Krista D Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD. What type of artist are you?
KD. I’m a singer-songwriter/visual artist and the genre of this project is punk rock/ska/doo-wop.
PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.
KD. Well, I started songwriting fairly young (13) and released my first full length album at 16, to the christian market; which is a lifestyle I’m no longer a part of.
I released a second full length album in 2006, was given a distribution deal, supported it with a small tour but then life circumstances led me to move to Alberta. I found it difficult to connect with musicians to play with so I ended up dropping music and switching to a career in the visual arts.
Currently I’m back to recording. I decided to remaster and re-release some selected tracks off of my last album, Janes’ World, alongside a couple of newer tracks. This EP, “Look at me… I’m Krista D”, was actually intended as my final release as Krista D but, given the response, I’m planning to release a follow-up single and will see how things go from there.
PD. What does the title of the EP mean?
KD. Well, since the Krista D artist name is what I began recording under, at 13, a lot has obviously changed- specifically my departure from the christian music market. So, when I decided to keep the name I decided to visually rebrand myself in order to allude to the character Sandra Dee from the 1970’s film, Grease. I wanted to insinuate a life transition similar to what the character went through at the end of the film. The EP title is borrowed from the films track ” Look at me… I’m Sandra Dee”. There are several other things that people who are familiar with the film will notice as well- such as the logo and the broken accordion bit I play at the very end… it’s the melody to when Sandy sings: ” Good-bye to Sandra Dee”.
PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
KD. The main influence I usually cite for this project is a radio show. I used to listen to a radio program called Finklemans 45s when I was young, which was dedicated to playing hits from the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. I think that’s what largely initiated my habit of littering 3 part harmonies and bop-bops throughout my songs. Lyrically, my influences are the stories that people share with me. I’m very emotionally driven- so if something impacts me on an emotional level it eventually finds its way into a song or an art piece.
PD. What are your dreams and goals?
KD. Well, my dreams and goals are pretty basic: I just really want to be able to financially survive on money made by being an artist. I’d like to be able to earn a living at it. If that ever happened then I’d want to move back to the Maritimes, build a small house, hook up solar panels, plant a garden and adopt 3 chickens. ( as friends, not food)
PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?
KD. I write my own songs. I write the melody and the lyrics.. sometimes I’ll write some tuba, trumpet or sax parts to add in. Anything fancy, like a guitar solo or clever bass riff is usually a contribution by the respective studio player. Lyrically, they are about some heavier topics such as domestic abuse. They are mainly based off of women I’ve met or my own experiences.
PD. How do you promote your band and shows?
KD. I’m still tied up with some visual arts commitments; I have a solo show in June and an artist residency starting in July- so I’m not currently promoting any music shows, although I have been promising in interviews that I do intend on booking some.( And I will!) As far as promoting the project itself, most of my promotion is through the help of my awesome publicist, radio station DJs and podcast hosts who are spinning my tracks. It’s kind of organically growing at a manageable pace, because, honestly, I didn’t expect anyone to care about it at all when I released it. So I prepared nothing for it. Once I get ahead on my art, I’ll switch focus to promoting the EP.
PD. What do you think about downloading music online?
KD. As long as it’s been purchased, I think downloading is great.
When music is distributed online- it’s worldwide and completely accessible to everyone, whether you ever tour to a location or not.
Streaming I have mixed feelings about, though. ( Or is that what you meant by downloading?)
As far as exposure goes, streaming is amazing, especially when it goes your way and you land on a popular playlist. But, when that’s the only way people are supporting your music- it really takes an impossible amount of streams for an artist to earn any significant amount of money.
PD. What song do you wish you’d written and why?
KD. I really wish I had something interesting to answer, because that’s a really cool question… but I’m completely stumped. I’d probably have to give that a lot of thought.
PD. What are some of your pet peeves?
KD. When people use phrase “Hot Damn” and loud drinking animals- my cat is the noisiest drinker ever! Also, a major one for me is when someone steps on my bare foot when they are wearing a sock. It just feels so flat and gross.. and damp. I mean, you have to wonder how often that can really happen to a person so that it’s become a pet peeve.. but once you squeal and over-react to something once- people turn it into quite a sport.
PD. What is your proudest moment in music?
KD. I think when I received the royalties report indicating my track ‘Land Mine’ was streamed over 719 000 times in a months’ period on Pandora. I still don’t know how it happened; but it was exciting and very encouraging.
PD. So what are you working on at the moment?
KD. Music-wise I’m finishing up two other EPs for music projects in two other genres. Basically, I’ve separated my songwriting catalogue by genre. So, I intend to release a debut EP from a project called Molly Grue; that will be for my soft rock/indie pop material. I also have a project where I’ll be releasing some harder rock material; that project is called Hooha and the Peter Guns. I’ll, of course, continue to release any of the punky doo-wop material I write under the Krista D project. I also have some music videos in the works. Art-wise I’m just doing final touch-ups on a 15 foot sculpture of a whale for my June installation exhibit.
PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
KD. When I do finally get to booking some shows, people may want to be there because I am likely going to be performing with mannequins as my band- which seems to make it look more like a visual arts performance/stand up comedy routine opposed to a musical act. People responded pretty favorably when I performed that way in March.
What actually happened was: an out of town band had invited me onto their bill, so I said, “sure!” and then had about a month to hire professional session musicians who would be willing to play 6 songs for 100$ an hour or whatever their rate would be. Where session musicians often just learn a song in studio the day they’re going to record it, I expected a month to be joke.
I tried the musicians I knew personally- but they wanted to focus on their own projects. I called around to studios to locate some session guys, but couldn’t get one guitar session player name. It was the same fools’ errand I was on when I first moved here in 2009, so I just said, “…you know what? Fuck it”. I’m playing with mannequins. I made flyers up for “Krista D and the Mannequins”, I printed band shirts for them, hung instruments on them, taped drumsticks to the hands of the “drummer” and then requested karaoke versions of my songs from the recording studio. It was the easiest show I’d ever played. I think that’s going to be my thing now, whenever I can’t readily find anyone to back me: Mannequins.
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Artist location – Edmonton Canada
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