Press & Radio
Kris also received airplay on the station thanks to DJ Linda Serk. Something Has To Fall was played as part of The Session Introducing in 2008 and Christmas Day was played later that year.
After Watching Planes became Kris third UKSC Finals place in 2008 The Wokingham Times reported the story with a full-page feature on the cover of their Leisure supplement.
There was also a full-page piece in The Goring Gap News after playing Goring Unplugged open mic. night.
DJ James Crowther has played many of Kris' demos on his Major External Screwheads Psychedelic Pop Party show (Thursday 4-6pm) on Reading4U.
DJ Sparky of U.S. internet station Scrub Radio has also aired WP material.
For their comments as well as other industry professionals' feedback see the Passport Control page.
kristian I grew up listening to 60's harmony groups, records my parents had. I remember listening to 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' in my Dad's Buick when I was two, and asking what 'kaleidoscope' was.
hit45 When did you start playing?
kristian I was a late starter. No one realised I was musical - I didn't get any encouragement. Then I stayed with my Grandad one summer when I was seventeen. He had this old banjo - a cut down concert grand he'd strung up as a ukulele. He taught me a few chords and had me playing George Formby numbers in no time. When he showed me you could use the same chords for guitar I got myself a beaten-up old acoustic for a tenner. 'Chalk and Cheese' has got a uke on the middle eight.
hit45 What's influenced or inspired you?
kristian Lennon & McCartney, initially. The more you absorb, the more it feeds back into the writing. I was really into 90's Britpop bands like Dodgy and Shed Seven.
hit45 What are you listening to right now?
kristian Matthew Jay's album 'Draw' is amazing. Aqualung, The Strokes, Starsailor, Travis, Rialto. I've always loved the World Party stuff.
hit45 What comes first - words or music?
kristian They're simultaneous - at least I've never put a tune to a pre-written lyric. I think the melody's the most important. And the harmony. I don't mean just vocal harmony necessarily but the chords. The Beatles always used fancy chords. The words can really make a song, though.
hit45 What do you normally write about?
kristian I've always tried to avoid the boy-girl cliché. It's okay if there's a twist.
hit45 'Down to Earth' is an exception then?
kristian Yes, mostly I come out with nonsense and try and give it some form. That's why the meaning can sometimes be a bit obtuse. Every now and then you come up with something more literal that hits the nail on the head.
hit45 Tell us about recording 'Decisions in a Daze'.
kristian I worked with Ian Catt on this one, in '97. He'd been St. Etienne's producer, silver discs on the wall and everything. They'd gone to Sweden without him to record the next album and Ian had been working with Shampoo, who were big in Asia.
hit45 'Something Has To Fall' sounds simple but we had a hard time playing along.
kristian This one wrote itself - the best ones do. I think they must pre-exist, floating around in the ether or something. I heard something on the telly, some interview on the news, just a phrase with a rhythm to it, so I picked up the guitar. It took me ages to figure out - I just kept re-harmonising the tune. It's got about twenty chords in it, I think.
hit45 De-cipher the lyrics for us.
kristian I wrote it in about '94. It was just babble, vaguely Bondesque. I was thinking of the fall of a system like the eastern bloc - or even capitalism. I was even toying with it being about the fear of flying. Then after September 11 everyone was phoning me up going, "Jesus Christ, we're really freaked out by your song!" So you can read in what you like. 'Usama Bin-Laden' is an anagram of 'Blade in U.S.A. man', you know.
hit45 It's very 'John Lennon', we think.
kristian People always say I've nicked the tune off the Beatles. The lyrics are quite John as well; my stuff can be quite bitter and political sometimes. I read a great book once on his radical politics, which got me thinking. When I read John Pilger that affected me too; it's things like that that give you something to draw on.
hit45 Did Lennon's death in 1980 affect you?
kristian I was very young. I just remember thinking I had all the Beatles records and they'd split ages before - he'd not released anything for years at that point.
hit45 Talk us through the '80s.
kristian I was sent away to boarding school when I was nine - my parents were overseas. I remember this kid Gibb, son-of-a-Bee-Gee. I used to pick on him a bit, saying how much better the Beatles were. Then I was sent to a military school for boys. I was always a bit shy but by the time they let me out I was socially retarded. I got good grades but it was such a culture shock leaving I dropped out of college after that.
hit45 You should sue...
kristian There was a pretty harsh regime, punishment-based, very repressive. We weren't allowed to think; we were drilled seven days a week. Psychological bullying, no one to turn to. There were suicides... the school had some very bad press.
hit45 Did you form a band at Uni?
kristian I was only just beginning to play and write - I was listening to more and more bands, going to gigs. I did some studio work in Manchester though, with a mate of mine who used to be in the band that went on to be Kula Shaker.
hit45 Then came Eurovis?
kristian That was a mistake. I had this folky song in 6/8, a bit Irish sounding that I thought would be okay to do. It wasn't recorded at all well, but we put it in anyway for a laugh. Cliff Richard should do it.
hit45 You were in a Beatles band after that?
kristian Yeah. I sang lead and played bass. That really improved the voice, good for technique. I used to lose it so we tuned down a semitone. I did these Lenonnesque quips between numbers. We played for the Jewish National Fund, so I introduced the band, "...the Fab Four - skins, Ringo..." I think it went over their heads.
hit45 Have you tried touting your originals to record companies?
kristian Not much really - I need more material recorded and to define the sound more clearly. I need a band for that. I was recommended to a publisher recently though.
hit45 Obviously you didn't get the gig?
kristian I spoke to the M.D, the guy with the chequebook. He said he liked 'Something' but he'd had four or five like this in recently. He said it was "nice", but came away not really remembering much about it. I told him it was one of my best, but admitted it wasn't the most immediate. He laughed and said, "how does that work, then?" I asked him who he worked with to which he boasted having a song with Westlife's management. That about sums it up really. Apparently guitar bands are on the way out, too...
hit45 What really gets up your nose?
kristian Apart from manufactured bands? Injustice. People who screw you. People with vested interests who misuse their position of power and responsibility to keep people down for their own gain, then deny it ever happened. And lazy, thick people. Bastards who can't do their job properly 'cos they're too ****in' stupid and idle. And **** drivers. That should cover about half the population.
hit45 What's your vision?
kristian It's a bit blurry. To do something worthwhile to be remembered for - it doesn't have to be music. Something for the common good. But making ends meet is depressing because everything else goes on hold.
hit45 You've got a family to support now...
kristian Two young kids and a girlfriend to feed. I should make a sign and go busking. We live in the country and we're practically veggie - Andrea's dead against modern farming practices. Not quite the McCartney estate, though.
hit45 You're a scientist in your spare time - do you see yourself as a Leonardo da Vinci type figure?
kristian If you mean, would I like to own a helicopter and some priceless art, yes.
hit45 What will you do next, apart from the street entertaining?
kristian I've played Bohemian Night at the 3B's in Reading a few times but there's not much response. I'd like to get a group together from scratch and gig the new material with a few of the oldies. Maybe use Ian again to give a taste of things to come.
hit45 We look forward to it- thanks very much.
kristian Cheers. I hope I passed the audition.