1- Where did you grow up? Binghamton, NY, USA. "Carousel Capital of the World." Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone also grew up there and was reportedly inspired by the town's quirky characters and landmarks. The town had thriving punk and polka scenes in the 1980s and 90s which sometimes crossed over in weird ways. 2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid? "Mr. Roboto" by Styx. Hearing this song was a revelation. A spacey synth intro, sci-fi lyrics with a Japanese chorus, electronic drums and effects, and most of all that great vocoder. There was nothing else like it on the radio at the time. 3- What influenced you to get into music? The local free-form college radio station (WHRW, 90.5 FM) exposed me to lots of eclectic stuff at a young age including experimental electronic music. It inspired me to record my own weird soundscapes with cheap Casio keyboards and effects. From there I started playing in bands with friends and solo, mixing genres and exploring unusual territory. 4- At what age did you start playing/singing? My siblings and I were encouraged to learn to play instruments in elementary school. I played drums and percussion all through school though I was never great at it. In my early teen years I started playing synths and drum machines. 5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school? You learn and grow more from your failures than your successes. Don't be afraid to try something new. 6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment? I've been revisiting a lot of early synthpunk bands lately. "Warm Leatherette" by The Normal and "High Pressure Days" by The Units are perfect minimalist bursts of energy. They set the template for so much to follow and remind me that less is more in music production. 7- Do you listen to your own music? While working on an album I lose all perspective from over-examining and endlessly tweaking tracks. It takes a while to distance myself enough in time to hear the finished pieces as actual songs rather than a collection of synchronized sounds and mistakes. Sometimes I'll play them a year or two later and feel satisfied with what I made, but I don't listen to my own music too often. 8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next? I'd love to collaborate with the legendary vocalists Nina Hagen and Grace Jones. A dream that will never happen! 9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career? One dream collaboration that did happen was recording a song for a Dr. Demento tribute album with Fred Schneider of The B-52s. I don't know if I'll top that experience. 10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music? Listen to lots of music and be adventurous in exploring bands and genres outside of your comfort zone. Inspiration and ideas come from unexpected places more than from familiar things.
Cat Temper will be releasing a new album called "Furbidden Planet" on October 29, 2021. Click below to see more pictures, videos and more at his profile page.