Husband, wife bring rock sound to 2RED

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-113036222831923.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Janesville, Wis., band 2RED performs at a recent benefit concert. Don and Katrina (Kat) Janes started the band more than two years ago. The group will perform at The Bistro in Janesville Saturday, Oct. 29.’);

It has been more than 20 years since it all began. Two separate lives came together to form not only a union, but one of the most musically talented couples in Janesville, Wis.

Don and Katrina (Kat) Janes started their band, 2RED, more than two years ago, but both have had musical talent since they were young.

Don has been writing songs and singing since the age of 15. He can play multiple instruments, including guitar, bass and keyboards.

“I can pick up almost anything,” Don said.

He started touring nationally in the ’80s and early ’90s. In 1999, he became more serious about playing and joined a band that played a majority of covers.

For the past two years, he has been in 2RED, recording and producing their new material and performing regionally.

Kat, on the other hand, began her journey to musical bliss at the young age of 3 when she began singing. Throughout her life, she attended voice lessons and was part of the choir and musical theater in school.

She sometimes plays the piano and bass while performing, but she’s always doing vocals. Due to her MBA in marketing and master’s degree in communications, Kat handles all the marketing, promotion and publicity for 2RED.

“I don’t want to do all the marketing,” Kat said. “I want to play, too.”

Kat tends to sing more of the female rock persuasion and loves to write ballads. She joined Don’s cover band following their marriage. Her transition into playing with the band came quickly.

Don said she was handed a list of songs and had to be ready in a short period of time to play gigs. During her third or fourth gig, she was still learning the musical terminology.

“I just kind of learned as we went,” Kat said.

She explained that it was a little more difficult for her because she came from a singing background and now had to learn to keep the beat with the other musicians.

Kat caught on quickly, and soon their first album, What You Get, was on its way to production. Within four to five weeks, 2RED had their album finished and ready to be distributed.

The album was completely written, produced, recorded and graphically designed by the Janes themselves. The songs were recorded the same way they play them live.

Don said it “leans more acoustic,” and Kat added that it’s “more alternative or indie.” Even though the album is absolutely remarkable, 2RED feels it doesn’t fully express the variety of styles they play.

Both Don and Kat write lyrics, but most of their songs have melodies written by Kat, while Don arranges chords under the melody.

Don’s brother, Geoff Janes, also writes a lot of their music. Geoff is an all-around music lover who has a collection of albums reaching high in the thousands. He usually sends 2RED 30 to 40 songs a month that he has written.

“He’s got a talent,” Don said. “I’m fortunate to be around two phenomenal writers.”

The band is hoping to have the next batch of albums sounding a little more radio-ready. Their new album is due out in January 2006, and will have more of a rock/electric sound.

2RED is still working on their new album in their personal recording studio, Loud Snap Publishing. They also recently hired a bass guitarist and drummer to complete their ensemble.

Their live shows are mostly within the southern Wisconsin area, but they have just hooked up with a booking agent who will be able to get them gigs in places like Chicago and St. Louis.

In the future, they would like to have the opportunity to play gigs on a regional level. To them, the money doesn’t matter … they just want to be able to share their passion with others.

Kat sent out about 60 press kits to various independent recording labels in the past few months, and has already received two semi-interested companies. The band would like to be picked up by a label to help them distribute their albums.

For the present time, they’re sharing their passion by having their music played on a Janesville radio station and selling their first album at area businesses, including The Exclusive Company in Janesville and Books & Brew in Milton, Wis.

Don and Kat keep busy with regular jobs and their family, but they still make sure they have time to keep their music a big focus in their lives.

2RED will play at The Bistro, 2443 Milton Ave., in Janseville, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. Show info: 608/754-6272.

For more information on 2RED, e-mail, visit or call 608/931-3439.

From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!