Bassist Dustin Mitchell of the Utah-based progressive/power metal band KATAGORY V has issued the following update:
"It has been a long time since there has been any news or updates in the KATAGORY V camp concerning the next album, so I felt it was time to shed some light on what's been happening over the past few months with the band.
"As previously mentioned, co-founder and drummer Matt Suiter announced back in November that he had left the band. Since his departure, everything in KATAGORY V seemed to fall apart very quickly, as we have already been struggling with several personal and financial issues which have been plaguing the band internally for a long time, and finally these issues came to full fruition after Matt's departure.
"As of December 11th of 2009, KATAGORY V had pretty much broken up. Curtis (Morrell; guitarist and co-founder) pulled me aside just before a rehearsal session that evening and told me that he was leaving the band as well. He had also fallen victim to the wares of the business, and felt that he gave all he could and was creatively and emotionally drained. He was my business partner and my other half concerning songwriting. With Curtis now gone, it had left the band homeless and destitute, and to add insult to injury, with material for the next album 90% complete up to that point, he had decided that if the KATAGORY V were to continue without him, he did not want the band to record the next album using any of the material he had written for it. He deemed his contributions to be subpar and unworthy to be recorded and released, thus eliminating half of the songs already written. Although I disagreed with his feelings on this, as a friend, I agreed to honor
his request. Following close behind Curtis in leaving the band would also be guitarist Mike Thiriot who had only been in KATAGORY V less than a year. At this point, I felt that after all the lineup changes, especially over the last year, and losing two core members in the span of two weeks, that the band was over with.
"I am going to go on record and say that I personally had high hopes for this band over a decade ago, but low expectations at the same time. In fact, I was impressed that we made it to a second album, let alone create four albums that would generate a loyal following worldwide. Being in a band from the geographically forsaken state of Utah? Especially one that plays a fairly underground and traditional style of metal? Who would have thought it possible!? Over the years, I have learned many lessons, and one of them being that the music business is everything that I feared it would be — a giant pit of empty pockets, fleeting dreams and broken promises. However, being that I was well aware of this when the band was formed, I learned to eventually swallow these fears and keep going, while over the years, others in the band let these fears consume them. Playing original music, especially the type that KATAGORY V plays, puts a lot stress on your personal
life, as well as sucking your hard earned money out of your bank account with no return in sight. With these problems, it is easy to lose sight of your initial goals and what is important — and that is making great music for others to enjoy and having fun while doing it.
"As the sole remaining original member, songwriter and founder of KATAGORY V, I was now in a band that had been reduced to a shell of what it was over a year ago in as little as two weeks, and also lost half an albums worth of material that was scheduled to be recorded at the beginning of February. Discouraged and depressed, I now had to make the hard decision of keeping what little remains of the band going, or drag up shop and call it a day for good. Before making that decision, I took the remainder of the holidays off to clear my thoughts and do a lot of soul searching. During this time, I struggled very hard with the idea of breaking the band up after all the work that was put into it, but was also finding it difficult to keep it going being that after 10 years and four albums, it seemed to me that the band did very little in making any impact or contributing anything noteworthy in our scene. Maybe I don't know when to quit, or maybe I enjoy the
punishment and stress? Or possibly it is due to having this feeling that there is unfinished business that I need to see completed. In either case, I decided that I would keep the band going and do my best in keeping true to what KATAGORY V has done over the last ten years, while forging ahead with a fresh new lineup for the next album. Whether this means the band will be a studio project or a live band, is still up in the air at the moment.
"I have currently begun re-writing songs that were already penned for the next album as well as writing new songs to replace what was removed after Curtis' departure. At this moment, the current members helping with the next album will be vocalist Albert Rybka as well as the latest addition to the band, drummer Matthew 'Bizzaro' Lefevre. Concerning guitarists, I am not rushing in to fill that void at the moment, as I am handling those duties myself for writing purposes. However, I will be looking at several talented candidates that may work out perfectly for either helping with the recording of the next album, playing live, or both. One of them might even be a former KATAGORY V alumni returning to the fold, so… nothing is concrete at the moment, and only time will tell. Also, any other guitarists interested in possibly being the next axe-slinger can contact me through the bands official website http://Katagory5.com.
"Although I am sure it will be several months before KATAGORY V has anything to offer as far as news concerning new material or even new members; I am confident that once the band is stabilized and material for the next album is complete and ready to record, I will then post some demo clips for everyone to hear, as well as consider the possibility of taking the band back into a live situation once again. Until then, I want to personally thank our fans, friends and the media, who have helped us over the last ten years, without your support, I doubt the band would have even made it this far. I can only ask that everyone be patient, and I promise that news concerning a new KATAGORY V album will see the light of day in the not-so-distant future."
KATAGORY V's most recent album, "Hymns of Dissension", was released in September 2007 in Europe through Burning Star Records and in October 2007 in the U.S. on Nightmare Records.