Local Artist Spotlight: KT Ramsey

in SF Local Bands by

How did you come up with the name of the band?
When I decided to go under my own name, I didn’t want to be “KT and the So & So’s,” and at the time I was pretty dark, wearing black gowns, Stevie Nicks style, so Coven seemed to fit. My Coven. My band of witches.

How would you describe your sound?
Ethereal psychedelic dream rock

When did you first become interested in playing music?
I was around music my whole life, Dad is a shredder guitarist, Mom a pianist as well as her sisters and mother. Since I can remember. 6 years old I started piano lessons.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
Once we had this regular gig at this amazingly fun but crummy dive in the Midwest. Some guy wanted to bring in lights for us so of course, we said yes. We had a 60-year-old jazz guitar legend sit in with us rocker kids which were just funny on its own. Later something weird happened and the owner of the bar punched our lighting guy in the face and they rumbled on the floor for a while. Once he was up he tore down his lights during our set and broke almost everything. We all were sporting laugh-cry emojis at that point. It was so exciting. Also at that bar, we played the night they filmed a scene with John Travolta for I am Wrath at the Old Familiar Barber Shop across the street. He, unfortunately, did not come watch us play, but we got to wave at him.

What are you listening to these days?
I’m extremely diverse. Joni Mitchell, Thee Oh Sees, Alice Coltrane, The Heliocentrics, Mark Barrott, Pond, Allan Holdsworth, Miles Davis

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
I’m brand new, so it’s hard for me to say. Bottom of the Hill. Fillmore.

What are some of your favorites hangs in the Bay Area and why?
The Fireside Lounge in Alameda because it’s where I met my manager, my bass player, and a handful more beautiful people. It’s intimate and supportive. I find every chance I can get to go to the coast. Half-Moon Bay, does that count? I prefer Berkeley for the hip vibe and the East Bay overall simply for that more open feeling. Mount Diablo. I like the Outer Sunset too, it has this odd desolate vibe. I lived on Kauai for over a year before I came here just recently so I am used to sea turtles, not people. Still getting to know the bay.

What does music mean to you?
I’m O Negative and in that blood runs music. I was born with it. It comes natural and I can’t live without it. While traveling Europe all I had was a MIDI pad and it wasn’t enough. I realized I had to ground in somewhere and perform and record again. Music is powerful. Sound is powerful, it can control the masses, and it does at times. It’s a beautiful universal language, sound itself, and then we add our words and thoughts and it opens up an even deeper vulnerability, a connector. It’s my sacrifice. Here are my woes, someone shares them somewhere, someone gets it. Music is life. Music is always on in my home either on my stereo or me playing. It’s always in my head, my heart. It took me a while to face that. I ran from it for a while because the industry isn’t music. Business is not music.

How’d you guys first get together to play music?
I came here and I found them by getting out there and making magic happen. Some kind of witchcraft I guess. 🙂

What inspires you to write?
Everything. Death. Life. Hate. Love. Cats. The Moon. Deserts. Oceans. Black. Wind. Travel. Family. Breakups. Breakdowns.

What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?
Hayes Valley. There was a place that closed called Momi Toby’s. I went there for warmth, not coffee, but ended up with wine and got into heaps of very fun trouble with some Russians about 7 years ago when I first visited the city. It’s one of my fondest memories, so I have an attachment to that area.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m open. I’m naturally vulnerable in that way. But I think people would be shocked to know I’m truly an introvert and don’t really like socializing, but do it out of courtesy.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?
My new album released 5/11/19 titled “What Ever You Want” – out everywhere.

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.