Artist: Katie Robinette
You're technically a solo artist, but you play regularly with two other guys, DJ Sparr and Dan Brenner. Tell me about that dynamic. We kind of declare ourselves as three separate musicians coming together for a common cause. The two guys I play with are two of the best musicians I've ever met. I met Dan who became my percussionist. He's also a local high school teacher. I ran into DJ earlier this past year. . . . He's probably the best guitar player I've ever met.
How does your solo style compare to your style as a trio? When I was just by myself, I found myself leaning toward more the R&B and pop genre. I used to be in a local group, As 1. It was very poppy. . . .When I got with DJ and Dan, they're very rock and jazz oriented. So we're coming up with a nice bluesy, rocky combination together.
You grew up on a farm in Flintstone, Md. How the heck did you go from that to a pop and R&B singer? I've always been very interested in music . . . but where I grew up, I was extremely limited to what I could do. It was in my family's best interest to move to York and start a new life here. Being in As 1 opened many doors for me, and I met many important people. We did "Showtime at the Apollo" and a showcase for Virgin Records (and) Universal.
Who are your influences? I really love U2. Also, I love Joss Stone. . . . She's a little white girl from England that has this huge amazing black R&B voice. I know Dan is very much influenced by Styx and matchbox twenty and Miles Davis. DJ loves Van Halen. He's a guitar wailer because he grew up listening to Van Halen.
Who is your biggest musical guilty pleasure? I looove Prince. He's a quirky guy, but he has some amazing music. I like the funkiness of it. It's kind of like what I want to do. . . . I'm kind of a little fanatical with him. One of my friends in L.A. is his personal assistant. . . . He took me to see Prince's home when he was actually out of town. I wanted someone to trip me down the stairs so I could say I got a bruise on Prince's steps.
Plug another local band or artist: I have a lot of respect for Ryan Peters. . . . He's been working very hard in the local music scene. I also have respect for Heather Sneeringer. She's in a band called Copper Sky. She has been a mentor for me. . . . She's always pushed me to be a strong woman in the music business. I also want to plug Jerry Brenner, Dan's father. He's been a jazz musician in the York and Lancaster area for a long time, and he always gives us wonderful pointers. There's a local band called Lookout Point. It's very hard around here to be in an all-original band and be successful.
You seem to like artists with one name, so who would win in a fight: Bono or Prince? I think Bono's a peaceful person, but Prince is like 5 feet 1". He's tiny. If we had a celebrity deathmatch here, I'm going to have to say Bono is probably going to hurt Prince.
- JASON COX, FLIPSIDE STAFF