In the vacant music scene of the 21st century, where Glam Rock and Glam Metal Music fans continue to be ignored, pushed aside, and altogether ABANDONED by the BIG MUSIC CORPORATIONS, it defies all logic that bands like Cats in Boots are not only no longer around but never actually made it in the US music scene! These BIG MUSIC CORPORATIONS seem to only know how to push the genres of Rap, Country, or the other MAINSTREAM CRAP that people call “music” these days! Do I sound bitter? Well, yes, slightly, because Cats In Boots are amazingly awesome and should have made it, man. So what follows is a brief bio, discography, and excerpt from an interview with lead singer Joel Ellis, first published on March 7, 2006 by Sleazeroxx.com. You gotta witness it to believe it. And you WILL, I double dog dare ya, yeah.
Cats in Boots (aka CIB) were formed in 1988 by two Americans: Joel Ellis, vocals and Randy Meers, Drums, along with two Japanese: Takashi O’Hashi, lead guitar, and Yasuhiro Hatae, bass guitar. Joel Ellis was part of the Cleveland (as in: Ohio) music scene with a band called Merry Hoax, with Randy Meers, who was from Texas. Despite the electric (as in: NOT) music scene in Cleveland, Merry Hoax moved to L.A. There Takashi ‘Jam’ Ohashi and bass player Yasuhiro ‘Butch’ Hatae of the Tokyo band Seiki Matsu recruited Ellis and Meers for CIB. Of that move, Ellis told Sleazeroxx.com, “There was never any question if we would leave Cleveland or not. Cleveland was a great place to come from, but we always knew as kids we’d end up rockin’ in LA.” Ellis said that Merry Hoax had influences “from Sabbath to Zep to Metallica and early Motley.”
The American member Ellis and Meers relocated to Tokyo, Japan with O’Hashi and Hatae to record demos which shot to #1 on the Indie Japanese music charts. The band caught the attention of New York based music giant EMI, and had CIB fly back to New York to record “Kicked and Klawed.” Although, Kicked and Klawed garnered solid popularity in Japan and the U.K.—including 60 sold-out shows in Japan– their modest Gold status on the American scene cost them a continued recording contract and Ellis said, on Sleazeroxx.com, that there was “confrontation with management [EMI] and some short-sighted decisions on both ends.” Ellis also said this to Sleazeroxx.com, “People need to try to understand how big an impact CIB made on the Japan music scene….In the U.K. we were also bigger with Top 10 selling rock record together with Motley, Faith No More, Skid Row, etc.”
The Discography: Demonstration: East Meets West (Demo); Kicked and Klawed (1989); Last Works 1993-1995 (1999); The original band toured Japan one last time in 2003.
The rock blog Heavy Harmonies summarized it best when they wrote, “Amidst the other hair bands of the late 80s, Cats in Boots were gravely overlooked. They were, perhaps, the most underrated metal band of the late 80s. Ellis had a killer rock n roll voice and the riffs on this CD (Kicked and Klawed) are incredible.”
And last, but not least, is this thrilling fact: Joel Ellis of Cats in Boots was a roommate with Stephen Pearcy of RATT. Read the Sleazeroxx.com interview for more.
Addendum: many apologies for the “oze toni rock the nights” tag do not know the dude but the video is ELECTRIC GLAM.