An interview with Krief
Known for most of his career as guitarist of the beloved local band The Dears, Patrick Krief has also been keeping busy with side projects, as himself and as Black Diamond Bay. Hundred Thousand Pieces, his latest solo album, came out last spring. Midnight Poutine caught up with him to have a look into the creative process of the man behind the reputation.
How and when was this album born?
I am always in the process of writing music, and at the time I started recording this album, I had already amassed 50+ songs. But as soon as "Lost in Japan" was written, I knew I had a clear path for this album, and so I started writing.
What is your favourite song on the album and why?
Very hard for me to pick a favourite... "Hundred Thousand Pieces", "Lost in Japan" and "Forever Goodnight" stand out. But, I think I love them all in different ways, as though they were my children. It's kind of hard to ask me to choose which I love most!
How did the creative process change for you when you started writing and performing as Krief?
It doesn't really change, it just has less steps. It goes directly from my mind to a recording. There's no "jamming" or working the songs with other musicians. I appreciate both methods in different ways.
How is the process different from when you're creating with The Dears?
Up until Degeneration Street, I didn't write songs for the Dears, I only wrote for Krief, Black Diamond Bay and other projects. That album was the first in which I wrote songs with Murray. The process is different in that, the songs take a turn, because there's another writer involved. And typically I stay away from lyrics with the dears, with the a few exceptions.
You did everything on this album - drums, piano, vocals, guitar and more. Do you see the physical process of making an album differently now?
That approach was a big challenge... As rewarding as it was challenging. And there haven't been any "hmm I wish I had done that differently" moments... So I'm pretty pleased with the whole thing. I may continue to make records that way... I don't know yet. But there is something to be said in a self-indulgent way, for following through on your vision, down to every last detail.
What is it like to launch a solo project with a reputation like yours under the belt?
It helps, but not nearly as much as people would imagine it to! But those who know and respect my history are often eager to discover what I am doing.
You're going to play on November 27 at the Lion d'Or, what can the audience expect?
A BIG band! Strings, back up singers, etc.. It'll be lots of fun. And in a beautiful room equipped with a great PA.
How do you see and conceive your live shows now?
It's all about an intention. The details matter, but it's more about a feeling and making sure the band is exuding that. Making that show their therapy, that one hour on stage is to forget, and clean up our mental garbage. And I definitely have the right band for that!
What's coming up for you in the near future, are you planning on spending more time focusing on your solo project?
Yes. My solo efforts are taking the forefront for a while. The Dears are slowly starting to discuss our next record. But, this solo thing will be keeping me busy for a while I hope! And I am also starting to write. Not sure when I will record, but the process has begun! I have some international touring and releases of Hundred Thousand Pieces starting with March 5 in the USA. And I will just ride it out and see what happens, in hopes for the best!
Theme question: Best poutine in Montreal?
Pierette Patate! I LOVE poutine... It used to be Frite Dorée on St. Laurent, but they're gone now :(((
Patrick Krief will be playing at the Lion d'Or on November 27 with Coco Meliès.
Lion d'Or, 1676 Rue Ontario Est
Many thanks to Jane Murray for setting up the interview!