The Katies reformed in 2017, but in some ways they never really ended.
The Katies started in the late 1990s with brothers Jason Moore (vocals/guitar), Joshua Moore (drums) and Gary Welch (bass/backing vocals). The rock trio grew out of the hotbed of young musicians surrounding the Recording Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, TN. The Katies combined raw energy, pop craft and thunderous power in a way that inspired a music critic from The Tennessean to describe them as “what would happen if Nirvana, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin had ever jammed together.” Their self-titled CD resulted in Spongebath records, the Murfreesboro indie label, forming a co-label deal with Elektra.
After tapping all the essential influences of rock and roll—good and bad—The Katies moved to Los Angeles and quietly disbanded. Gary returned to Middle Tennessee, forming S. J. and the Props, while Jason and Joshua stayed in L.A. and began playing in the rock outfit, WhenBreathingStops. When the brothers moved to Nashville, Jason began to look inward for new inspiration. “After I got clean, I started going through demos and songbooks of tunes that I had written over the last few years,” he explained, “and I noticed that a story was there.” He began thinking about how he wanted to bring this story to life. “I wanted to play these songs with the two other guys that had a shared background and history. The guys I grew up with.”
In 2017, they rebuilt the band around those songs. The new songs find The Katies facing down inner demons and making peace with the past. Touching on themes of resolution and change and pointing to “the ties that bind” both good, and bad. The first recording “White Light” captures real-life struggles with substance abuse, relationships and loss with a straightforward, aggressive, head-on approach. Again, The Katies’ melding of primary elements inspired lofty comparisons. According to one industry figure, “It’s as if Tom Petty, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen all got in the same room and the ghost of Kurt Cobain showed up.”
The Katies bring rock and roll full circle. It’s power without excess, emotion without pathos, reality with no frills. It’s simply rock and roll.
Vocals, Guitar / Jason Moore
Bass, Vocals / Gary Welch
Drums / Joshua Moore