he release of JAY KATANA's humorously titled LP BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE actually dropped at the tail end of 2017 but since we're looking to the future with the arrival of 2018, why not give the man his due at the start of this brand spanking new year. When we spoke with KATANA in 2016, he had released an ambitious sounding EP BLEEDING BOYFRIEND PART 1 which demonstrated the young artists virtuosity on the six string and his wide music reach melding SATRIANI-esque guitar work with current electronic beats. Giving the music and the artist some extra varnish was the artwork that highlighted the music videos for that EP's roll out. Romantic disillusionment ruled the day with that release and there was nothing more pwoerful than guitar virtuosity mixed with electronic dance music to drive the point home. Now, KATANA continues his rock guitar-meets-EDM alchemy with his new album BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE but the motivation is different this time. Following a serious hand injury in which had KATANA fearing he would never play guitar again, the Russian-born ax-man found himself re-invigorated when the blood-spurting injury was fixed with surgery and a new lease on life was discovered. Accompanying this new lease on life is another artfully released album complete with all of the flare that we've come to know KATANA for. It's even coming with an action figure!
ROCKWIRED had a chance to get reacquainted JAY KATANA over the phone. Here is how the interview went.
BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE is a surprising listen and it's not what I expected after the release of your previous EP BLEEDING BOYFRIEND VOL. 1. How do you feel about the work that you're about to put out there?
Actually, I'm very happy. It's way better than I expected. At the beginning, I had that feeling that this was a going to be something cool.
Is this the next chapter of what you set up with BLEEDING BOYFRIEND or is this it's own thing?
It has a lot of the same vibe but the inspiration is different. This isn't the next chapter of BLEEDING BOYFRIEND VOL. 1. It's a separate project but the nightlife theme throughout the album is kind of the same. It's just the inspiration that was different.
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What is the inspiration for this new album?
I had cut my hand really badly and I needed surgery for it but right before the surgery I wasn't sure If I'd be able to play guitar again. I cut it really badly. That day, I promised myself that I'd get up from the hospital and I'd be able to play and create the best guitar instrumental stuff out there. That was the first time that I thought of putting together this instrumental album.
What were the circumstances of you cutting you hand?
Now it sounds like a good romantic memory but it was so stupid. I'm even embarassed remembering it. I'd love to say that I was protecting a girl or doing somethng heroic but it was a stupid accident with a knife and I'm too embarassed to to tell. When it happened, it was like a horror movie. Blood sprayed everywhere all over the walls. For the first moment after that, my fingers were moving and everything but when I got to the hospital, I started losing consciousness because of the loss of blood. When they put me under anesthesia, I had this thought or fear that I would lose my hand or something. But those thoughts were a starting point but the next day, when everything was fine I got so many messages from friends and fans and people that I barely knew. I was so touched that I immediately forgot about all of my failures. Before that moment, my main driving force was my failure. I always wanted to prove somebody wrong and that was my driving force and after that, my driving force was the people who care about me. The title of this CD is my last mesage to the haters.
Any plans for music videos like you did for the last release?
Yes. As it was the last time, I want to do videos for all of the tracks and have all of them represented by some artwork . I don't know if I'll be making comic book-themed videos for all of the tracks like I did the last time. A few of them will be performance videos and a few of them will be more conceptual. I'm not interested in repeating myself.
What tracks on the album have you the most excited tot get people to hear off of BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE and why?
I think the track NO TIME TO BE SORRY definitely best represents my feelings. I started writing it just after I got out of the hospital. I can't explain it. So many things just flipped in my mind . All of the negative emotions became more positive emotions. I started to appreciate everything. It sounds cliche when people say "think positive and not negative." Everybody knows it but this is the first time that I've really felt it. I feel it 100%.
And so far what kind of reaction have you been getting from the album?
The album will be released a week from now and will be available everywhere on all of the streaming and downloading services. People can buy the CD if they want to. Before the release, I sent out fifty copies to friends and people who've supported me. Not everyone of these people relates to rock music or guitar driven music. Some of these people chosen randomly and I've been surprised by the reaction and I'm more than satisfied that everybody likes it. It's better than I expected.
And with regard to the roll out fo the CD, will there be a tour?
Right now I work full time with a band that is touring and they've got their own material. My stuff is instrumental. If I tour my my own music they willbe short tours mixed with guitar clinics where I'd play the songs on guitar to backing tracks and then teaching guitar lessons.
What's the big idea behind this release? What would you lke for people to come away with after they hear the album?
My main goal was to make the guitar shine in new colors. I've been listening to a lot of guitar instrumental music laely and I've learned that nothing has changed with it since the nineties. It's all the same thing. It's all about playing faster and faster and faster with the same scales. Nothing changes. I want to do something where guitar music lends itself to more modern music like EDM and dubstep or even hip hop. I want to give inspiration to guitarists out there. If someone takes it form here, we'll all be taking guitar to the next level.
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