What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

We all come from musical backgrounds. Ken learned piano and played drums in high school because his dad did.. Johnny was raised with music for as long as he can remember. His dad is a jazz trombonist. Cat grew up with this passion to make music that, as a kid, far outweighed her skills at the time. We all had this desire from the beginning.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history.

The band is Cat, Johnny and Ken. Ken started Occurrence. He’s a playwright and when his plays were first being produced in New York back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, theaters couldn’t afford a sound designer so he taught himself the software. But he started making tracks that weren’t for shows, but for private consumption. Friends eventually encouraged him to take it more seriously. Around 2014, he contacted Cat (an old friend from college whom he hadn’t seen in years) and asked her to sing on one track, which turned into a whole album. Johnny joined the band officially after our first album. We were playing live and needed some extra vocal power which Johnny brings in droves. 

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

We just got better. Practice makes perfect or something. Part of it is giving ourselves the freedom to write about not only our own life experiences but also abstractions of those experiences. The author Ocean Vuong talks about how he plugs in data from his life and then runs a simulation of sorts so that the outcome is different than his own life but still resonates as his own. That’s something we’ve been trying recently. We also have used favorite books as inspirations. Melodically, we’ve gotten better at writing to our own unique strengths.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

A band sets the tone for how an audience should behave and engage. Cat is a powerful frontwoman, and Ken and Johnny are openly gay men. We hope our very bodies signal clearly to everyone that we will not allow any violent or unsafe behavior at our shows. Each of us knows what it’s like to be disempowered by others and a show is no place for that. It’s for community building and warm overpriced beer.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

We definitely should not be giving anyone any tips about how to get people to hear your music. We feel very terrible in that arena. Ken hasn’t even watched a Tik Tok.. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

Ken is a playwright.

Cat writes poetry.

We think Elon Musk has good ideas.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

It’s occasionally a blessing and mostly a curse. The lack of physical objects is a problem. So much of how music works are associative. This is Ken speaking. I remember where and when I bought The Cure’s Disintegration. The feeling of opening the package. The struggles in my life. The first listening experience. Telling my friends. Music’s reduction to streaming means sounds is robbed of that context. Everything gets flattened and becomes the same sonic wallpaper. And yet, without Spotify, we wouldn’t reach the 30+ listeners from Germany who played our music yesterday. How could a band our size do that? We can’t tour so it’s so nearly impossible. Streaming makes that possible. And yet… 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

All of the studio gear that Ken bought during the pandemic was totally essential. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

We played at a bar in Lawrence, Kansas and as luck would have it, we bumped the weekly gay karaoke night. One dude was really pissed about that and played pinball loudly during our set. We all thought he was gonna punch Ken. 

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

Ken had a job that he got fired from after only one day’s worth of work. 

Johnny grew up in Mexico City.

Cat grew up in rural northwest New Jersey with cows and everything.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

We take things you think you know and make them sound new. We’ve definitely got a nostalgic bent, both lyrically and musically, and so in our music, you might hear elements of genres and bands that you recognize. Also, we all have a connection to theatre and tend to infuse our work with dramatic power. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Our new single FUDGE. It was born from the ashes of an unreleased song, and it’s a libidinal soundtrack to a lusty night.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune.

Originally, Ken had a completely different instrumental written for this piece. Cat heard it and wrote some hyper-salacious lyrics, then immediately felt a bit embarrassed about going to that place. But Ken took that vocal track and completely reworked the song around it to make it the banger (pun intended) that it is.

What was the recording process like?

We recorded a song called FUDGE during sessions for our last record but we all agreed it wasn’t working. Ken thought Cat’s vocals had something so he took them and built a brand new song around them. It was a long process, but we took risks and they paid off.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Be willing to re-think a song from the ground up if you need to.

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?


Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Our entire freakin’ souls.