XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Katie: To sing my high end off, write songs, and make people feel stuff
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Katie: I am a closet opera singer! No joke. I use it as sort of a vocal workout to sing my main style, which is blues/jazz/rock. I have a B.A. in music from Cal State Hayward, been playing piano for about 24 years and guitar for about 15 years. My favorite guitar is dobro where I can use a slide and play in alternate tunings. I play harmonica and use a foot tambourine pedal live.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Katie: The image of me, I suppose. Raw, a little psycho, in love with life too.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Katie: I want this new record to reach millions of people for the goal of inspiring them, making them feel real emotions. I want to tour to parts of the world I have never been to, be on everyone’s playlists, get on the Billboard Charts, make a decent living off of music and still be there for my family since I am a mother of two toddlers.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Katie: I would say playing live is the most instant gratification because it is instant communication with others. Writing new songs is one of the most healing things I do for myself, so both have their merits. Recording is most fun when it’s with the band. Tracking by myself becomes a little tedious, but it’s still fun- Especially when I get to layer harmony vocals like the choir nerd that I am deep down.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about?
Katie: Oh man. Everything, so here’s a breakdown: “Ya make it so Hard to Sing the Blues” is about my husband being pretty awesome and making it hard to be the brooding depressed artist of yesteryear, “I Don’t Sing for You” is about finally having the freedom of waking up one day and realizing that an ex-boyfriend is no longer a muse and I could care less about what he hears since I no longer want to write about him. “Letters” is about a military couple where one of them struggles with PTSD and alcohol and they are trying to keep the faith that their marriage will survive. “Metro in Paris” is based off a claustrophobic incident of being smashed against other commuter bodies during rush hour so I decided to turn it into a sexy dance. That’s my after party 3 am strip club song. I actually hope pole dancers use that song one day, ha! “I Will Stick Around” is a story about wanting to be there for a friend that was going through insanely traumatic events. “Come Back” is my totally psycho fatal attraction song. That was really fun to record. Getting creepy and dark is one of my favorite things in creating music. “Get Outta My Dream” is just about having an ex-enter your dream that you hadn’t thought of in quite a long time and you’re pissed that you’re thinking about them and that your day is screwed up. “Santa Cruz Blues” is a true story about my witnessing a suicide on my 21st birthday. It also brings up two other people from there that committed suicide. “Another Round” is my tribute to New Orleans. One of my favorite cities on the planet. “Last Man Out” is about the Chilean Miners that were rescued back in 2010.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Katie: Making people feel.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Katie: I haven’t been on big long tours, but I remember a lady walking into a bar I was playing at and she stood like 4 feet in front of me and opened her long jacket to reveal a completely see-through outfit. Once I played at an outdoor coffee house in a cute little town square and the freaking automatic sprinklers turned on me and all my gear.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Katie: To marry them, lol
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Katie: Yes very much. It’s not as rock and roll anyway, so I am pretty nerdy about it all. Don’t do drugs, kids!
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Katie: Be as honest as possible in your expression and your audience will find you.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Katie: Ya Make it So Hard to Sing the Blues, Metro in Paris, and Come Back
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Katie: I suppose the first most important one would be Bonnie Raitt
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Katie: Keb Mo, Lucinda Williams, Concrete Blonde. Yeah I know that’s a crazy mix.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Katie: Well, although this is my 5th album, getting this record made and released while having 2 babies in a row was pretty huge for me. Parenthood is no joke. Also opening for Robert Cray as a solo act this year at some dreamy theatre venues was super fun.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Katie: I already have it- I teach music. Piano and voice lessons out of my home.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Katie: My sexy as hell Korg SV1 (ha!) , Dobro guitar with a hellhound red ceramic slide, foot tambourine pedal, harmonica, Shure Beta 58A mics
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Katie: It’s what you make of it. I think it’s fantastic and gives independent artists like myself a fighting chance.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Katie: I have a brown belt in martial arts so don’t mess with me.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Katie: THANK YOU for listening and supporting! And please buy this new record. Especially before the release date of 11/7. It can get me on the charts.
Katie Knipp Band:
Katie Knipp on vocals, piano, guitar, harmonica
Neil Campisano on drums
Brett Vaughn Rechtfertig on guitar
Zack Proteau on bass and tuba.