Shredding the great composers: an interview with The Great Kat
The Great Kat Official YouTube

There is no confusing The Great Kat with anyone else...

A fire-storm of blond hair whipping around a guitar that's smoking from ferocious fingers and a whole lot of fury. A graduate of the elite Juilliard School, The Great Kat is best known and loved (and sometimes feared) for her speed metal interpretations of the most famous and well-loved pieces of classical music.

One thing is for sure, once The Great Kat has come on your radar you will never, ever forget her. Claiming to be both God and Satan, The Great Kat is all rock star, and a little bit dominatrix, but all in a fun and bombastic metal kind of way.

Her new video for the “William Tell Overture” is currently burning up iTunes and is something that every metal head and classical music lover needs to see. AXS.com recently got the chance to speak with her royal highness of the guitar, and even sans the guitar - The Great Kat never disappoints or fails to leave quite the impression.

AXS.com: The new video for the “William Tell Overture” is awesome! I bet it was exciting doing your take on such a powerful piece...

The Great Kat: The Great Kat’s brilliant take on the famous “William Tell Overture” is unique – mixing history, shred and classical! This piece is known as the “Lone Ranger” theme song, but I brought the historical aspect of the legendary William Tell Virtuoso Marksman to this exciting Music Video. It stars The Great Kat, William Tell, Gessler (the Austrian Overlord) and The All-Male Rhythm Guitar Symphony, with Maestro Kat Conducting!

AXS.com: With playing as fast as you do, would attempting to play a slower tempo piece of music simply bore you?

The Great Kat: The Great Kat does not play “classic rock tunes.” The Great Kat ("Top 10 Fasterst Shredders Of All Time" - Guitar One Magazine) is famous for shredding classical music at supersonic speeds with blistering guitar and violin virtuosity!

AXS.com: How and when did you first become interested in taking classical pieces and playing them with the speed and ferocity that you do?

The Great Kat: After graduating from The Juilliard School as a violin soloist, touring the U.S., England and Mexico and performing my Carnegie Recital Hall debut on solo violin, I realized that classical music was dead! I happened to see a Judas Priest video on TV and became aware of the power of metal! I immediately picked up the electric guitar and began transcribing my intricate violin solos to the electric guitar, developing a unique genre of music: “Shred/Classical” Music - fast, furious, and virtuosic authentic classical scores shredded on guitar and violin with band and orchestra!

AXS.com: How do you feel having that formal music education from a school like Juilliard helped to mold you as the player and performer that you are today?

The Great Kat: The intensive musical and technical training (violin, solfège, theory, chamber music, symphony orchestra, music history) I received at The Juilliard School paved the way for The Great Kat to take my violin virtuoso skills and apply them directly to the guitar to become the world's fastest guitar shredder and an outrageous, blood-dripping guitar goddess!

AXS.com: Fortunately, there's a plethora of wonderful classical music to choose from. How do you go about finding new pieces which you might want to re-create?

The Great Kat: I choose only exciting, well-known, powerful masterpieces from brilliant composers like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Paganini, etc. The Great Kat takes these brilliant creations and makes them even more exciting and energizing for the Internet generation with guitar and violin virtuosity and vicious speed metal!

AXS.com: Are there any particular pieces or composers that you'd like to shred but haven't yet?

The Great Kat: On the upcoming new Great Kat Masterpiece ShredClassical DVD, I will be shredding:
Mozart's “The Marriage of Figaro Overture” - exciting, virtuosic and totally fun. Beethoven's “Fidelio Overture” from the Opera “Fidelio” which has a powerful female as the hero! [And] Paganini’s “Moto Perpetuo” – high-speed shred version for guitar, violin, orchestra and band! Insane!

AXS.com: Have there been any pieces that you've tried to do in your style but didn't 'work' for one reason or another?

The Great Kat: No! The Great Kat only shreds virtuoso masterpieces! All Great Kat ShredClassical Creations are genius!

AXS.com: The commercial for “Call of Duty: Ghosts” features your music and is a perfect fit. Will there ever be a Great Kat full movie soundtrack?

The Great Kat: The Great Kat's Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" is featured on Tesco’s TV commercial is perfect and amazing. Watch for yourselves. A Great Kat full movie soundtrack filled with Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, Paganini, Vivaldi and more would be absolutely shreddingly awesome!

AXS.com: Is there anything else big and exciting going on in The Great Kat Land?

The Great Kat: The Great Kat’s Shred Ringtones are coming soon! Get your cell phone ready for hyperspeed! And new Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody #2” music video coming soon from The Great Kat’s upcoming ShredClassical DVD!

Be sure to check out The Great Kat's official website for information on all things classical-shred.