KAT (1986–PRESENT). Great Kat (vocals, guitar).
The Great Kat (Katherine Thomas) is a female metal guitar virtuoso, heavily influenced by classical music. A former violinist from Swindon in England, on entering the metal world, she reinvented herself as the blood-splattered Great Kat on an album whose title also serves as her informal motto, which refers to her attitude toward male fans as well as her ideas about audience involvement: Worship Me or Die. To some degree, the Great Kat demonstrates the extremes to which metal performers go to accentuate their virtuosity on various instruments. It also demonstrates that the context of how various songs are played is sometimes more important than merely the performance.
The fascinating thing about the Great Kat is that her image seems to almost work against her actual talent on the guitar and violin and instead of being well respected she is sometimes mocked within the metal community for the ridiculous nature of her stage show. This can also be analyzed through the lens of mostly male metal fans rejecting a female guitar (and violin) player who is just as adept as any male player.
Discography: Worship Me or Die (Roadrunner, 1987); Beethoven on Speed (Roadrunner, 1990); Wagner’s War (Thomas Public Relations, 2001).