The Devil went down to Chico
Devil Kat’s Katie Perry keeps the rock rolling
The entire corner of Katie Perry’s living room is a shrine to the Chico music scene. Fliers from bands like Red With Envy, Hit By A Semi and The Makai run up and down the walls, documenting countless nights of rock at venues like La Salles, Off Limits and The Senator Theatre. And Perry has gone to every single show. After all, she’s the one who put them all on.
The tall, lanky brunette moved to Chico from Redding eight years ago, wrote her own major within Chico State’s music program and now operates Devil Kat Rock Productions, a booking and management company that handles the affairs of some of the scene’s most well-known names. And she’s also working with other groups, mostly by sustaining her series of rock shows to keep the music scene thriving in Chico.
Promoting a band is more work than one might think, which is why Perry has become the go-to person for bands like Red With Envy and Slow Car Crash. She’s made a name for herself in Chico (and beyond; Slow Car Crash now calls L.A. home) as a fair and dependable concert promoter—making the phone calls, designing and posting all the fliers and generally making sure bands are taken care of.
“Half the time I end up ripping myself off to make sure the band is happy,” said Perry from her home office on Mulberry Street.
Her tireless work ethic has naturally played a hand in her success. While booking shows at the now defunct Riff Raff Rock Bar (and before that, the Red Room) in 2002, Perry was also attending class full-time at Chico State, sometimes pulling 18-hour days.
She also spent time doing media relations at Chico State’s Wild Oak Records and was an assistant for Justin Maximov’s JMAX Productions, which for years brought local and national acts to The Brick Works before moving operations to the Senator Theatre.
Perry came to Chico State to be a Music Industry major, but says she wasn’t keen on studying music theory, so she created her own major and graduated in 2003 with a degree in music production.
Later that year, Perry started Devil Kat Rock Productions and signed on to manage popular local metal act Red With Envy after the members discovered how much work was involved in promoting the band.
“Nick [Harris, drummer] and the guys were trying it for a long time and kept coming to me with questions,” Perry said.
Although Perry isn’t genre-specific when choosing which bands to manage, she has cornered the market on some of the louder local bands including Red With Envy and Hit By A Semi. She also handles most of the booking for local metal act The Makai and Chico punk legends The P.A.W.N.S.
Perry also brings regional acts to Chico, often offering them food and a place to crash on her floor as a way of luring them from larger markets like Sacramento.
She said organizing a show is always a gamble, but that seeing the final product makes it all worth it.
“I usually have a twisted stomach and mind before the show,” Perry said. Going above and beyond has helped Perry forge relationships with bands and venues.
She’s been expanding her role as a music promoter lately, working with local groups to get a petition signed that would allow shows at the Bidwell Bowl, the outdoor amphitheatre located next to the Physical Science building on the southeast side of campus. She’s also working on promoting the new album from Shelby Cobra and getting Hit By A Semi’s catalog copyrighted.
“Music is my life,” Perry says. With her hands in so many projects, that’s a good thing. Perry is just the kind of personality that, if Chico is fortunate, will be able to afford to stick around town for a long time.