Kate Kokonecki

Kate Kokonecki

Visual Artist / Drummer / Songwriter

June 27, 2016


Tell us a little bit about some of your past projects:

In my 20s, I was drumming and co-writing songs in the Dirty Damn Band; co-published Drollhouse Magazine in 2011-2012; more recently I've showed illustrations and drawings around town, collaborated on a little adult (XXX) coloring book called Hot Fruit, I performed original songs at Sprawl II gallery opening at Sienna Heights University. I have a background in graphic design, but have moved away from designtoward drawing and songwriting. I love collaborating; almost everything I do is born out of collaborating and I have a lot of people to thank for that. I'm basically just playing with friends I have crushes on. 

(Right: "food chain + sweater vests," acrylic and graphite on wood panel, January 2015. Photo via katekokonecki.com)


What are you currently working on?:

My main focus now is songwriting and drumming in Alone Time, my current music project. I should say co-songwriting. Kelly Thompson is the other songwriter and is classically trained on the piano. I'm lucky to play with her and I've learned a ton from her. We each write our own original songs to play and help with arranging for each other, also we switch instruments between drums and piano. Jon Zenz is the bassist and aside from being really good at his instrument, he has long black hair and lets us braid it. I also drum for Yankee Ghost and I'm in an all-lady drumline called Bitch, Thunder!


Living in Toledo is an advantage for your work because:

I have a job that doesn't tap me out, doing something I like, with people I like ... which means I have energy left at the end of the day to pursue my own projects. I can live here cheaply and I have space and time to work on what I want. There are great working artists who live here, you have to dig a little to find them.


One of your greatest successes :

I used to be too scared to play my songs in front of people and couldn't even get through one. I've gotten a lot more confident and I can feel my songs communicating, and that's exciting because they start to have life outside of my head. Also, I feel so much passion about what I'm performing now, so confronting the fear has been very worth it.


What inspires you?

People and relationships, love, loss, death, good hair, the Swedish Chef muppet.


About your background:

Raised in Toledo. Only child of divorced parents, I was left alone a lot as a kid and it shaped my personality. I got in trouble for writing stories under my desk during math lessons. I was a "bad" catholic school girl. I ate a lot of microwaveable macaroni and cheese.


A favorite quote you try to live by?

"Give me all your money and I'll make some origami, honey"


What's your favorite local culture in Toledo?:

Old West End porches.


Your favorite place to chill locally is

Original Sub Shop & Deli


Favorite natural space in Toledo:

Roche de Bouef


When not working hard, you can be found…

With (my husband) Eric


If you could change the current landscape for creative progressive people in Toledo...

More imports!


One person (living or deceased) you’d like to collaborate with:

Tatsuya Nakatani


An album, book or website you can’t live without:

Tori Amos - Under the Pink


Three words that best describe you and/or your work:

Silly and serious


Your 5 ‘desert island’ album picks:

Joanna Newsom's catalog. Fela Kuti / Ginger Baker for dancing.


Biggest vice is…



I’d like to see _______ in Toledo.



The last dream you recall:

An image of a giant, bear-sized crab emerging from the ocean dripping with water, standing up on his back legs, rubbing his face, with water droplets covering his shell. There are tall white rocks like towers in the ocean behind him. Everything very bright, with intense blues and details.


The last lyric that moved you:

"Be what you are / Be impeccable / The untrackable star / I'll shine my flashlight to where you are"


One movie character you identify with:

Robin Hood, the cartoon fox.


The best gift I ever received was…

Two gray kittens.


My most inspiring moment is/was:

Throwing a dripping handful of blackberries at a jogger when I was a kid. I'm not proud of it, but I am inspired by it.


I want my last meal to be:

microwaveable mac and cheese :(


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