Kat Von D is world renown for her tattoo work, make up line, and now music. She requires no hype because if you’re reading this you clearly know who she is and what she does.
We chatted with Kat on Valentine’s Day 2022 and she was fun, friendly, and extremely down to earth. Our conversation covered various topics and it’s clear from talking to Kat that’s she’s all about music. The music on “Love Made Me Do It” is melancholy and dark but Kat was upbeat, kind, and full of life while we chatted about the new record, the next record, family, and influences.
Rock N Roll Experience: “When you write a song which comes first, the lyrics or the music?”
Kat Von D: It really depends, sometimes I have music for choruses or the overall theme and then sometimes I start with just a beautiful chord progression that I’ve done on the piano. It really depends. Lyrics take me the longest, that’s always the last (thing) I work on once I have the song structure down.
Rock N Roll Experience: “Do you have any pre show rituals?”
Kat Von D: We do the cliche band hug (laughs). We like to throw flowers out to fans when we come out on stage so we are usually back there smelling like a bouquet of roses (laughs).
Rock N Roll Experience: “Will there be a Remix EP of songs from your debut release?”
Kat Von D: We actually did release a remix for the single “Exorcism” and I believe we are going to press it onto vinyl and make a limited edition (version) as well. We have remixes by Frans Schubert from Kraftwerk, Mr. Kitty, Cold Cave, Gunship, Scratch Massive, and also included a piano version that me and Greg Foreman my synth player did.
Rock N Roll Experience: I understand what the song “Exorcism” is about but I have to ask, are you a fan of the horror movie “The Exorcist”?”
Kat Von D: Yeah, of course. “Exorcism” was written about, I mean it’s a love song making the correlation between love and demonic possession, that was definitely inspired after a marathon of every Exorcist movie that ever existed. Me and my friend Kevvy watched all of them and yeah, that was what inspired it. I’m a huge fan of all Exorcist movies, part 1, 2, and 3. I think part 2 and 3 kinda get talked crap about but I actually think they are really good.
Rock N Roll Experience: “Would you ever make a metal record?”
Kat Von D: No. I love metal, it’s kind of what I was brought up on I feel like, but my voice doesn’t lend itself to that, I wish I could sing like Alissa from Arch Enemy but it’s just not in me. I love all of the post punk stuff, I’m really into The Cure and Depeche Mode and Siouxsie and the Banshees stuff, and while I don’t believe we sound necessarily like them, I just love that nostalgic 80’s synthesizer sound and incorporating that into our music.
Rock N Roll Experience: Will the new Selena cover “Fotos y Recuerdos” receive a physical release?
Kat Von D: I think so, I feel like the response has been so epic with that one and I was born in Mexico so I have a lot of fans in Mexico and America and stuff so, we are just kind of blown away by how people are really connecting to our version of that song and so yeah, I think we might do that. I’ll definitely be releasing more music in Spanish as well.
Rock N Roll Experience: “I know it’s a little premature since your debut release just came out but have you started working on music for your 2nd record?”
Kat Von D: It’s not premature at all, we are already half way through the second album and our plan is to go on tour in March and we come back for I think three weeks, then we’ll start production on the new album, and then go on tour in Europe in the month of May through June, then we come back to finish the new album get ready to release that and tour all over again. We are on fire.
Rock N Roll Experience: “You have a big birthday coming up soon (40), do you have any big plans for it?”
Kat Von D: I’m actually going to be on tour for my Birthday so I’ll be in Georgia I believe (laughs). Where are you at?
Rock N Roll Experience: Maryland
Kat Von D: Oh cool, oh my God, I love Maryland. I have family there and we are playing Baltimore and I’m actually really excited about that show. For some reason I just have a lot of friends in Baltimore. I am so so stoked about that show.
Rock N Roll Experience: “Are there plans for Dave Grohl or Peter Murphy to join you onstage at some point?”
Kat Von D: Yeah. I always say, like that duet I did with Peter Murphy, that’s one of the songs we don’t play, we say like the only way we would play it live is if the stars aligned and Peter and I were in the same room. I just feel like his voice is so epic that, a lot of times people will tour and play a song and use someone else on the vocals and I could never do that to Peter, he’s so iconic, so yeah, hopefully. We’ve been talking, he’s in Turkey, so we are also trying to see if we can get in the same room to film a music video for it.
Rock N Roll Experience: “Do you collect vinyl records?”
Kat Von D: Yes I do. I’m a huge record collector. I still have the very first record that I ever bought, I was 14 years old. (Laughs)
Rock N Roll Experience: And what record was your first?
Kat Von D: It was The Plasmatics (laughs).
Rock N Roll Experience: Speaking of Vinyl, I’ve seen you have a few variants for your current record “Love Made Me Do It”.
Kat Von D: We have the classic black obviously, which is like the best for sound quality. We have the limited edition signed red ones which I think are almost sold out, the glow in the dark are the ones we distribute to all the indie records stores because I’m a huge record store fan, I wanted to make something special for them, and the gold one we just did special for Amazon. I know we are going to do the “Exorcism” Remix EP on vinyl and that one will be called “Exorcisms” and then obviously whatever the new album that’s coming out we plan on doing some stuff, but you know, you never know because I’m doing a cover of a Spanish song from the 1940’s from Spain and I’m doing a cover with Charo and I mean that’s just going to be such a special song that I definitely will want to release it on vinyl. It all just depends on what we have coming up.
Rock N Roll Experience: “How has covid effected the meet and greets on this tour?”
Kat Von D: I think different venues have different regulations. I’m definitely not afraid to hug people, I think I’ve kind of built my entire career, I don’t want to really say built my career, but this has been a huge part of my entire life, having meet and greets. At every step along the way I would no be here if it wasn’t for my fans. I feel like it’s important to make everyone feel special and take that time but yeah, I think it just depends upon what the rules are or whatever. I think it’s just venue by venue.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you a fan of the band KISS?
Kat Von D: Yes, of course. I love KISS and I love all decades of KISS as well. I like Disco KISS, I like all of it. What I love about them is their showmanship, that’s something that I’m a really big fan of. I like bands that really bring it. Nowadays I feel like when you go and see a band play and it’s like, the guy in a cardigan is just standing at a mic and KISS are just always bringing it and I love that. People like Peter Murphy, I saw him play not long ago and they still dress like someone you want to aspire to be, they move, they have a light show, it’s just a big part of storytelling the album with the music. I love that showmanship when it comes to KISS.
Rock N Roll Experience: Then I’ll assume you’re probably a fan of The Misfits too?
Kat Von D: Yeah, I’m friends with most of those guys and I love them.
Rock N Roll Experience: “Have you ever tattooed any of The Misfits?”
Kat Von D: I remember that Glenn (Danzig) wanted me to tattoo his hand a long time ago but we never got around to it. Then Doyle I talk to on a semi regular basis, I just have not seen them in a while. I think the last time that I saw them I was in New York and we all got together, but yeah, I love The Misfits. The first tattoo I ever tattooed was The Misfits Crimson Ghost.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you have any plans for collaborations on the next record?
Kat Von D: Yes, we do. We are just not announcing it officially just yet but I think it will be some stuff you will be interested in.
Rock N Roll Experience: “When the upcoming tour ends would you consider jumping on a larger tour as an opening act or will you continue to headline on your own?”
Kat Von D: I don’t know. I think we are good with headlining, I mean on this tour in specific I am touring with my Husband so it works out really great because we have a lovely three year old boy and we get to take him out together, I just couldn’t imagine being away from my son a month at a time so it’s nice to be able to do that. Our friends in Cold Cave, that’s how they do it, and I kind of like the idea of a family going on tour, here, I’ll hold the baby while you’re onstage (laughs). But yeah, I think after our Europe run we are just going to see where the world is at and everything because I really want to go back to where I was born and play there and also South America as well but if that doesn’t happen we’ll just get ready to tour again in the US which is fine. I’m really happy continuing what we are doing.