Katelyn Richards has been an incendiary new presence on the Valley’s music scene in the past year. Her energy isn’t the kind of explosive blast you might experience from a leather-clad rock band screaming in your face, or even a growling Hammond organ swelling like a sea monster in a tight blues band.
Richards’ brand of explosion is more like a champagne bottle of pure enthusiasm that’s been shaken up from a two-hour ride over rutted dirt roads. Her personality exudes the impossible hope of someone who might have been run over a few times but somehow only seems to grow stronger from the experience.
Valley Advocate: Where are you from originally?
Katelyn Richards: I was born and raised to adolescence in Quincy, Mass., “South Shaaawh.” But I am a Masshole to the core, having lived in Hull, Cape Cod and many places in the Valley.
How long have you been writing songs?
Since about 2008, when I received my first guitar for my birthday. I am self-taught and the songwriting just happened naturally.
How long did it take to make the album, and where was it made?
I tried to start the project in 2010 with a different producer who just didn’t have the know-how, but as soon as I met Lincoln Hubley, we got the project started in his home studio in Haydenville one year ago this month (September 14). We worked every day until it was delivered to our door in big boxes in April, 2012.
Your songwriting manages to approach life with both cynicism and optimism at the same time. How do you do that?
I’ve always looked at life, situations and people with a glimmer of caution and judgment right before loving everything and everyone for what it is and who they are. I guess it comes from being raised in a ridiculously broken home. I process things in life quickly. I don’t have very many, if any, family ties. I make use of the here and now.
Have you played with any other bands or musical projects before this?
I was a singer for The Others, a side project of The Thungs with Shannon Purcell and Gabe Sullivan that wrote full-length albums about the television drama Lost. I was featured on Season Three (which is where the Song “Taco Night” came from—the only track I didn’t write from my CD, but Purcell allowed me to re-record) and extensively on Season Five.
What’s your goal with this album and for any future music?
Same goal that any artist has, really. Try to take over the world. Well, you know, have my songs be heard by everyone, loved, then hated for being overplayed. Send a good message to the kids; perform almost every day. I got an apartment in NYC to try to expand my playing field. I will be living a dual life for a while to keep my fan base alive here and try to make some deeper connections to the business in the city.
Is there some musical thing (e.g. “world tour,” “rock opera”) that you’d really like to try?
World tour, please. That’s a given. But my secret dream is to be on Broadway. I did theater in high school as well as vocal jazz, and there’s something superlatively expressive in that quality of music that I someday want to experience again. Ultimately, I want to be the Baker’s Wife in Into The Woods!