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Bootz & Katz to rock Bearstock

Bootz & Katz is a three-man band of Mercer students, senior Dixon Cassara and juniors, Ryan Walters and Michael Lirette. The group falls in the category of livetronica, a genre of music that mixes live musical elements, such as live guitar and drums, with a variety of electronic styles.

The band formed shortly after Cassara and Walters met in March of last year through Mercer’s chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. The two friends and fraternity brothers began to make music together, Cassara on bass and Walters on guitar.

After playing three or four shows as a pair they realized that something was missing. “We weren’t a band yet,” said Cassara, “we needed a drummer.”

They reached out to their friend, Lirette. Lirette, originally a guest artist for the band, became a full-time member. With that addition, the band changed to a new logo, even changing the spelling of its name from “Boots and Cats” to include a less conventional spelling, “Bootz & Katz.”

Lirette admits that the first time he sat in with the band as a guest artist in a performance it was a “complete disaster.” They learned through the experience, however, and were able to sort out “a lot of kinks.”

Not long after, the band performed together again, opening for Dopapod at The Hummingbird in downtown Macon. Lirette considers this one of his favorite performance experiences with the band, even though it was a short 25 minute set.

“We were super surprised by the support of our friends...we packed the Bird out,” said Walters.

The band plays a high energy show with a variety of music, producing all the music from scratch on the computer themselves, even designing the synthesizers and drums. The band creates the track used when performing live.

The band members agreed that it’s always a collaborative effort when producing original music. “It’s cool not being a singer-songwriter band,” said Cassara. The band enjoys playing its own music instead of having to play one person’s creations.

In addition to completely original songs, the band also produces edits, remixes, mashups and covers. “We never cover the same artist twice,” said Walters. They’ve covered artists including Nero, Bassnectar, A-Trak and Koan.

The band has a list of upcoming gigs on its facebook page and two shows during BearStock on April 12. The most recent gig was a performance for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The next step for the band is expanding its gigs outside of Macon, the first of those being a show in Milledgeville, Ga., on April 26. The band members are also busy “hitting the studio” and are planning to release their first single soon.

Walters said, “We’re going with the flow right now but we could see it continuing after college.” Cassara, plans to graduate this spring and continue playing with his bandmates, even if it has to be “on the side.”

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