You may have heard of Nekokat, the new project comprised of the Ready Set’s Jordan Witzigreuter and Cameron Walker plus the Summer Set’s Jess Bowen. If you haven’t, though, you’re missing out. Nekokat (it literally means “cat cat”) has become a huge hit since announcing their official existence this past May.
For a while, the members’ social media accounts were filled with a series of dots and a date in June.
These dots have become a common theme with anything posted about Nekokat. Do they actually have meaning? “I think it’s one of those things that we can’t really talk about,” Walker says. “It means a lot, but if I told anybody, it’d mean a lot less. The answer officially is that we don’t speak of that.”
“We pretend they’re not there,” Witzigreuter admits.
(So the .:: dots ::. mean .: something :. but .:: no ::. one .: is :. allowed .:: to :. know.)
Yes, Nekokat is a pop band, but one with some interesting elements. It is different than the Ready Set and the Summer Set, but fans of both could appreciate this new project. Walker’s and Witzigreuter’s complementary voices adds to the dance beat Bowen provides in the background with her drums while light guitars and some electronic elements rounded out what Nekokat is all about.
Three weeks later, the band released their debut EP Communication through Washington Square/Razor & Tie (also the current home of the Ready Set and former home of the Summer Set). But the trio didn’t stop there: A little over a week later, they released a cover of the Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry.”
On October 6, the band announced their second EP Communication II. “I think it’s a little bit more focused. I think we kind of figured out what our vibe is a little bit more than the first one because some of those songs on the first one were the first things we ever wrote as a band,” Witzigreuter reflects. “So I think now, after working on the project more, we kind of realized what the thing is that we’re doing. It came into that sound.
“The last song on it was actually the third or fourth song we ever wrote and there’s one that we wrote maybe a month or two ago, so it all kind of spans over the course of December of 2014 and now,” the singer continues. “We have this massive collection of songs that we’re just kind of finding homes for, so we picked our favorites for this EP. I think the ones that we picked all sort of tell somewhat of a cohesive story. They all are kind of about a specific time period. I think they all fit together pretty cool.”
The band appears to being releasing a series of Communications EPs—how many should fans expect? “Depends on how many other color gradients I can fit in that circle,” Witzigreuter jokes.
It’s impressive that the trio even has time for Nekokat, considering everything else they have on their plates. The Ready Set was just announced as support for Tonight Alive’s Fight For Something Tour with Set It Off and SayWeCanFly which starts at the beginning of next year, and new music is in the works. “I already finished all of it,” says Witzigreuter. “We have a lot of touring planned for next year, we have a time when new stuff’s coming out and all new situations for the Ready Set. It’s been sort of an interesting year, stepping away from it and started doing Nekokat. I think it revitalized my creativity maybe. I feel good about that now and I’m excited for both things.”
As for the Summer Set? “It doesn’t really change much for the Summer Set because we’ve just been in the writing process for our new record this past year,” Bowen admits. “As far touring and stuff, we haven’t really been on the road, we’ve been doing college shows. It actually worked out great because I could focus. I feel like Nekokat has been a nice change of pace for me. Something that was exciting, something new and fresh and something that I could put my focus and attention on while the Summer Set is still kind of finishing up some stuff. It’s been a pretty easy process. There’s been no conflicts of schedules yet. Knock on wood.”
What about Walker? “This is the only band I’m in currently,” the musician says. “I do a lot of writing with other artists, like I wrote a song on the most recent All Time Low record and I just worked on the Tonight Alive record that’s coming. I’m always writing for different stuff. I do a lot of music for some you’ll hear in TV shows, we had a song in Shameless, so I do a lot of writing but in terms of bands I’m actually going to go play shows with, this is the only band I’m officially doing right now. I’ll still be playing shows with the Ready Set too. It’s kind of like a party all the time and I only have an interest of playing music with my friends.”
As Nekokat, the trio has played shows all over Los Angeles. But with fans all over the world, the love isn’t reaching. Would the band consider touring places other than their hometown?
“At some point we will, hopefully sooner rather than later,” Witzigreuter says, adding that Nekokat hopes to tackle the East Coast and Midwest before venturing across the pond to the U.K. in 2016.
So the big question on everyone’s mind: Is Nekokat the real deal, or is it just a one-off side project?
“It’s for fun, and the end game is to have a lot of fun, play shows and make music,” Walker comments.
Bowen agrees. “The biggest thing is to just have fun with it and to see where it takes us, because we all love hanging out and making music together.”