Ben Katzman Shares His Journey to Shred Mountain

Energetic Floridia musician Ben Katzman sets his guitar aflame as Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser and shreds on his newest album Shred Mountain. He says the completely instrumental album is the most aggressive he’s written since he was an angsty teenager.

Katzman clearly knows his way around the shred mountain with his guitar in hand. He shreds through life in the same way—keeping an optimistic outlook and spreading as much kindness as he can.

“Yes, I’ve got a new record coming in a couple of months, but everybody needs to be looking out for taking care of themselves,” Katzman tells BTRtoday. “Whether it means just taking a minute to shred the guitar away from the phone, or just going on a nice little walk to get centered, or even shredding some Reese’s Pieces cause it makes you feel good, don’t be afraid to take those couple of minutes every day to just be all about yourself and live it up.”

Katzman has always talked a big game on shredding, but felt like he never actually had the time to fully flesh out the heady, megalomaniacal shreds he wanted on his songs—until now, of course. When the pandemic hit and Florida did whatever it wanted to do because it’s Florida, Katzman felt frustrated and stuck. But he put his increased energy into his guitar playing, and thus Shred Mountain was born. It’s three songs that harness the power of shredding to give everybody a short escape from the craziness.

“The madness is always going to be there and I’ve really been trying to get back to keeping myself happy in the midst of all of this, so despite Florida being absolutely bonkers, I find myself just trying to push myself to the limit with guitar playing every day,” Katzman says. “I feel like the response I’ve been getting [for Shred Mountain] is that people really appreciate the heaviness and the intensity and the riffs [and] I think maybe that’s partly because I want my music to be an escape for like the five minutes people listen to it.”

Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, “Florida Man”

Shred Mountain truly is the perfect face-melting, ear bleeding, epic, energetic, hard-rockin’, thrasher, shredder of an album that transports you to an unknown frontier where music rules and nothing drools. Katzman says he was inspired by specific ‘90s nostalgia, like the music from an old Nintendo Ninja Turtles game and the blast of energy right before the Power Rangers transformed from regular humans to superheroes.

Katzman plans on releasing a new album in the next few months, but in the meantime listen to his entire interview, along with all of Shred Mountain and several past tracks from Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.