likely, Chan Marshall was born in 1972 (her star sign is
Aquarius). In her youth she
lived 'all over' Georgia, Memphis and Tennessee and North
Carolina with 'different people'.
Her father was a musician and for a while Chan lived with
a band called mother's finest.
Following the divorce of her parents she lived mostly with
her mother. While moving around
Chan attended 12 different schools but dropped out of
school altogether at the age of 16.
After dropping out she moved to Atlanta, Georgia and
lived there with her father. It was there
that she started to play guitar and formed a band
together with some friends. This was only
for a short time because Chan realized she prefered to
write songs over playing live. The idea
to call herself Cat Power came from a Cat Diesel
Power hat that she once saw. In 1992 at
the age of 20 Chan left Atlanta to move to New York City
with her friend Glenn.
The first two years in New York were real difficult for
Chan. Glenn moved back to Atlanta
soon after they had arrived and beside one other friend
she did not really know anyone there.
Together with Glenn she had done some small shows but
after he left she could not imagine
herself playing alone and for about 10 months she stopped
In 1993 Chan released her first record Headlights /
Darling Said Sir on the Making of
Americans label. It was mainly through the
efforts of her friends that she found herself playing
her first solo gig at CBGB's Gallery as support
to God Is My Co-Pilot in April 1994. Later
at a show that year she opened for Liz Phair
and the Raincoats at the Academy. Steve
Shelley was also there together with his two-dollar
guitar friend Tim Foljahn. They met up
with Chan after the show and expressed an interest in
working together with her.
In September 1994 Chan first performed together with
Steve and Tim. A recording session
followed at Mott Street Space studios in December of that
year. Eight songs went on a
record titled Dear Sir which was released by Runt
in Italy in 1995. It was a year later that
the other songs were used to make up Cat Power's first
real album Myra Lee which was
released on Steve's label Smells like Records.
Chan was quite upset over the criticism that Cat
Power received because of these two
releases. She herself did not seem to be pleased with the
sound of the record. In her opinion
this was mainly due to her lack of experience with the
recording process. She was spent
much more time getting the mixing right for her next
album What would the Community Think.
She recorded this for Matador at the Easley
Studios in Memphis during February 1996.
After the recording session which had taken a lot out of
her she moved to Portland, Oregon
for a while to get some rest. During her stay there she
released a cover of Thurston Moore's
Psychic Hearts on Underground records.
This was probably a lot easier on her because
she enjoys singing covers of songs which she likes
herself. She has also covered Hank
Williams, Bill Callahan (Smog), Peter Jeffries,
Beck and Bob Dylan.
Eventhough Chan has toured a lot since the release of What
would the Community Think,
she still feels uncomfortable being exposed on stage.
Some of the shows that she did enjoy a
lot where done together with the Dirty Three.
This co-operation culminated in the recording
of Cat Power's latest album Moon Pix which she recorded
together with Dirty Three members
Mick Turner and Jim White.
Beside being a singer/songwriter Chan also likes
painting, photography, travel and swimming.
Her musical preferences include Sonic Youth, Jesus
Lizard, Fuck, the Rocketeers, Can and
Click to see the Catpower Lyrics.