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Interview with Catherine Berry
By Kenny Love
(more articles from this author)
2002-10-27
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"I personally like Alice Wonder the best. It really sums up the whole idea of the record and where I was coming from when I wrote the songs." - Catherine Berry

Catherine Berry is an Austin, Texas-based pop artist, by way of Houston and New York, whose debut recording is beginning to experience some phenomenal grass roots success.

[Kenny Love] How are ya?

Catherine Berry Cool, and you?

[Kenny Love] Doing great...you don't know it, but I'm listening to "Up."

Catherine Berry What do you think? I wrote it after I got arrested! tee hee hee

[Kenny Love] What? You?

Catherine Berry Well. It's a long funny story.

[Kenny Love] Please...we like long funny stories here.

Catherine Berry I was a, particularly, broke musician in 2000. I had racked up many parking tickets. I finally got the money together and paid them off.

[Kenny Love] Okay, but how did you end up in the pokey monster?

Catherine Berry I was taking a friend to the airport and I got pulled over for an expired registration sticker.

[Kenny Love] You want to hear something ironic?

Catherine Berry Same thing?

[Kenny Love] Er, actually, No.

Catherine Berry When they ran my profile, the tickets that I had paid, had not cleared in the computer. So, I was sent to jail. The police told me it was no big deal and I wouldn't be there very long.

[Kenny Love] That's the company answer.

Catherine Berry But, when they issued me the rubber booties and uniform, I freaked. I had already used my one phone call to cancel a gig that night.

[Kenny Love] Dear Lord! So, how did you get bail?

Catherine Berry I had to wait about 10 hours before I could call a lawyer to get me outta there! The system was so unorganized that I spent almost 24 hours in jail. I was in there with a bunch of sorority girls who had stolen a flag from a golf course. It was hell!

[Kenny Love] LOL Geez!

Catherine Berry My friends got the money. It wasn't that bad. At any rate, when I got home, of course, I tried to write a song. I thought I would come out with an angry song or something really biting but, instead, I wrote the most positive song I have ever written.

[Kenny Love] War is, indeed, hell, ain't it? Well, the irony is, that I use to be...er, uh, um, a cop. So, we must be related.

Catherine Berry Ha Ha I learned my lesson...parking tickets before food. I was just so grateful for the simple things in life that we take for granted every day. Bet you don't usually start interviews with jail stories, do you?

[Kenny Love] Uh, let me see...the last time I did one was...er, never! So, how do you like Austin, as I lived there for awhile myself?

Catherine Berry I love it. I grew up in Houston, but have lived all over. I have been back in Austin for four years.

[Kenny Love] I also lived in H-Town...now, I know that we *must*, indeed, be related.

Catherine Berry You never know! I am a seventh generation Texan.

[Kenny Love] Hmm...that goes back about 100 years, doesn't it?

Catherine Berry Think so...my grandma would know.

[Kenny Love] I used to live out on the southwest side of Houston, and off Barton Springs in Austin.

Catherine Berry I live in Travis Heights...right across from Stacy Pool.

[Kenny Love] Let me say that, I dearly love your CD.

Catherine Berry Wow! Thank you.

[Kenny Love] Thought about going for "American Idol?"

Catherine Berry I am laughing...I dunno. Can anyone just sign up? I don't have a TV so I have only heard about that show second-hand.

[Kenny Love] I don't know the particulars but, administratively, you are past them, since they are trying for deals.

Catherine Berry Well, I would love a deal! It's hard doing all the work yourself. I have distribution, but a lot still falls on my shoulders. I kinda like it that way, though...control freak and all.

[Kenny Love] Ha! Who's your distribution through?

Catherine Berry Southwest Wholesale in Houston.

[Kenny Love] Nice choice...are you in the process of spreading it out, er, so to speak?

Catherine Berry Yes. I think the record is more suited for east coast or west coast listeners. I don't really know why I think that, just a hunch.

[Kenny Love] Hmm...I would think that Austin would be very open to it.

Catherine Berry I guess the record feels more urban than rootsy to me. And, Austin and the southwest is all about roots.

[Kenny Love] I suppose you are right about that.

Catherine Berry Oh, Austin is great! I don't know about El Paso though.

[Kenny Love] Well, I've got news for ya...*nobody* knows about El Paso.

Catherine Berry You're funny!

[Kenny Love] Thank ya, Madame.

Catherine Berry My dream is to get some European air play and to tour/promote over there.

[Kenny Love] Europe will, pardon the pun, *LOVE* your record.

Catherine Berry I hope so...thanks.

[Kenny Love] Well, I lived in Germany for several years, and know its pulse fairly well.

Catherine Berry Cool.

[Kenny Love] What is the record doing at radio, and which single is spinning?

Catherine Berry The Triple A that I have been able to get likes "Toothache" and "Long Hard Wave." The public radio plays "Geography" and "Wound up Over You." I always thought "Calling" or "Alice Wonder" would do well. But, calling may be too long.

[Kenny Love] That's excellent...and, how many stations do you estimate are spinning them?

Catherine Berry That's a great question. I am trying to track that as we speak....I will let you know soon.

[Kenny Love] Okay, now elaborate on this acting career of yours...what's the deal with that?

Catherine Berry I grew up acting and studied it in NY at a conservatory.

[Kenny Love] Cool!

Catherine Berry I worked professionally for a few years after college, but music was really pulling my interest a lot more by that time. My brother has a fringe theatre here in Austin and I do things with him from time to time. And, I still do voiceovers.

[Kenny Love] What about film and television?

Catherine Berry Well, you really have to be in LA to do that. there are some things here in Austin, but you have to be really monofocused on that to make it happen. I am just more interested in music, at least, right now. I also did voice for some Japanimations. That was a blast!

[Kenny Love] Without being savvy with that term, I'm taking a wild guess and assuming that means Japanese animation, or Japanese cartoons

Catherine Berry Yes. They make them in Japan, then send them over here to be dubbed with American actors. The voices, that is. My acting training included a lot of music training as well, so I was lucky it has all been following a common thread.

[Kenny Love] I see. Now, the Jazz quartet...how is that going?

Catherine Berry We were working a lot around the holidays last year but I have had to put it on hold a bit to focus on working my record. I hope to get back to it soon.

[Kenny Love] What are some of the rooms you are playing in Austin?

Catherine Berry Flipnotics Cafe, Central Market, MOMO's club.

[Kenny Love] Nice...

Catherine Berry I had my CD release at Cactus Cafe on campus at UT. I love playing there.

[Kenny Love] Excellent...far worse rooms to play, huh?

Catherine Berry Absolutely! But, I think I have played every Taco Shack in Austin at this point too!

[Kenny Love] Any ideas for a video?

Catherine Berry Well, I have a friend in NY who is dying to help me out with that....I think that would be such fun.

[Kenny Love] Which selection would you produce make off the CD as a first?

Catherine Berry Hmm... I, personally, like "Alice Wonder" the best. It really sums up the whole idea of the record and where I was coming from when I wrote the songs.

[Kenny Love] So, are you leaning toward going up there and getting it done, or would you produce it out here?

Catherine Berry New York. I take any chance I can to go back. I lived there for five years before Austin and I miss it, although I am tremendously happy here.

[Kenny Love] Yeah, it must be the pace...I love fast-paced metros because you don't have the opportunity to become lazy.

Catherine Berry Yes. And, I like a little dirt in the city where I live. Crazy, but true.

[Kenny Love] Ha! Well, you're out of luck in Austin, aren't you?

Catherine Berry Yes!

[Kenny Love] So, what's in the immediate future for ya?

Catherine Berry Play, play, play. Keep working on radio and press. And, hopefully, make another record in the spring!

[Kenny Love] Excellent outlook...hey, I wish you the best with this debut...it's an excellent piece of work.

Catherine Berry Thanks so much. That is really nice to hear.

www.catherineberry.com


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