Milwaukee synth band NO/NO had a great year, winning the No. 1 spot in Milwaukee Record’s 25 Best Milwaukee Albums of 2016, releasing a well-received debut full-length album, Sound and Light. 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (88.9fm) had a few questions for singer and musician, Cat Ries from the band.
What are your current musical projects?
I’m still doing stuff with NO/NO. We’ve had a few meetings since the release of our record “Sound and Light” just talking about trajectory, personal goals and each of our individual band goals. There’s talk of different sound, I’ll probably pick up a guitar; which I can play better than I can play keyboard.
Do you remember when you first started making music?
I really loved Beauty and the Beast when I was a kid. My mom took me to see it in the theater. When the Beast transforms into Prince Erik I started crying because I thought the Beast died. I preferred him over the Prince in his animal form, I guess. I don’t know if I was three back then? I had a toy piano and my mom said I played the first few notes of “Tale as Old as Time,” the theme from Beauty and the Beast and I said, “Beast! Beast!” That’s when she thought, “my daughter’s a genius!” They put me in violin lessons, but I only did that for about a month. I took piano lessons for about four years, but I don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember how to read notes, I play everything by ear. Same with guitar, I know the names of some chords and I can really slowly read notes, but it’s easier for me to just play what sounds good. It hinders the creative process a little bit. People that are trained probably say the same thing – we probably want what we don’t have.
What’s your day job?
I’m a caregiver for a woman with dementia. It’s a night shift, so I work from 9 at night to 8 in the morning. I’ve been a nanny for a long time, I’ve worked with kids with autism, but this is pretty different. She has late-stage dementia, so her cognitive abilities have really declined. She can’t talk or move on her own, or eat on her own. It’s a lot of moving her from her bed to her chair, feeding her, changing her and things like that. It’s difficult work, but I really enjoy it. Service and healing and compassionate work is something I think is really important so I feel good doing it.
This story is from our partner 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.