Interview: KRISTA D by Matt D

We recently caught up with musician/visual artist Krista D about her projects, digital consumption of music and more…

Firstly congratulations with the success of Land Mine. How has the reception been so far for the EP as a whole?

Thank you! I was actually surprised that Land Mine received any attention at all- especially given how unceremoniously I had released it. I’m so happy that people seem to like it.

The reception of the EP, in terms of actual sales, is nowhere near the response I had digitally- sales are a bit dismal actually, but that’s mainly my fault. I hadn’t planned anything for it. I just quietly released it to digital platforms and went back to working on my visual art. I had no tour plans in place, no performances or official release party scheduled…nothing.

Earlier on, I had contacted some companies to see if I could promote it to some radio stations here in Canada, and thought maybe I would be able to schedule some show dates in any receptive areas. A small scale, targeted kind of thing. I was mainly fishing to see if there was any potential viability to the project, since I had been out of music so long; I really didn’t know the market anymore. I was either ignored or rejected- being told that the single wasn’t considered a fit for anywhere.

So, with that, my hope for the project went from low to non-existent. I still released it, mainly for myself, and it was actually intended as my last release as Krista D.  But, where the digital response was so encouraging, I’m planning on booking some live shows in hopes of provoking EP sales and to fan the spark as best I can.

What led to your return to music in 2016 and what led to the decision to create three different bands?

I had returned to music simply because I missed expressing myself through singing and songwriting. On a deeper level I think I wanted to wrap up the musical part of my life in a more dignified way. The events and conditions surrounding why I stopped music in the first place were unsatisfactory, so I wanted to take back a piece of myself and end things on my own terms.

The decision to be 3 different projects was due to the fact that I tend to switch genres depending on the mood or topic. It had been suggested to me, several times, by industry people that I was too all over the place and that I lacked brandability. My previous release was very eclectic and part of me always wondered if that’s why I’d never been able to make a better go of things… but I really didn’t want to change how I created.

This time around I thought it might be interesting to treat my music catalogue the same way I had been treating my visual art- where I create different styled work and have gallery shows under 3 aliases.

I think I’m like the human version of a junk drawer.. the best I can do is sort myself into 3.

We have heard what to expect from Krista D with the EP plus the Hooha and The Peter Guns track Green Mazes – what can we expect from Molly Grue’s EP?

The Molly Grue EP, well… it’s going to be sad and a lot softer than my other two projects.

With the Krista D EP, I kind of candy-coat dark lyrical themes with perky music, and the Hooha material is mainly intended for my angry venting. Green Mazes was honestly not the best track for me to have put out as an example of this project- it was just the first track that was completed. It’s not meant as an official single.

The Molly Grue EP is based on topics like mental illness, child abuse, domestic abuse.. it’s not really a “feel good” album, but it comes from a real place. There’ll be 3 new tracks and 3 re-releases from an old album. I’m finishing up the last track, Ghost in the Room, right now, but where the isolated scratch vocal made a guy cry-  I’m currently debating whether I should relieve some of that with instrument production. I don’t think I need people *that* sad.

The 1st single, ‘Anyway’, is going to have it’s debut feature on May 25th for the 13th anniversary of the Pop Garden Radio show. I’m really curious to see how it’ll be received. That track, and ‘Hush’ ( a re-release from Janes’ World) will probably be the most radio friendly songs from the EP.

Given that music is being consumed more digitally – do you see more opportunities to create a crossover between your visual art work and your music?

I do – but I’ve not set things up to take full advantage of that yet. In the near future I intend to create an online store to sell both art prints and music. Creatively, I’ve already begun pairing my art and my music by creating each EP cover in the style of one of my art aliases.

Apart from the digital realm, I want to sell visual art prints at my merch tables and intend to sing at my art show openings- whenever the gallery allows for it.  The subjects which inspire my visual art are the same topics that move me to write songs- so it all links together; I think it makes sense to market everything I do collectively.

Are there plans to sign other artists to Loose Lamb records in the future?

Maybe! I think that would be extremely cool, actually. I’d love to get to the point of success that I could sign artists I believed in.

Loose Lamb Records was essentially created as means to park all 3 projects in one place. It’s currently only a vanity label- meaning it’s completely self-absorbed.

*But* if I ever do find enough success with any of my projects, and build up enough industry contacts who trust and believe in what I’m doing, then I would certainly look to help, or “sign”, other similar minded artists.

But I certainly won’t have any credibility as a label, and wouldn’t be much help to anyone, until I can first figure out how to succeed on my own projects. We’ll see what the future holds.

Any plans to tour the UK soon?

I would absolutely love to tour the UK. I intend to look into whether it’s financially feasible after I finish up a few visual art projects I’m committed to. The last few months I’ve been entirely focused on making a 15 foot long whale, three large baby robins and 400 clay bees for a solo exhibition I have in June- but I will be switching my focus to booking some performances after all of the art is installed.

In recent years there has been an increase on surprise albums from acts – >even going as far as no early singles in the recent case of Arctic Monkeys – >what are your thoughts on them?

I honestly don’t know a huge amount about them but I think I remember reading that their first material kind of caught on through demo file sharing… like everything just unfolded in a really cool “perfect storm of success” kind of way for them. That had to have been so validating and empowering.

I think they’d be like a shining example of organic success and it really shows the power of pro-active fan support and how the internet can facilitate major success for an indie band in todays’ market.