Kathy Stokes

To the Moon (They Need Me)

Q. When did you write your first song?

A. My first song was “To the Moon,” actually, and I wrote it based on poetry I had written while going through chemotherapy.

Q. What inspired you to start writing?

A. I wrote poetry as a kid, and then moved away from it when life got busy. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was scared of not making it through, and not getting to see my kids, then age 11, grow up. I was very ill from chemo, which compounded my fears. I stared writing poems as a way to work through all of the fear and sadness. Fast forward to life post chemo, and I got the courage up to try out as a singer for a band. I sang in high school and in a local chorus, but never had the guts to take the lead. The band took me on, and music has brought so much to my life since. I continue to write lyrics today.

Q. Who are your musical influences?

A. There are so many! I’m into alternative rock and folk rock. I’m inspired by old stuff from the Cure, REM, Elvis Costello and the Indigo Girls. I also really like Alanis Morisette, Sheryl Crow and Alison Krauss. I love the New Basement Tapes and Foo Fighters too. Love the Head and the Heart, Jack White and First Aid Kit these days.

Q. How was your experience working with Cancer Can Rock?

A. Best. Day. Ever. Jim and his team were so welcoming and supportive. It was really inspiring to watch them and Buddy, Eric and Andy turn my idea into real music. It was exhausting but thrilling!

Q. What is next for you musically?

A. I’m still with the band that took me on a year ago (Nomad) and am working on some original music and covers (with an alt/folk flare) with one of my bandmates. I wrote a song called “My Army” as a thank you to the many friends and family who helped me get through my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I’d love to record it for them one of these days.

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