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Question Time with Jan Krist
Při čtení rozhovoru si k poslechu můžete pustit píseň HONEY MOON:
Nahrávku můžete spustit zde:
1. Could you in several words describe what kind of person you are?
I'm an average woman who is driven, it would seem, to write a good song.
2. Have you always wanted to be a musician/songwriter? When did you discover your talent?
Always. I started singing for people at the age of 2 and I began to write at the age of 15. When I was 16 I produced a folk show at my high school. I performed a duet with a high school friend named Curtis Armstrong. Curtis went on to become a movie star. He is best known for his role as "Booger" in Revenge of the Nerds.
3. What was the first music you listened to as a child? Do you remember the first CD you had?
The first music I listened to as a child was that of the 1940s & 50s American crooners. Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were my mother's favorite singers. My mom played their music and the music of Tommy Dorsey and other big band era music. She also played a lot of Broadway show tunes on her stereo. I know all the words to all of the songs from Hello Dolly. (I have a knack for remembering lyrics.) When I was 10 years old I had a friend who had older sisters. At her home I discovered Motown Music, Diana Ross and the Supremes and "Little" Stevie Wonder.
The first CD I had was not a CD, but a 45 of the Beatles "I wanna hold your hand". The music of the Beatles dominated my life from the time I was 11 to the time I was 14.
At 14 I discovered folk music. That was the year I saw Marshall Crenshaw and his high school band "Astagapha" play an assembly at my Junior High School. He played "Uncle John's Band", a Grateful Dead tune. A girl named Amy Fong played a Leonard Cohen song called "Suzanne takes you down". When I saw them I knew I had to have a guitar and I had to learn to play those songs. So I saved all my baby-sitting money for months and my mom, seeing how serious I was about it, helped me purchase my first guitar. I immediately started writing songs. I didn't know that this was unusual, I thought everybody who had a guitar wrote songs.
4. Which one of your songs do you like best and why is it your favorite?
My favorite songs are always the newest ones. I really like one called "Move On", because it reminds me of songs written by "the Weepies". It's hopeful and sad and bouncy. I also like a song called "Never was enough", which I think may be the best song I have written to date. This song paints vivid, powerful images with very few words. I love it because it is sleek and direct.
5. What do you consider to be your greatest success as a musician/songwriter?
I'm a wife, mom, I was a daughter. I cared for my mom as she died a couple of years ago. I signed a bad record deal, had a manager who was a nightmare, but I am still here. That is what I consider my greatest success. Just surviving is a huge achievement.
6. Your music has often been labeled "Midwest Urban Folk". What exactly does that mean?
The American Midwest includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota and Iowa. Most of the Midwest is farm country, but there are some large cities, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee are the largest. Detroit is a very industrial city. It is known for manufacturing automobiles. It's where I was born. Detroit has produced many famous rock stars and it was the birth place of Motown Records. Much of the midwestern Folk music heard on Folk radio in the US comes from the roots of southern and country music, and actually, my song Honeymoon is from that school of writing, but much of my music reflects my Detroit roots. Midwest Urban Folk is acoustic music with a groove and an edge to it.
7. Our readers are familiar with your song HONEY MOON. Could you give us a little background to the song? What inspired you, what is it really about?
I wrote this song during my first marriage at a time when the marriage was on the rocks and headed over the cliff. The song was actually sort of a pre-postmortem. I had hoped that by understanding what "good marriages" were built on, I could help us, but my marriage to my first husband was irreparable. It's a very bittersweet song for me.
8. Are you currently working on new songs and new projects?
I will have a solo project out by July which I am very excited about, and I will have a duo project with my good friend Jim Bizer out in either spring or fall which I am also very excited about. Jim is a wonderful musician and writer from Michigan. I am always working on new songs, always, every day.
9. What do you do when you're not writing/recording/performing music?
I teach a watercolor class for a group at a senior home and I teach art and music to a group of kids at an inner-city day care, for their after school program.
I am a member of a writers group called the Yellow Room Gang which performs together and meets each month to critique each other's songs.
My husband, Alan Finkbeiner, and I work for a little church as worship leaders. Alan fills in when I am on tour.
I also work a couple of days a week from home for a booking agency called the Roots Agency. We book concerts for Richie Havens, Arlo Gutherie, the Chieftains and others.This helps me to work on my own booking also.
Lots of stuff!
10. This interview will be read mostly by Czech students of English. Is there something that you would like to tell them?
First, to you Marek, thanks so much for introducing my songs to your students.
To your students; Hello! I am really humbled and blessed by this opportunity to meet you. I applaud your efforts to learn another language and appreciate you taking the time to read this interview. My interaction with Marek and this site have made me more curious about your country. I need to know more about the Czech people, I'll be google-ing to learn more soon!
If you would like to hear more of my music, please feel free to visit iTunes and you can hear bits of my music for free on their site.
Blessings to you all,
Jan Krist on helpforenglish.cz:
Honey Moon - píseň + cvičení na doplňování chybějících slov do textu, český překlad
Jan Krist on the Internet:
jankrist.net - oficiální stránky Jan Krist