DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: James Kruman | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where w find out more about the amazing bands and artists that we have right here in the north east. This time, punk folk troubadour James Kruman tells us more about being Teesside’s first choice for support.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

Well, I’m James Kruman and I live in Teesside.

What inspired you to first start making music?

At the age of about thirteen I got obsessed with music, mainly The Beatles, James and the Britpop scene. Perhaps I thought that listening to it wasn’t enough, I needed to create it too.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Patti Smith, Ian Curtis, Tim Booth and Neil Young.

How would you describe your sound?

I’m not too sure how I would describe it, probably just pop. Many other people have described it as alternative folk or punk folk… I quite like the sound of these.  Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene? I think you could describe my position as a “musician’s musician” much like how Bill Hicks was a “comedian’s comedian.” I seem to be the choice of support for many of the great local bands such as The Broken Broadcast, Mouses, The Jar Family, Cattle and Cane et al…. perhaps they all see something in my music that can Velcro to their sound.

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by you?

An audience will watch all original compositions, some upbeat, some venomous, some slow and fragile. I watched an interview with Morrissey a while back where he says that his gigs aren’t a performance, his gigs are the real him, the truth… I like the idea of that and to some degree I can relate.  My set is usually in two halves, the first half using my old beaten up guitar in several different open tunings; this is something I learnt from studying Nick Drake. The second half comprises of my larger sounds and more well-known songs. I do try and change the set list every time I gig though.

“I think you could describe my position as a ‘musician’s musician’ much like how Bill Hicks was a ‘comedian’s comedian'”

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

I am playing Mixtape at The Keys in Middlesbrough on Tuesday 26th May.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as an artist?

I was humbled to play Stockton Calling in early April on the NARC. Magazine Stage at The Green Room. The Green Room is probably my favourite venue I have gigged in. The room was full and they were deathly silent. I bloody loved it!

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

I’m not sure about major, I haven’t lost a finger or anything like that! I guess earlier gigs were often challenging especially pub gigs where my music didn’t fit. Experience has taught me to choose only the correct venue settings for my music.

What else have you got planned for the future?

I’m currently DIY recording my second EP. I have about three or four tracks finished, when that will be ready I do not know. I’m also looking forward to putting my band together in the up and coming months, this is something that I hope will give extra ingredients and another musical level to my live shows.

James Kruman plays Mixtape at The Keys, Middlesbrough on Tuesday 26th May.

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