Singer/songwriter CAT — also known as Catherine Pierce — first turned heads as one-half of the band The Pierces. The Pierces made five full-length releases — starting with 2000’s Sony-released self-titled album — before calling a hiatus in August 2015. In those 15 years, The Pierces notably were labeled a Rolling Stone Breaking Artist, had the theme song to Pretty Little Liars, and toured with the world with Coldplay.
January 2017 brought the debut single from CAT, “You Belong To Me,” which premiered via CLASH. Downtown spoke with Catherine shortly after “You Belong To Me” came out, prior to the release of her second single “Hard To Be A Woman.” Catherine chatted about New York living and what’s coming up for her. CAT can be followed via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
When did you first move to New York?
Cat: I moved to New York City the summer of 2001. The attacks on the World Trade Center happened a few months later. My mom called me in a panic the morning of 9/11 and I watched from the window of my apartment as the second plane hit. My parents begged me to come back to Alabama, but I had already fallen in love with the city and wasn’t leaving.
Where was the first gig you ever played in Manhattan? What do you remember about it?
Cat: The first gig I played in NYC was at The Mercury Lounge. Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes was in the audience and he had someone send me a rose with his phone number backstage. We went on to date for five years and we were engaged for a bit. It didn’t work out due to us both being young and insane and partying too much, but we are still friends now and both living healthier lifestyles. So yeah, it was a memorable gig!
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
Cat: Lil Frankie’s has a special place in my heart.
A year and a half ago, you and your sister announced that The Pierces were going on a hiatus. Did you immediately know that you would be putting out solo material?
Cat: Yes! As much as we loved being in a band together, we have both been dying to put out solo records for years. We are both excited that it’s finally happening.
Does a professional hiatus like the one you and Allison have at all affect your family relationship? I’d sure hope not!
Cat: We have actually become much closer now that we’re not working together. It’s tough being in a band with your sister no matter how much you like each other. It’s so nice to support each other in our solo endeavors too.
You just released your first single as a solo artist. How did you know your collaborators Jason and Leggy? Were they long-time friends?
Cat: I’ve known Jason Lader for a long time. I met him when he was doing Julian Casablancas’ first solo record. We reconnected in Los Angeles and started making music together. Leggy Langdon is my husband! He’s incredibly-talented and he and Jason work really well together. They both bring an incredible skill set but also have very different aesthetics. Somehow, the combination of the three of us made a little bit of magic.
New single aside, what else is coming up for you?
Cat: I’ve got about 20 songs in various phases of completion. I’m gonna roll out a few more singles and then an album later in the year. I’ve also been working on some cool visuals with Antony Langdon. There are videos on the way, too.
Any chance we’ll see you collaborate again with Steve Schiltz in the future?
Cat: Steve! I haven’t seen Steve in ages, but yes, I’m down!
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
Cat: Oh, I like to do lots of things. I’m currently designing a deck of tarot cards, which has been a long but really fun process. I’ve been making homemade lip balms and lotions too. I really enjoy dabbling in psychedelics. I think it’s good for the soul and the collective consciousness. They tap you back in to what’s important and true. I’d like to heavily dose our current president and rip open that sad, little mind.
Finally, Cat, any last words for the kids?
Cat: Turn on, tune in, and drop out.