Interview: Katherine Deal

Having recently rocketed back into the limelight, thanks to an interpolation of their classic ‘I’m Too Sexy’ from none other than Taylor Swift on her recent single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, Right Said Fred have worked their way firmly back into our hearts.

We caught up with the band’s saxophonist Katherine Deal to find out about her time with ‘The Freds’, and her experience of being a woman in male-dominated industry.

Hi Katherine, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Please introduce yourself.
Hey! Thanks very much. I’m a saxophone player/multi instrumentalist living in London getting to do what I love and travel the world, and of course, the saxophonist for Right Said Fred!

What’s it like being the saxophonist for Right Said Fred?
A lot of fun! The first time I played ‘I’m Too Sexy’ whilst cat-walking around the stage was awesome. The guys are great to work with, really funny and really intelligent, I’ve learnt a lot from them.

The mash up of Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do / I’m Too Sexy’ looked like a lot of fun to perform, can you tell us a bit about the the experience of recording it?
It was. It was great. We were all in a room for the recording and mashed-up the two songs, which is sort of a challenge when you’re so used to playing the original but we had a great time, the guys did a great job. I think we definitely had the ‘Swifty Spirit’.

Who would you say are you main musical influences?
I’m very into soul/pop/gospel. In terms of sax players, my favourites are Kirk Whalum (Whitney Houston), Mike Phillips (Jill Scott) and the legendary Bob Berg. In terms of artists I’ve always been a big fan of the likes of Miles Davis, Destiny’s Child, Run DMC, Lauryn Hill, N Sync.

Have you found that being a woman in a male-dominated industry has affected your experience?
Yep, it can’t not in such a male dominated industry. Most musicians are male; most managers and agents are male. Audience members think they can touch you simply because you’re a woman (It happens a lot!). There’s also this stigma about female musicians, especially at pop gigs, that they’re only there because they look good but can’t actually play well. So, I’m all about smashing that persona and supporting other women doing the same. There are so many incredible female musicians around. I have, however, been very encouraged by a lot of top male musicians around me for how encouraging they’ve been and how they’ve looked at me and treated me as an equal and looked out for me in that respect, making sure nobody is taking advantage of the situation. That’s powerful and what we need more of. Luckily, we are living in a great time thanks to the bravery of key female figures and the awakening of the press, and the tables are slightly turning. Nevertheless, I and a lot of other female musicians have too many stories of harassment and situations that a male would never find themselves in within the industry.

What can fans expect from the RSF live show with the full band?
Vibes! Fun! Lots of jumping, reflective moments, big drums, big synths, just a big sound with a great vibe. Oh, and some epic outfits from Richard.

Are there any other projects you’re working on at the moment?
I’m just mainly either gigging or in the studio recording for artists.

And what does the rest of 2018 have in store, do you have any live dates coming up?
Yep, we are going to LA, which is going to be amazing! We are also doing this festival in Amsterdam with a 60 piece orchestra and 65,000 audience. Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities in the world, so I can’t wait! It’s going to be a good year.

Right Said Fred‘s I’m Too Sexy EP is available to buy now via their official siteSpotify and all good online outlets.

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