Kathleen Turner Overdrive Talks of Recent Offering's and Shows!

Elemental band KATHLEEN TUTNER OVERDRIVE has released a couple of EP's, with newer music in the works as well as more plans to play shows if not more so. The band talks about of these releases, show playing, and much more below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Kathleen Turner Overdrive is a drum smashing, axe grinding, bass thumping, femme-fronted punk rocking band hailing from Toowoomba, Queensland. Making their debut in 1992 as a three-piece playing punked-up indie covers, KTO retains two original members Lizzard on vox and Mark on guitar, and prove Joe Strummer’s words true, that punk rock isn’t something you grow out of. Punk rock is an attitude, and the essence of that attitude is ‘give us some truth’.  The band played around Toowoomba town for several years before closing shop to accommodate life changes for the band members.

Mark, on bass, continued to write and play and became a mainstay in the Toowoomba originals music scene for the ensuing three decades playing a fusion of punk, funk, folk, and metal in bands such as ‘The Love Beeds’, ‘Therapy of Noise’ and ‘Spyder Grynder’. He currently plays bass as a side-gig in local ‘alt blues’ band, ‘Consenting Adults’.

Danny, on KTO drums and Adz, on KTO bass, have spent the last decade making music in various bands with metal and hard rock being the common thread throughout. Danny is best known for keeping the beat for popular alternative indie rock bands ‘Kasper’ and ‘American Frauds’ in the early 20-teens and for his current gig with glam metal band ‘Snakebite Whiskey’. Adz honoured his metal roots in the early 20-teens playing bass for popular metal covers band ‘Zenith’. Lizzard, who had first started singing in pub bands whilst at university, ended her hiatus from band life in 2011, going on to reform ‘Kathleen Turner Overdrive’ in 2015 with Adz and Mark and the original KTO drummer Mel.

In 2019, KTO recorded a four-track demo EP of songs written by Lizzard, called ‘27’. The title referenced a newspaper article from 1992 which reported on the band’s debut performance at a pub talent competition (which they won). In the article Mel announced that the band would release a cassette of music later that year. That didn’t happen but KTO eventually got around to recording, 27 years later.

Life happens and Mel, who lived in another state, left the band in 2019 before ‘27’ was recorded. With Mel’s departure, local drum legend Darcy Cavenaugh stepped in to provide the beat on the EP. 

Danny joined the crew in January 2020 and with a solid line-up of locals, things got humming.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Kathleen Turner was a Hollywood star back in 1992. Her face was everywhere. One day in early ’92, whilst having a beer and musing over possible band names, Mark suggested a fusion between Kathleen and the 1970s Canadian rock band ‘Bachman-Turner Overdrive’. It was such a winner that in the 2000 movie ‘High Fidelity’, Jack Black calls his band by the same name.  After that, annoyingly, the name took off all over the world.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Whilst all members of KTO live and work in Toowoomba, the band travels to the state capital of Brisbane, which is just over an hour away, Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast to play in their active original music scenes. Sadly, our hometown’s growing love of cover bands limits the opportunities for original bands to play shows. The underground music scene in Australia though, especially in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, is really thriving. Some of Brisbane’s amazing bands include Krave, The Glycereens, Violet, Gutterfire, Consenting Adults, Unsound Advice, The Toxic Garden Gnomes and Hit n Mizz…..

4. How would you describe your style?

We have a pretty eclectic sound because we have such a broad range of influences. When we met Dan he was rocking a skater-punk vibe and really down with the Chillies, Mars Volta, desert stoner rock. These days he has traded his long baseball socks for leopard-print cuban heels and is sporting a Crue-style mullet. Adz is also a Chilli-dog, but loves his metal - from Jinjer to Rammstein to Metallica and back. He is also bald. By choice. Lizzard grew up on a steady diet of Bay City Rollers, Abba and Oz rock but then she discovered punk. Then post-punk. Then New Wave. Then New Romantic. Then Swamp. Needless to say she was ready for Metallica and Nirvana when they arrived! Mark runs the gamut from Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Bowie, to 70s and 80s UK punk and US hardcore, with anything cleverly melodic in between. How does it come together? Danny brings big, hard-hitting drum beats, Adz brings Maiden-esque bass runs and thick lashings of slap. Mark brings chord-riffs as much inspired by the Troggs and the Kinks as by Aussie garage punk and indie, and Lizzard brings a voice melodic, languid but at times downright dangerous. We don’t know what it is, we just know….we like it!

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

In 2019 we released our first locally-produced EP called ‘27’, reflecting the fact that we started this project 27 years previously. While it may have been wanting a bit in production values, it was a good compilation of some new original material that we had been working on. It was especially a great representation of Mark and Lizzard’s capacity to work collaboratively to write songs, and then to present to the rest of the band to add their flair and flavour. You can expect to be challenged in terms of trying to pigeon-hole the music into a neat, safe genre. From a sort of rockabilly-esque romp of ‘Stalker’ with a neat little tapping solo in the bridge and pop culture references, to the anthemic ‘Wonder Woman’ with its homage to the philosophy that great women don’t and shouldn’t have to stand behind anyone, from the calling out of social elites (‘Dementors’) to hypocrisy of local cliques (‘Sycophant City’). 

2022 saw us release ‘Autosomal’, a 6-track EP which continued the journey of personal chronicles, social commentary, pop-culture savoir-faire and…? The first single off the EP ‘Unseen’ reflects on the chaotic and (hopefully) redemptive journey through mental illness. ‘Bingpot 19’ borrows from Brooklyn 99 to reflect on the madness that IOHO, is Covid denialism. ‘Corpse Tree’ is Lizzard’s reflection on her experience exploring her family origins, turning geno-detectivism into new family members! ‘Mary Winchester Blue’ pays homage to the hunky demon hunters from ‘Supernatural’ whilst making the point that the energy behind most operations is female and that it can be a tough gig without reprieve, while ‘Wonder Woman’ gets a new lease of life with producer Adam Merker (Anderzderbeerz Studio). Finally we take another, slightly more vicious swipe at social elites in ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and the Wasted’. Still not fitting neatly into a box. 

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

We sure do! We’ve been working on a few songs that we have thrown towards renowned producer…who worked with the Sex Pistols and The Jam, and Aussie legends Screaming Jets - Steve James! He has taken four or our songs to the magic realm of pre-production and come October we will be ready to jump back into the studio and bring these new tunes to life!

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

With the release of ‘Autosomal’ KTO has been getting out and playing more. Upcoming gigs include 28 July in Brisbane with iconic Brisbane punk band The Toxic Garden Gnomes and on September 30 at The Brightside for ‘Rock Sisters United 2022’, supporting the dual causes of homelessness and domestic violence. The band flies to Melbourne for a show on October 22 at ‘Whole Lotta Love Bar’. 

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

For now we just want to keep playing good solid live shows locally and have the odd away show as time and other commitments permit. Also we are  driven to keep writing new material because we all really like the songs that we make and it’s great to see the way everyone is able to contribute to and shape each new song. Eventually they would like to do a tour of sorts maybe in the UK or Europe or even Japan! Who knows where this journey will end up?

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can find our EP ‘Autosomal’ on the majority of general streamers - Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Tidal, iHeart Radio etc. We have also shot  a video clip with local multi-media production company NoOne Network for our debut single ‘Unseen’ which is viewable on YouTube! All the links and more can be found on our Facebook page as well as our new website, this goes for current merch as well, which is also on Bandcamp.  

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Wow! What great songs! Punk but sort of metal but sort of - I don’t know - their own style!

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