Earlier this year we chatted with Krista Acheson about her music as Krista D. As she continues the unveiling of her project, Molly Grue, with a new single ahead of her debut EP, The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story, we had the pleasure of talking with the Canadian singer songwriter about her new adventure.
Can you talk to us a little about why you started this project?
I started Molly Grue so that I could have a separate project under which I could release some songs that I’d written which didn’t match the style of music I was releasing under my Krista D project.
How many bands, or rather projects, are you involved in?
At the moment, three… The Krista D project is for the material that is a blend of 50s and 60s musical elements, with some punk flavouring.
Molly Grue is where I’ll be releasing some soft, alternative, rock music and I also have another project called Hooha and the Peter Guns under which I plan to release some harder rock material. I felt it might be easier for people to know what to expect from me if my music was compartmentalized according to style.
What inspired the Molly Grue name?
It’s a character from an animated film called The Last Unicorn. I used to watch it a lot as a child. I still do from time to time. I was working on some art and thinking about starting to release music again, after about a 10 year hiatus, and the film was playing in the background; the part where Molly was angry with the unicorn came on and that’s when I decided on the name. I was like… that’s exactly how I’d react if I found success at music at this point in my life.
Do the same things still drive you as an artist from when you were fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
When I started in music, in the mid 90’s, I was extremely naive. I started recording quite young and at the time I assumed that if someone had an inherent talent for something, they would just naturally find a place doing what they were organically suited for; as if somehow your skill-set preordained you to eventually become successful in a career.
As I grew up I realized that’s not how the music industry works. So, now the only thing that drives me is the desire to create and express myself.
Since those early days, how would you say your core sound and creativity has evolved?
It changes a little from song to song; sometimes I’ll toss in a new instrument or a weird audio sample, but overall I stick to the same pattern. I’m not sure if there’s been any true evolution, and if there has, I’m probably too close to my projects to hear it.
Has anything or anyone directed, or majorly inspired, your approach to creating music?
Not directly, no…A lot of my writing and composing is intuitive; it happens on a subconscious level. I think it’s basically a collage of a bunch of musical elements that I’ve picked up throughout my life – but I never consciously set out to sound like anyone in particular.
Do you have a particular process to your songwriting?
My songwriting process is: a melody and lyrics pops into my head…strings, piano, trumpets or other background elements accompany it. Then I try to communicate it, either with plotting it out using a keyboard to give to someone to transpose into sheet music, or, for rock oriented stuff, I either strum the chords, write out the chords or resort to humming them at a guitarist. It’s a very slow, strained process, to be honest. I don’t play many of the instruments I like to write for, so I’m trapped in my head a lot. I’m currently setting up a small studio space in my house so that I can plot out all the instruments digitally, by ear.
Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations for the lyrical side of your songs?
It’s all mostly based on personal experience. The Molly Grue project is a venting project… it’s actually a bit depressing, but I think sorrow serves a higher purpose when it’s converted into an art form.
Would you give us some background to your latest release? What is the newest single about?
My latest release is a single that I’ve called O Dymphna! with the alternate title ‘Stepped Over’. It’s dealing with sexual assault and I’d written it years ago, recorded it last year, and it’s due to be out on digital platforms next week. It’s actually the only song in my career that I’ve had to put an explicit lyrics warning on. The title O Dymphna! was meant like a supplication to an icon that represents multiple forms of suffering. I had read somewhere that she was the patron saint of assault, anxiety, mental illness, runaways and probably a few other things; sources seem to vary. I’m not Catholic, but I find the iconography interesting and chose the title to encompass various experiences, because no matter the specifics of an individuals’ story, we all share a very similar emotional aftermath that forever alters our reality.
Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or develop them as you record?
I do what I can to best express what I want to hear on a rough demo, before it gets studio recorded, but things always evolve slightly depending on the musicians I’ve chosen to work with or hire.
How as the internet and social media impacted you to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success but also sees an increase of people trying to get your music for free etc.?
The biggest positive impact it’s had was when my single Land Mine received over 719,000 streams, in a month, through Pandora internet radio.
Aside from that, I’m probably one of the artists who struggle to use social media to their advantage. I’ve been mainly using my social media accounts as portfolios but rarely actively promote or market myself. I do realize how important social media is to people, though, so I do intend to try to work harder in that area; especially where Molly Grue is a new project starting from zero.
Our big thanks for sharing time with us: anything you like to add or reveal for the readers?
Thank you for the interview! For anyone wanting to follow my progress on either my visual art or the upcoming EPs, they are welcome to friend me on Facebook. I am most active on this account: https://www.facebook.com/krista.acheson I also have links to all of my music at: http://www.trimorfik.com
Pete RingMaster 26/10/2018
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