Zero Cool’s Katty Pleasant
Katty Pleasant and Nick Benik of the band Zero Cool, just may have crossed over into the realm of real celebrity. Having just won Perez Hilton’s ‘Can you Sing’ contest doing a cover of Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”and being thrust into the international spotlight they may have hit a home run right out of the box. The band have been writing, recording and performing together in various projects since 2006. Located on the Space Coast in Satellite Beach,Florida, the two record together throughout the week in Benik’s studio. Benik is a graduate from SAE Recording school in NYC and created his beachside studio earlier this year.
When the two aren’t recording, Pleasant sings in a wildly popular 80s cover-party band called Katty Shack. Zero Cool is debuting an all new show, and line-up in December to promote their upcoming EP. They recently added guitarist Adrian Martinez to the mix in order to perform live as a 3 piece.
IC: Tell us about the Perez Hilton contest, how did you get involved?
KP: I was just browsing his site one day and ran across his post for video submissions. I had seen them before but never thought too much of it, but had the time with a rare weekend off from shows so we decided to do it.
IC: How long did it take you to do the song and video?
KP: It took us that weekend to record and film. Once we start something we go straight for it. Great work ethic the two of us have.
IC: Any idea you would win?
KP: No idea at all. Never really crossed my mind. You never know what people are looking for, and being involved in the music industry for a while now, you know that nothing is ever a guaranteed thing, even when you have full confidence in yourself. We didn’t put too much stock in it, we just had fun doing the project. Grabbed a few beers, pressed record and the tape roll. .
IC: Any contact with Perez himself?
KP: One of our friends tweeted Perez, and I guess he wrote back that he loved the video which was cool. I would love to speak with him, so Perez ‘give me a call!’ (Laughs)
IC: Cool Zero is an original band, when did that start up?
KP: Our band started up about 3 years ago, and we had one show. Nick moved to NYC and I started work with other producers, projects etc. But we are back in the saddle now, we are finishing our original album in the studio, with a full new debut show in December in Satellite Beach.
IC: So the two of you basically did everything?
KP: We did everything for the song, and Sean Benik, Nick’s brother, filmed and edited the video. Sean travels all over the world to film professional surfing. He is in Argentina now, or Antarctica who knows with that guy. He is a talented filmmaker. Didn’t he do a great job?
IC: Your other band is Katty Shack, tell us about that project.
KP: Katty Shack is my 80s party band, we play every weekend and take it to the max. We try to put a spin on our show and song choices, so we aren’t just your average cover band. As the singer I like make the covers as original as possible, so very cool vibe we put out.
IC: What is your background as a musician as you seem very multifaceted – singing / songwriting and arranging. Any studies with all of that or just innate?
KP: My background started with dance and piano. I danced throughout elementary school through high school, and eventually got into musical theatre, studying classical voice as well. As soon as I graduated high school I began writing and touring in original projects, and from then have written for other artists and films as well as still being a frontman. I met Nick when we started our punk/pop band Fall Term a few years ago. Nick was his high school’s drum captain, and started drumming in original punk projects then as well.
IC: You also sang background on the Skum album ‘Lost at the Circus’ what was that like and how did you get involved in that?
KP: Singing for Skum might be the highlight of my life, they are out of control and working with them is literally the rock star dream…..or nightmare, hard to tell sometimes. Their album is awesome and reminds me of a mix between Poison and the Ramones. I was able to get involved with that band through mutual friends and it has been a blast!
IC: Where do you go from here?
KP: Besides world domination? (laughs) Well Nick and I are in the studio right now recording and working on Zero Cool’s live show with our guitarist Adrian Martinez who is very talented and had success as a frontman for his band School for Heroes in Orlando.
IC: So next 5 years we will see you at the MTV Music Awards?
KP: (Laughs) Yes! I will confess that I have been dusting my mantle off in preparation for all the awards! We work hard and play hard, Zero Cool will be out there!