Singer says group’s founder behind ‘creepy’ image
She’s the voice and lyricist that fronts the ‘pop’ end of Vancouver industrial/pop collective Jakalope.
If Katie Biever does in fact possess a dark side, the Alberta-bred singer (better known as Katie B) will attribute it more to her love of “scary movies” than to her portrayal of the vulnerable girl in the group’s videos for Feel It and Pretty Life.
“I don’t think I have a creepy side,” Biever laughs when asked about the mysterious videos from Jakalope’s 2004 debut It Dreams. “I liked doing those creepy, slightly awkward videos. But it’s Dave who comes up with the ideas and we just talk it through.”
The ‘Dave’ Biever refers to is Dave “Rave” Ogilvie, the producer, mixer and remixer for such industrial rock heavyweights as Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Orgy.
Ogilvie helped formed Jakalope in 2003 as an open-concept collective: Among its revolving-door roster of musicians — which could number up to 37 — included Kat Bjelland (Babes in Toyland), Phil Caivano (Monster Magnet), members of Sloan and even Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). Caivano and Reznor, along with Ogilvie, returned to help helm Jakalope’s sophomore Born 4, released two months ago, along with a new set of contributors including members of Hatebreed, Bill Reiflin (REM, Married To Music), troubadour Jeremy Fisher and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Upon first thought, pairing dark-themed master Ogilvie with Biever — a former receptionist at Bryan Adams’ Warehouse Studios and whose previous singing credits included backing up Mandy Moore — would seem oddly disjointed.
“Well, yes and no,” the 24-year-old explains. “I always pictured myself doing music in some fashion. And yeah, the way this project came together ... it was pretty new for me and I wasn’t really sure where my place was. Now there’s more of a comfort level as to where my place is, and I feel more grounded standing in the middle of this whole thing.”
And not just because the group’s audience is widening — regular watchers of TV’s Degrassi: The Next Generation are likely to hone in on Jakalope’s music playing over the show’s opening credits. But, as best demonstrated in the video for Upside Down (And I Fall), Biever is much more confident in her presence and poise — as well as in her songwriting.
“This time around, I want people to hear what I have to say, and I wanted to make sure I say these things loud and clear,” she says.