth of the band. Jim and Laramie rallied around Katie with encouragement, poised to see her recover, and to start making music again. The accident forced her to push back her senior year at school. But as soon as that was over, the trio decided that making music together was a top priority. “It really came back around this last summer,” says Jim. They began practicing intensely, juggling the weekends between here in the desert and in Los Angeles, where Jim still lives.



From the outset Jim reevaluated his approach. “As the lead singer I was always cautious of how people would perceive things that we‘d play. But with this resurrection of the band, we‘re playing what makes us feel good.” He continues, “It‘s not that we‘re entirely different people now, it‘s that you gain so much growing up and going through experiences.” “I’ve been calling the new music bar rock,” he describes. “But labeling it seems weird, the sound is more of a hybrid, it still touches on our roots and takes a focused direction toward a good solid and dirty rock sound.”



During this process they found themselves in need of a lead part for their first single, “One Way Road.” Katie suggested bringing in an old friend, guitarist Jacob Miller, to do the job. “And he destroyed it! In the right way,” says Jim. And thus Jekkel became a four piece. “It seemed a little intimidating at first because they‘ve been together so long,” Miller explains. “But it all came together naturally. If felt like hanging out with old friends.”



As an older and wiser quartet, the band has patiently set goals for when and how they would return to being a gigging band again. Part one of that, was revealed in March when they released “One Way Road” on their website. Self-produced and recorded, the new song is a bit of the old Jekkel you would remember, but now delivered with more quickness and sharpness than before, and packing a bigger punch. Its corresponding video, directed by another close friend from the desert, Wade Koch, gives a fun and explosive visual, fitting of such a blistering track.



So now it is on to the next stage: finish an EP. The band has been recording new material for a while. With Katie at the helm in their desert studio, the band has the ability to let the music evolve until it represents the new Jekkel. “It’s definitely an advantage. Instead of blocking out studio time where we have to have all this prepared and can‘t go back, we can work on a song and take it to the point where we want to show this to people.”



As the plan goes, the EP will have 4 – 6 tracks and be out by June. And then it will be time to play live again. The band expresses this with a renewed fervor. “We needed to separate ourselves from our old sound” says Laramie. “Not because, we didn‘t like it, but because coming back into it allows us to show we grew from our roots.” “We want to play for people,” Katie says. Jim agrees: “We’re hungry for it.” - CV Weekly


"Introducing JEKKEL"

Full disclosure: I’ve known the Cathcart siblings of the intensified rockabilly group Jekkel for the better part of 20 years now; we went to elementary through high school together, and even in those childhood days bygone, it was evident that music ran in their blood. There was little Katie, barely 8 years old, obscured by a giant drum kit, blasting off the beats to Van Halen’s “Panama” in the campus talent show. Years later, she’d join older brother Jim (vocals/guitar) and friend Laramie Eve (bass) at the La Quinta High School 2003 graduation ceremony, performing their octane-fueled cover of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” This trio had the heat – and not just because the scorching desert of the Coachella Valley is their homebase.

The three longtime pals usher me into their studio on an excessively sweaty Sunday afternoon. It’s like the ultimate clubhouse – an add-on to the Cathcarts’ parents’ place that Katie built with her dad. (The drummer attended USC and earned a BS in music tech, and the science element of her degree is at full volume when she’s in the studio. Her eyes dart as she finagles a recent re-recording of the punkish “One Way Road.” The mouse on her sizable Mac is her sorceress’s wand, and she’s making devilishly good magic.)

Jim, whose daytime profession is in TV production out in Los Angeles, rallies his troops for a rehearsal. New recruit Jacob Miller takes a swig from his beer and saddles up to his guitar, fingers ablaze as Katie fires off pulses that would make Tre Cool jealous. Jim infuses his own panache into the jam, singing in an assured style reminiscent of Tiger Army’s Nick 13. Laramie Eve plays the nonchalant George Harrison to this otherwise boisterous gang, letting her hefty bass riffs elevate her.

Smiles permeate the jam, but Jekkel run a tight ship. They’ve been together since 1997, and whereas the band might have been a fun afterthought for many a year, 2012 seems to be the time for them to hunker down. A greaseboard behind their stacks maps out exact recording schedules and marketing plans (the goal is to put out an EP as soon as they can and build an audience in Los Angeles, as the senior-citizen haven of the Coachella Valley can be a constricting environment for rockers). It doesn’t have to be perfect, Jim says (though his sister might disagree, as siblings are wont to do), but their passion is the most important element that shines through in their music. - Phant Eye


Discography

New EP on the way (3 or 4 full lengths behind that)

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Bio

JEKKEL is a hot and fast four-piece rock outfit hailing from the desert region of Southern California. They aim to have a good fuckin' time & their crowds know it. They began in 1997 as a brother-sister-best friend trio with Jim Cathcart on guitars, his sister Katie Cathcart on drums, and their longtime childhood friend, Laramie Eve on bass. The group played for several years working on their roots, writing music and performing up and down Southern California. Now, some years later, they’ve revamped their sound & welcomed their fourth member to the group, Jacob Miller on lead guitar. A new EP is expected early 2013, accompanied by live shows. JEKKEL is here with an insatiable hunger for music and can’t wait to share it with you.