A group of young Sunshine Coast musicians (high school age) who formed as part of Katie Noonan's Eumundi School Of Rock programme last year, The Feral Cats Of Tokyo blend an electrifying mix of covers (think the full spectrum of rock to pop: Radiohead, Soundgarden, John Mayer) with a quickly developing catalogue of their own, tasty originals.
Lochie Kapper is the group's guitarist. While he is only 15 years old, don't let his youth fool you – Lochie's burgeoning talent for shredding is clear to hear (watch one of his insta vids below for the audio proof).
Ahead of the band's appearance at SPARK Ipswich's Little Day Out
next month as well as his return to the Eumundi School Of Rock 2021 class, Lochie sat down for a quick chat about music alongside some fun questions.
Lochie Kapper - image © Clea-marie Thorne
As a young musician, how much is learning the craft about soaking up information from other musicians?
Learning the guitar, I was inspired by guitarists like Slash and EVH to always have emotion in your playing as just playing a note sounds good, but adding your emotion into each note makes a huge difference. I spend an incredible amount of time trying to improve my sound and technique to become a better muso.When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
I have always wanted to be a musician from when I was eight years old; my parents would play music from Bon Jovi, Jimmy Barnes and Guns N' Roses. I had never heard music like that before and I was hooked; it inspired me to start learning guitar.
You're a member of the teenage band The Feral Cats Of Tokyo; what style of music does the band play and how is the original material coming along?
The Feral Cats Of Tokyo play a mix of covers and originals. We have played music from Radiohead, Soundgarden, Baby Animals, Jet, John Mayer and lots more. We mainly play rock, pop music like Paramore.
Collectively we have written three original songs that we performed at the Sunshine Coast Sounds Festival: our song 'Fly Away' is a mellow tune with a big crescendo into the bridge; 'Well' is about fear, being locked away and dark times; and 'I Know You'll Be There For Me' is a seven-minute song with melodic guitar and bass parts throughout with thoughts of passion, love and emotion.
We wrote these songs with Zac Hurren in his rainbow room.
Are there plans to record any songs, maybe an album?
I can see us recording these songs sometime soon and most likely an album, but this is a decision for the band and our mentors. I would really love this to come together.The Feral Cats Of Tokyo are playing Little Day Out as part of the SPARK Ipswich programme joining Regurgitator's POGOGO kids show on the line-up; what can the kids expect from the band at that show?
We have the privilege to perform Little Day Out; the kids can expect to see an upbeat performance with loads of energy with tunes past and present. We approach each gig like it's our first and put all our energy and soul, and practise to make sure the music is the best it can be.The band emerged last year as the first super group from the Eumundi School Of Rock; what does it mean to have that honour?
It was amazing on a personal note as I was only 14 and what an amazing opportunity just to audition, and then get picked for a spot was surreal. There was some tough competition from all the amazing teenagers who auditioned. It was a nervous time waiting to hear back.
The Feral Cats Of Tokyo - image © Clea-marie Thorne
So the band name is unique; is there a story behind it or just a funny set of words?
We were all at practice and couldn't agree on a name and Zac Hughes just came out with TFCoT, and it just resonated with everyone.You'll again be performing at this year's Eumundi School Of Rock concert; how enjoyable is all the work that's required to reach that point of being on stage in front of a live audience?
I don't think an audience really understand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into setting up the concert.
You need to remember that most of the musicians have never met each other or played on a stage. The solo practice, song choices, rehearsals, mentor tuition and the coming together as a band/s is so time consuming and to reach the level required on the day is a monumental task they must accomplish.
Add to that the mentors' time and the behind the scenes from Katie Noonan, Zac Hurren and Betzi Rios is a testament to this. On the other side, however, is that you make life-long friends and relationships as the bands come together and create something truly magical.
The School has a special international guest this year in Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother; that is going to be wild no doubt; will you be picking Andrew's brain for ideas, techniques for your own music?
What an amazing musical talent he is. I remember when I heard Slash on his solo album where Andrew Stockdale sang 'By The Sword' and when Wolfmother supported GnR, on the 'Not In This Lifetime' tour 2017.
So right away I was a fan, and rest assured I will grab any chance to get some tips and info from him – what a deadset legend.Outside of music what else occupies your time?
Just like any other teenager, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing the Xbox and spending my parents' hard earned money on more guitars – you can never really have enough guitars, can you?What's the one chore you dislike the most?
I really don’t do many chores, too busy practising! But if I had to choose one, mum and dad are always into me to keep my room clean. One day, I'll get onto it.Do you have any phobias?
I don't like spiders or anything creeping. No real reason, but to see a spider on the wall freaks me out big time.Would you ever partake in a reality show?
If I was in a reality show it would be 'Ink Master' because I find tattoos fascinating and unique.If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down?
It would be any band member and I would prank call them and say I know your details and scare them. We have done this before and it works EVERY TIME!Which fictional character best describes your personality?
A fictional character that best describes me would probably be Zack Mooneyham from the movie 'The School Of Rock', as he has a great passion for guitar and music just like me.The Feral Cats Of Tokyo join Regurgitator's POGOGO kids show at Little Day Out (as part of the SPARK Ipswich programme) at Ripley Town Centre (Ipswich) 18 July (9am & 1pm sessions). The Eumundi School Of Rock returns to Horizon Festival at Eumundi School of Arts (Sunshine Coast) on 29 August (5-8pm).