"Basically, when I was 19 years old, I had independently released the first Sacred Rite album," says Caterine. "It was real cheesy, with just a plain white and black cover and the whole bit, but I put out a thousand copies of those and put them out, and they sold so fast that we ended up pressing a couple thousand more, sold those.
"I signed with an independent label in France, and they sold a bunch. After two more independent releases, we eventually recorded by Polygram, but we never ended up signing a deal because we never got the deal we wanted."
The result of his quest for a voice is the instrumental rock album "Caterine," performed almost entirely by Jimmy Dee, with some help from guitarist Peter Crane, and percussionists Rob Kenney and Tony Cole Caterine and keyboardist Jordet. "Caterine" is full of dramatic and triumphant-sounding guitar and synthesizer ballads, a passionate melding of classical guitar music with modern rock.
Divided up into three sections, the album takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster, with Section I, "Rebirth," being the high energy section, with crashing guitar crescendos and heavy percussion; Section II, "Soul Discovery," contains more gentle emotions and shows most clearly Caterine's wonderful grasp of what makes classical and baroque music great; while Section III, "Cognition," is full of upbeat rhythms and a more traditional rock sound.
"I wanted to do something different here," says Jimmy Caterine of his album. "I didn't want to do a vocal album, I wanted it to be an instrumental. I don't really call it a guitar album, even though it is," he adds, laughing.
"The whole concept was kind of a vision. It was like, I was driving down the street one day, and I saw the album cover, and I saw everything, and it just kind of formulated from there."
The path from inception to completion was far from easy, however. During the early stages of recording the album, Jimmy Caterine's left arm was suddenly paralyzed. "I'm not a drummer," explains Caterine. "I'll openly admit I'm not a drummer. In working out the drum part for the track "In Search of Solace," I spent 10 days just trying to play the drum part. In actually, physically playing it, I think I tore some tendons in my arm." For the next 6 months, Caterine's arm refused to knit itself and stayed "dead." It wasn't until after a new doctor, a Chinese biotherapist, started working with him, did the arm begin to work again.
However, while waiting for the arm to heal, Caterine, who was living in Las Vegas at the time, became addicted to gambling. "I'm not into the whole drug scene, but addictions are all the same," says Caterine. "They all deteriorate some part of your life, one way or another."
Caterine finally decided that he had to leave Vegas to completely conquer his bad habit. He packed up and moved out to Phoenix, Arizona. But his problems didn't end there. He had only been in Phoenix long enough to get settled before he got in a major car accident, which cost him the use of his left eye.
"A piece of glass got projected into my left eye, which kind of blew me away, because I'd already formulated the cover of the album and everything," says Caterine, referring to the cover illustration of the album, which features an illuminated picture of Caterine's left eye. Caterine recovered physically from the accident, minus the use of his left eye, but his spirits were low and he put off finishing the album again.
It is a testament to his spirit as a musician and artist that this album came out at all. Three years after he had that first vision of the album in his car, "Caterine" the album was finally recorded, mixed, and mastered in Jimmy Dee Caterine's private label, Caterine Music.
"Obviously this album, I was meant to put it out, one way or another," says Caterine of the whole experience. "After I kicked myself in the butt and said, hey, you've got to get over this and get on with it, I went ahead and got it done."
Caterine's greatest pleasure in releasing this new record is the fact that, this time, he did it completely on his own terms. He recorded it in his own studio, he played most of the instruments himself, and he released it on his own label.
"I'm doing my own thing, and keeping my artistic freedom," finishes Caterine. "I just want to continue to write music and my art, and I want to do it my way." He laughs. "And, you know, if a record label signed me, chances of me making a lot of money are just as slim as anybody else's chance that gets signed. So I'd rather just be free. I'd rather just do my own thing, because, you know, I make a few bucks doing what I do, and that's fine, you know?