Rocket Cat are a rock and roll band inspired by 80’s hard rock and power pop. Their current lineup is vocalist Suzanne Singh, guitarist Chris Guse, bassist Dave Mauer, and a rotating cast of drummers. Their most recent album “Little Lights” came out in April 2019. When they aren’t playing original music, they’ve also got an 80’s tribute band called Mixtape MKE with all the same members.
ME: My first question is, how did you guys get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?
SUZANNE: So that was me; I did a podcast interview with Allison to talk about being a musician, and I told her afterwards that I was looking for a job and was having trouble finding a full-time one in my field. I think it was the next week when she sent me a message and said “hey, if you want to work part-time for a little bit, I’d love to have you on my team!” so I’ve been working for her since June, and then she had us on as members of the Green Room.
ME: Cool. Since “Little Lights” came out, what have you guys been up to? What was quarantine like for you?
CHRIS: We got really sad (laughs).
DAVE: We did do a few at-home projects. We did two videos where we each played our own parts and then Chris put it all together.
SUZANNE: Chris also did a tutorial on how to put the audio and video together remotely, so musicians at home could figure out how to work with their band using the technology.
ME: Nice. It’s good to have people that know how to do things.
SUZANNE: We didn’t play much. We have another band with the same personnel that’s an 80’s tribute band, and we ended up some really interesting shows that were outside; we did a parking lot show, they put us on the back of a wagon and drove us around Shorewood, and then we had another one like that in Whitefish Bay. It wasn’t awful; we still had some stuff but not as Rocket Cat.
DAVE: Our writing process really didn’t suffer though, because the beginnings of the songs all come from remote sessions anyway, so when one of us throws an idea out on our Google Drive, we’ll all pick it up on our computers and run with it. So there was a lot of back and forth there, and that’s really why we’re here tonight together – to sift through some of that stuff.
CHRIS: We wrote like three or four tunes that we played over the summer too.
ME: And you guys switched drummers since we last spoke, yes?
SUZANNE: Yeah, so our longest drummer Steve Vorass has been out on tour with Brett Newski mostly and was with Trapper Schoepp for a while, so he’s really trying to get back into being a professional full-time musician touring and recording. He’s still with us on the 80’s project. We brought my son in, who’s now up in Boston at Berklee studying music, so he’s gone (laughs). But he played with us for a couple dates at State Fair and Summerfest. Now that he’s gone, we have a backup drummer, so we’re basically going to have two drummers in the family; we have a Mixtape drummer who can fill in for Rocket Cat and a Rocket Cat drummer who can fill in for Mixtape.
ME: Makes sense. It’s good to have some cats that can fill in depending on the circumstances.
ME: I always throw a couple fun questions in here. Do you guys decorate for the holidays?
SUZANNE: (laughs) Yes.
CHRIS: Not together. Maybe we should dress this place up a little bit (laughs).
SUZANNE: I don’t do it extensively.
ME: My family did growing up; I don’t now. I don’t even have decorations to my name. Some people deck every square inch of their house with something festive. I was looking at some of the Christmas lights while we were driving around and I wondered how “into it” people are.
SUZANNE: I would say, moderately. I didn’t have lights outside my house until last year, and that was only because I found those awesome ones that are like a giant net where all you have to do is throw it on the bush (laughs).
ME: What are your opinions about eggnog?
CHRIS: Oh, I could do some eggnog. It doesn’t like me so much, but I like it quite a bit.
DAVE: I have only recently tried it, I have to admit. I think it’s okay. I’m not running out to the store buying it but if it’s available somewhere I might have a sip.
CHRIS: There’s got to be ice and rum and brandy with it.
DAVE: Oh, of course.
SUZANNE: That’s a hard no for me.
CHRIS: You can’t just drink straight eggnog; now that’s really hardcore.
DAVE: I didn’t even know that was possible.
ME: I mean, that’s what I do. I love it.
CHRIS: See, that’s too tough for me (laughs).
ME: We’ve all got to tame the beast in ourselves every once in a while.
ME: My last question for you guys is, what are your plans for 2022?
SUZANNE: So we have a lot of songs kind of floating around that we’re trying to finish up. One of the things we’re going to talk about tonight is getting on a schedule to record. It’s weird being in between drummers and how we’re going to move forward with that, but my son will be back for the holiday winter break so there’s a couple songs I’d really like to get out while he’s here. Spring and summer, we’ll be recording.