Interview with Jay Katana of Bleeding Boyfriend
“Bleeding Boyfriend” by Jay Katana is “an electronic dance metal, multi-media concept consisting of comic book music videos, all with a goal of making music that will serve as a soundtrack for people’s lives, to inspire them and to connect them to their memories and dreams.” Continues Katana, “I also want my music to be recognizable anywhere and anytime. If I learn about new subjects like production or video editing – it gives me huge inspiration musically to enlarge my limits,” explains the millennial-aged musician who calls Atlanta, Georgia home.
Bleeding Boyfriend “is a concept project combining music, visuals, and personal connection, consisting of “four tracks and four comic book music videos, telling four correlated stories about the night life and seduction games of our generation,” explains Katana, who plays all guitars on the project. “It’s a result of two years of collaboration with talented producers, artists, designers and musicians. Everything was based on true stories – some are mine, and some i was just spectating.”
The Bleeding Boyfriend creation process was not without its risks. “While shooting the video for me performing on the roof, we got arrested,” recalls Katana with a smile and a wink. “I had access to the building because my friends manage it, but I didn’t tell him about our plans (to film a video). He had no idea who broke in that building with a lot of equipment in the middle of the night. So he called the police.”
In addition to Bleeding Boyfriend – which Katana plans to tour in support of – he is also presently working on an acoustic EP, “and collaborating with some bands from New York and New Jersey. In other words, staying busy and I like that.”
His life philosophy, as it were? “Every day I try to life like the last one. I sky dive and kart race when there’s free time”. Katana firmly believes “it’s also a good idea to immerse yourself in the nuances of the music business, which I presently study. I plan to get a degree in band-management domain.” And, of course, “spending many hours every day on improving my playing and composing skills, and reaching new limits.”
In this age of a resurgence of experimental sounds in music, the use of audio and graphic novel animation, this is a truly inventive use of both mediums. IndiePulse Music Magazine asked Jay Katana some questions in interview and get the beaning of the Bleeding Boyfriend project.
A story of Love, Betrayal and Revenge all with a soundtrack that is just as powerful and dramatic.
How did you get your start in music?
It all started when my dad took me to my favorite band’s show for the first time. I remember staying there in front of the empty stage waiting for band to appear while crowd was screaming the band’s name. Suddenly the lights went off, the “intro” played on background and the smoke covered the stage. Guitarist was the first one to appear. And the way he looked: long red hair, his hands were covered with tattoos, grey-leather pants, metal on his hands and neck. He looked at the crowd so confidently and hit the power chord. Everybody went crazy. That very moment I knew exactly who I am to become.
What was your very first performance? Was it everything you believed it would be?
Actually it was way better than I imagined. It took only 3 posters in my grandmother’s village to bring all the people to a rock show (including kids, older people – everybody). So we performed in front of 600 people. Honestly we performed and sounded not that good, but they loved us, so in one night we became local superstars and I got the girl I desperately was in love for 3 years. It was a successful debut.
Looking back at what you’ve done through the years, what, would you say was the driving force behind your music.
I really love to entertain, create emotions, impress people and be admired. As the bands who inspired me when I was a kid, I would love to give people the soundtracks for their lives, dreams and memories.
Who were some of your inspirations?
It all started with Russian metal band “ARIA”, but later the biggest influence were “Motley Crue” and “Judas Priest”, and then “AFI”, “Bullet for my Valentine”, “Fall out boy”, “HIM”. Actually I get the inspirations from different genres: pop, dubstep, edm.
Who have you shared the stage with in your career?
The biggest names are Skid Row and Twisted Sister, but there were so many great American and European bands I became friends while sharing the stage.
Tell us about your band-mates, and would you say you had a natural chemistry when working together?
I was lucky enough to collaborate with many talented musicians and learned a lot from them. As for chemistry – if I like the guy on a personal level, and we have the same music vision and vibe – the miracles will happen.
Tell us about your recent release.
The recent one is “Bleeding Boyfriend”, a comic book video series with Electronic Dance Metal Soundtracks. It was created as a music-visual product with personal connection and dedicated to night live and love relations of our generation. I got way more feedback from people than I expected when it was released and I had real fun while making it.
The music video / video comic – animation series “BLEEDING BOYFRIEND” is both unique and interesting, the videos, without lyrics, being instrumental get a narrative that changes as you watch the videos, and since the sequences can be watched in any order, the story changes as frequently as the music’s emotional context. How did you come up with the idea, and did the music come first or did the illustrations come first? And how did they merge?
The music came first, but when the tracks were finished I didn’t want to release them as just the audio product. I thought I need to do something more interesting with them. At the same time I was really inspired with my recent relationships with girls and while I was listening the tracks I was picturing cartoons telling different stories. And the way it sounded it came up perfectly: the first chapter, the second and so on…
So as the result it was four correlated stories: the first one tells about a girl being heart broken and then became beautiful revenge seeker; the second one is about the guy who finds his own hard way to meet women in bars and build relationship, the third one is when the girl meets the guy and their story ends in a really dramatic way. The fourth story – is what happens next.
What would you say was your best and favorite performance?
I played with a band “Bad Captain” at global battle of bands pre-selection in 2008. So in one night we became celebrities in my country and I got another girl I was desperately in love back then.
What would you say was your strangest performance?
With the same band we played a school tour. And I one school we performed in front of five first grade kids and a principal. Do I have to tell that the show was stopped after the third song??
What are your inspirations while writing?
I think the most inspirations are personal experiences and emotions. When something good or bad happens in my life I become really creative.
Looking at your long road here, to where we are, what would you like your fans to know, how would you like to be remembered?
I would love to be remembered as a guy who made kids grab the guitars and learn how to play their favorite songs. And to show them that to be a musician is not necessarily means to be starving and poor beard-guy with no future. My job is to bring the profession of a “rockstar” back.
What’s next for you as far as possible albums or special news you would like to share?
I’m joining an established New Jersey band right before their first international tour, so it will be many news to come in the nearest future. And also I got some ideas and will try to execute and release some of them soon. It’s time to kick some real ass.
More can be found on his web site bleedingboyfriend.com and follow his Facebook page at facebook.com/bleedingboyfriend
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