Northern California based producer and artist KRANE caught the ear of the electronic music world with his collaborative project ‘SESSIONS’ where he accepted submissions from any artists and chose his favorites to collaborate with.
His attempts to connect with as many artists as possible revealed his exploratory and communal approach to songwriting, allowing anyone regardless of success to collaborate and network through the ‘SESSIONS’ project. We had a chance to steal a few moments away from his busy schedule to discuss his upbringing and new album Fallout, released October 27, 2017.
B-Sides: Alright, I have a favorite first question, were you raised in a musical household?
KRANE: Well, not really, my parents were fans of music, there’s a piano in the house, but no one really played that fiercely. Me and my brother picked up the guitar around the same time, started taking lessons, we picked up the drums, so, I think me and him made the home musical.
B: So what kind of music were your parents listening to? Also, who were you and your brother’s influences?
K: We’re going back to when I was like ten years old, my parents listened to a lot of jazz, Spanish music, Simon and Garfunkel, stuff like that. But I got really into metal, goth kind of stuff. A lot of TOOL, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson, that sort of stuff. Also at the same time quickly got into jazz and a lot of modern guitar music as well, so there were always like two avenues, I guess, ya know metal and my young people’s music and at the same time some pretty grown up stuff.
B: You’re pretty well known for your collaborations. Are there any producers or electronic artists that you haven’t worked with but would like to?
K: Oh man, that’s a tough question, there’s so many people, and that’s part of the reason I started the ‘SESSIONS’ project, ya know in some ways it’s less about the producer and a lot more about the song and music. I get really excited- ya know I started the ‘SESSIONS’ project as an open collaboration platform- I get really excited when someone with five hundred likes on Soundcloud sends me something and it blows me away, so yeah, I would like to work with R.L. Grimes, Rustie, Skrillex, and all those people, but it’s like, I know they’re awesome, but when someone pops up on my radar that no one has heard of, and they’re making music that I would be proud to put my name on, that’s what’s most exciting.
B: Fallout came out in October of last year; sounds great, I really love the album. The name of the album invokes kind of a dystopian, almost apocalyptic scenario. Is that something you contemplate a lot of think about?
K: I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy so when it comes to books, TV, or music, I definitely have this sort of futuristic aesthetic that I like. That being said I was just thinking of it as a metaphor, ya know, I’ve never put out an album, what does it mean to me? And for me it was more about saying, “Okay, here’s a collection of music and after I put out ten songs like this I can’t do it again, if I come out with another album that sounds like this, I just shot myself in the foot, or I’m a one-trick pony or whatever.” So I thought it was an apt symbol for, in a lot of ways, what the album meant to me, which was, “Here’s a bunch of tunes, I’m not gonna make music like this anymore, because I’m always in pursuit of something kind of new.” So yeah, it was an album but it was an end in a lot of ways, especially at the end of long hours working on it and just trying to say goodbye to it. Which for the audience, ironically, is the hello moment, where they’re finding out about me through it or being introduced to my sound, but I’m kind of already working on the next stuff.
B: Okay, so that’s more of a personal thing, you’re not prepping for the end times or anything?
K: God no…
B: I know you have a tour coming up- are you the type of guy who’s constantly working while on tour or do you focus on the shows.
K: Oh yeah, I mean I do most of my producing on headphones and laptop, so I’m always sketching on the road, in hotel rooms. And touring is actually a great time to throw unreleased stuff into sets and see how it does, then go back and change it and play it the next night a little bit differently. I think one thing I’m known for is my work ethic and how much I produce, and while I don’t put out nearly what I’m creating in terms of quantity, I’m always collecting ideas and sketching. Nine times out of ten their just throw always, but for me it’s like a painter having a sketchbook.
B: Is there a major festival or city you’re looking forward to visiting?
K: I mean, a lot of the answers to what cities I’m excited about revolve around food, so I’m really excited to go to Austin, there’s a BBQ spot where I always end up at when I get there. Denver is always fun, New York is always fun, there’s so many people, the energy’s really high, but a lot of it also the cities I have not been to, like Madison or Atlanta, I’m really excited to see what the audiences are like there. It doesn’t really matter how big the show is, as long as people are coming out for my music and the energy’s good, that’s enough, even if there’s only five people that loved it, that’s great. I’m not gonna beat myself up, ya know?
B: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming work? You’re always working, you’re always drawing inspiration from various places. Is there anything you can tell us about a change in your sound? Or a direction you’re going towards? Or do you go about it intuitively?
K: Well, It’s combination of both, so when I sit down to work I would say about half the time I have an idea about what I’m going for, and the other half I intentionally don’t and I just start dropping samples, messing around with sounds and seeing where it takes me. So the stuff that has more intention around it, there’s definitely more of a songwriting feel to that music. Working with a lot of singers, creating more complete compositions that may not be at club or festival per se, but are gonna be more full songs. I’m always gonna make the DJ bangers and stuff like that because I want that for myself and I know people really appreciate those. It’s a great way to get your music onstage, but I have a bunch of music that I’ve been working on that is much more about the songwriting and about the singing, and then in terms of sounds I’m looking back at more vintage sounds, but introducing it in a more modern arrangement, and more modern rhythms and things like that.
B: Do you write lyrics also?
K: No. Although, sometimes working with a songwriter in the studio I am working on the lyrics with them, influencing them, but it’s not something I produce solely then find a singer to sing it. I’d rather work with someone that that is all they do and they’re amazing at it.
FEB09 The Black Box Denver, CO
FEB10 Kingdom Austin, TX
FEB15 The Loft at Skyway Theater Minneapolis, MN
FEB16 LiquidMadison, WI
FEB17 Skully’s Columbus, OH
FEB23 The Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA
FEB24 Bassmnt San Diego, CA
FEB25 Belly Up Aspen, CO
MAR02 Mosaic Kansas City, MO
APR04 Flash Washington DC
APR06 Opera Nightclub Atlanta, GA
APR07 Rough Trade Brooklyn, NY
MAY23 Lightning In A Bottle Bradley, CA