Photo Courtesy of Kris Kelly
Kris Kelly is a guitarist and songwriter who has been working on a new album “Runaways” with a full band, and in the process managed to produce a scaled down video version of the song.
We had a quick phone conversation about the single, the situation around it, what we can expect as a full production soon and found out the incredible back story to the album. Sounding almost like a “non-produced” version of YES from the 60s, the vocals and guitar work would take you through a smooth experience, leaving you wanting to hear more.
Jeremy Hinks: So, Kris, you’re releasing the acoustic teaser and have an album and a tour coming, but what exactly is the point of releasing this one here and now?
Kris Kelly: Well, the songs started off just with vocals and guitar and then a lot ended up getting added on in the process of recording the album. For this performance, I wanted to capture the feel for the original version of the song, without the full production, strings, bass, and drums. This version is really the core of the song and peek into how the song first came into existence. On the full album version of the song, the guitar part is not as present in the mix, so I liked being able to bring it to the forefront in this performance.
Well, the vocal on this recording has a very smooth, following the water down the waterfall kind of feel to it, that was really intriguing. What was the influence behind this song, what was it about? Is it going to be different from the way the album is going to be like, or was it a one off?
I think it is a good representation of the album as the whole, although it is a stripped back version. We’re doing a music video for this song too, but I wanted to release an intimate performance to show another side of it. As for the lyrics, it’s definitely one of the more personal songs on the album. With this album in general, all the songs came out very organically. I was writing them for me to process what I was going through at the time. So, they’re all quite personal.
Sure, and now you are putting it out here for everyone to see.
Well, I don’t know if you know who Henry Rollins is, an old school punk singer, he said something like “You know, gay people, once they come out, they are the most honest people you ever meet, they have nothing they are trying to hide.”
Yeah, I wanted to present myself as honestly as possible. “Cracked Porcelain” is based on a very difficult time in my life. I had been traveling through South America and was only supposed to be there for 6 months, but I met my husband in Argentina, and we got married. So, 6 months turned into almost 6 years. And for a short time, we were living in Rio de Janeiro, and we had opened our relationship, and it was there that everything began to crumble apart. It was summer and we were really indulging in everything … drinking, parking …
Oh sure, all that RIO has to offer.
Exactly, and we learned really quickly that doing whatever feels good in the moment is not always the best course of action. In the end, we realized we had forgotten to take care of each other and our relationship. Open relationships are tricky things … I mean, as gay people, we have the opportunity to define our relationship how we want, because, well, there aren’t really any role models for a healthy gay relationship, and we don’t have to deal with the baggage of someone telling us what the ‘only way’ to have a relationship is, which straight people definitely have to deal with. But in the end, like in any relationship, you have to be open and honest and check in with each other, or you can drift apart.
Photo Courtesy of Kris Kelly
Sure, then all the cultural shift of being in Rio, where neither of you called home. Though, I will say this, if I may interject. When same-sex marriage was made legal here in the states, and I gave my best friend away to her wife, it was funny, standing there at the courthouse, I signed as a witness on the marriage license, and they laughed, crossing out “Groom” and writing in “Bride” and then wondering “Whose last name are we going to take in this?” I love the fact that from an anthropological level, for the world to see and recognize this aspect of the LGBTQ world, I find it exciting to watch as it develops, because it is all still in its infancy.
For sure. It’s a balancing act … to give yourself the freedom within a relationship to honor your individuality, and to explore your sexuality, and still connect with other people, but to also honor the relationship by learning to communicate honestly, that’s the really challenging part of it. So anyway, each song on the album is about something I dealt with while I was living abroad. And although they draw on very personal experiences, I approached the lyrics as drawing more on archetypes, so that everyone can relate.
Well, it sounds very interesting, I am looking to hear the rest of it soon. (I know I will get to hear it before the rest of you all, I LOVE MY JOB). So, what can we expect from the album then?
The release date is August 30th. You will find the full version of “Cracked Porcelain” there, and then I’ll start playing some shows hopefully in October. Not sure yet on the dates, we are still working all of those details out.
Well Kris, I do look forward to hearing the rest of it, and definitely to see you on the road. Thanks for the quick call.
Screen capture from Kris Kelly’s homepage
About the Author: Jeremy “Jacques” Hinks
An indie GONZO music journalist in Salt Lake City, and an Anarchist behind the Zion Curtain. Jeremy Hinks is an obnoxious Type-A Male, who is embarrassingly straight and a staunch LGBTQ Ally with little tact, and a big heart. He has supported his LGBTQ friends since he was a teenager.
He has photographed on multiple tours U2, The English Beat, Peter Hook & The Light, and is somehow making a name for himself photographing Pink Floyd Tribute bands, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Britfloyd, Dead Floyd. He is one of the photographers for the LOVELOUD Foundation in Utah, an organization to bring awareness and support for the young LGBT community in Utah, and to bring an end to the epidemic of suicides there.
He also drives a Vespa, and wears kilts, is rarely seen wearing pants, should be considered armed and dangerous, so do not approach without extreme caution.