theaussieword.com speaks exclusively with Garrett Kato…
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music? My first run in with music was at my uncle’s house. Every year he would play Beatles song on the piano and sing. As a kid I always thought of music as magic, I had no idea how something invisible could make you think and feel a certain way especially played live. At age 16 my uncle gave me my first guitar. It was a dusty old Mann Model from the 60’s and it only had four strings on it.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? This sounds a little bit crazy, but I believe songwriting is almost like a drug. After I write a song that I know is one hundred precent true and from the heart I’m on cloud nine for a few days. It’s better than anything money can buy or an expensive night out. So I’m always searching for that feeling in songs, sometimes it comes often and other times you must be patient.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? Years ago I worked with a producer by the name of Todd Simko and he gave me some really valuable advice. He told me that credibility and staying true to yourself should be your retirement plan as an artist. If you lose credibility or honesty in your music, there is no way of getting it back easily and some never do. So my biggest goal is stay real and hopefully my current fans and future fans will see me as an artist rather than a celebrity or a fool.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? I am on tour at the moment playing in Sydney and Melbourne this week. Next month I will be embarking on my biggest tour yet. I’ll be supporting Pete Murray on his nation tour and I am super thankful for it.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music? My album “That Low and Lonesome Sound” is a warm blend of americana and rock’n roll stylings. I recorded a large portion of the record at my home studio in Byron Bay and worked on it for about two years straight. It became somewhat of an obsession, but I believe some magic was unearthed from it.
Success, what is the secret to it? Failure… Mainly because I’ve found success is made from failure, so if you’re failing it means you’re building to be successful.
What has been your biggest career highlight? It’s hard to say which is the best highlight so far. I think this was a big compliment from the industry. This was a few years ago and I was busking on the streets in Byron Bay. The “Bestival” festival programmer walked by and she stopped to listen to me play. Afterwards she bought a CD and asked if I would interested in playing at their festival next year (Elton John and Snoop Dogg were the headlining), so I said sure.?
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? At the moment, I’m really digging Kurt Vile’s and the War on Drugs promo and getting records and tours announced. It’s not too fancy and over the top and they just are 100% musicians and stay that way. I think it’s so great to see dudes that play killer music just play killer music… You know?
Any new projects in the pipeline? I’m a pretty busy guy now a days since the birth of my daughter. She’s really awesome and loves to make a mess so… I think that’s my next project for a good 50 to 70 years.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Hopefully… In a green room of the Sydney Opera house about to hit the stage with my killer band and room full of music lovers and friends. That would be very, very much ideal.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Kyle Lionhart – He’s a smoothy
Luke Morris – He’s also a smoothy
MT WARNING – They are dangous
PILOTS – They are fun loving dudes
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? I think it’s very good and bad… It’s very hard to say weather music is more or less accessible by being so disorganised on the net. In many ways this country in particular is a bit of a lottery when it comes to a music career. Followers and social media lifestyle platforms are the basis of a solid career, which can be liberating, but every fire needs a spark to start. So that begs the question, where do you get momentum for a career in Australia? X Factor? Triple J? Or is it all just luck and good looks? Thankfully I have both 😉 jk
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? “That Low and Lonesome Sound’ is out now!!! and thanks very much for having me!
Twitter: / garrettkato