Kat Myers & The Buzzards are an indie band based in Los Angeles, California. Their unique sound that’s mixed with country and rock & roll makes them a group your earbuds will never forget. Their new album, Owe Everybody Money, comes out November 17th. But before the big reveal of their new music, I got a chance to chat with frontwoman, Kat Myers, about the band’s early days, what fans can expect in their new music, and more.
TYF: Where did the title of the new album, Owe Everybody Money, come from?
Kat Myers: Owe Everybody Money is a lyric from our song “So Kind” and when I said it out loud it made for a pretty funny album title so we went with it.
TYF: What is your writing process like?
Myers: I’ve never been one of those “wake up and write” types, though I wish I was. I tend to get ideas at random times and sing them into my phone or scribble lyrics in various notepads or type them on my phone and then try to put them all together once I force myself to sit down.
TYF: When you were writing the music and putting together the EP, did you ever experience writer’s block?
Myers: I didn’t actually start to experience writer’s block for the first time until recently. It’s pretty rough! I’m not really sure what triggered it but I just wasn’t getting any new ideas and I felt like I was no longer a musician. I’ve snapped out of it.
TYF: How do you overcome it?
Myers: I’d say, the best way to overcome writer’s block is to just relax and don’t be so hard on yourself. If you made stuff before, you will make stuff again. The more you beat yourself up, the more you will prolong it. Just gotta consider it a forced vacation!
TYF: What can fans expect to hear on the new album?
Myers: For this EP, we recorded it all live, which was both fun and challenging. We worked out the arrangements with that in mind, knowing we would keep the production limited. We wanted to introduce ourselves as we are without extra elements that we wouldn’t be able to deliver at our live show.
TYF: What was it like getting to work with Vance Powell on the album?
Myers: Vance is a machine, he’s amazing to work with. There is certainly a reason that he has reached the level of success that he has reached. He put touches on the songs that we wouldn’t have thought of and really brought them to life. Super cool guy too, a fellow midwesterner!
TYF: I read that you wanted something more in life so you decided to pack up your life and go to Southeast Asia in pursuit of answers. Why Southeast Asia?
Myers: Good question! Looking back on that time, I don’t really remember doing the research or even booking it. I just sort of felt like I appeared in Southeast Asia one day and stayed there for 6 months. I guess I followed a gut feeling that told me to go there. That and probably the fact that you can live like a queen for like 4 bucks a day!
TYF: What was your family’s reaction when they found out you wanted to pursue music?
Myers: I have an amazing family, my mother says that I’m a “free spirit” maybe that’s a nice way of saying “black sheep” :). They are very supportive and I don’t think they would be surprised if I told them that I was joining the circus at this point. They’d just be like, “yep, that’s Kath.”
TYF: How did you get into music?
Myers: I started out playing solo shows and met Johnny Elkins and we started playing as a two-piece. Along the way, we met Elliott Beenk who started playing guitar with us and then stumbled across Jeff McElroy who started playing bass. It was all a pretty lucky and random snowball.
TYF: Does your experience and time spent in Asia inspire any of your music?
Myers: I got stuck in a flood in Cambodia which inspired the song “Swim the Streets”. It will be on our next record!
TYF: After your stay in Asia, you decided to break into the Los Angeles music scene. What was it like trying to break into the music scene?
Myers: It’s not easy but I have been lucky to have met such amazingly talented people who have been so helpful. I think that the key is to be grateful for it all and don’t take a thing for granted. I definitely am happy to have kept a sense of humor about everything because it’s not glamorous and you have to play a lot of goofy gigs. They tend to make for the best stories though :). We were playing a gig to a totally empty room at a bar downtown one time and a man walked in and attempted to rob the bar. He went into the back office and ran out with money flying everywhere and the cooks tackled him. We were on our break at the time so we just watched in shock. The cops came, they shut down the bar and we didn’t play our second set. They still paid us though which was nice!
TYF: How did you get connected to your music manager, Tom Carolan?
Myers: That was another lucky and fortuitous meeting! Tom saw us play at the Silverlake Lounge in early 2016 when he was there to check out another band. We hit it off from the beginning when we found out he was originally from Iowa, our guitarist’s home state. He said, “If I can’t sign a fellow Iowan, what am I doing in this business?!”
TYF: Can you give us a little background as to how the band formed?
Myers: Johnny and I started as a two piece and we met Elliott and started playing as a three-piece. As we booked more and more shows, we knew we needed a bass player and that is about when Jeff stumbled into our lives. At the time we were rehearsing at our late friend Pete’s house. A memorable moment was the first time that Jeff came to rehearse with us. Pete had him take his elevator up, which I never knew to be in working order, and of course, he ended up getting stuck in it for like 15 minutes. He thankfully wasn’t too traumatized and joined the band. Pete was a huge part of the formation and early stages of the Buzzards and was one of our biggest supporters. He passed away in January of 2016 and we miss him very much.
TYF: How did you guys come up with the band’s name, Kat Myers & The Buzzards?
Myers: Back in my hometown of Cleveland, we have a rock radio station called WMMS The Buzzard. So, it’s a nod to my hometown.
TYF: Your debut EP is set to release on November 17th. What was the first song that made it to the EP and can you tell us a little bit about the song?
Myers: I believe it was “Reluctant Love,” that song is funny because when Elliott and I wrote it we were sure that the other guys were going to hate it. I was hesitant to even show it to them but when I did, they surprisingly dug it. It really came to life when the band put their sprinkles on it and it was clear that it would end up on the EP.
TYF: Will you guys be going on tour once the EP is released? If so, which cities will you be going to?
Myers: We are going to do a tour on the way to SXSW next year, the routing is in the works but we will keep you posted!
TYF: For our young readers who also want to pursue music, what advice would you give them?
Myers: I’m going to be a total cliche here and say be yourself. Having heroes is great but don’t copy them. There is a reason why they are your heroes and why they are successful and it’s probably because they did something cool and authentic. Also, be grateful for every opportunity you are given and be nice. Say thank you. Keep in touch with the people who have helped you and do the same for others.
You can find out more about Kat Myers & The Buzzards by visiting their website.