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Ross Catterton

Appleton-born singer/songwriter Ross Catterton is a man with many musical talents. He has a solo career but is also the saxophonist for the well-known band Kyle Megna & The Monsoons.

At age 35, Catterton sings, plays the piano, drums, guitar, violin and plays all of the saxophones. He is teaching himself the clarinet and flute, too.

“I started playing violin when I was in first grade, … the saxophone when I was a freshman in high school,” Catterton says. “I originally was a music education major, so I had to take a bunch of classes and learn all of the instruments.”

He spent a year at St. Norbert College, then transferred to Lawrence University for his last three years of school where he majored in saxophone performance.

“School taught me the theory behind it, the practicality, the technique,” Catterton says.

Booking gigs, playing publicly and making connections with local artists has taught him the business aspects.

Catterton explains how the creative process can come to him at any time — from early morning to late in the evening. 

“The creative process strikes whenever it does,” Catterton says. “When I decided that something is going to be a song, it needs to have an attitude; it needs to have a character; it needs to be able to stand alone.”

He feels it’s necessary to bridge the gap between himself and audiences. He wants them to be able to identify with his music. 

“I think why a lot of musicians are shy about doing their own original music is because it’s incredibly personal,” Catterton says.

Catterton writes mainly of relationships and love, but believes his music has to have a certain “attitude” and be unique, or it’s not noteworthy.  

“People have been trying to woo the opposite sex using love songs for ages. … What do you have to say about love?” Catterton says. “How are you going to make this concept any different from your predecessors?”

Catterton is happy with his music career thus far.

“I say yes a lot, so I’ve had a plethora of wonderful experiences,” Catterton says. “I’ve had great loves in my life; I’ve had great failures in my life; I’ve had immense highs and terrifying lows. … I’m one of those people that [says] ‘here I am and I’m happy with where I am.’”

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