Welcome to a new interview series called HEADLINERS. We’ll be talking to both the famous and not so famous from all around the world of music. I hope you enjoy reading about these artists as much as I enjoy listening to them…
I dig one man/woman bands…my musical hero started out as a one man band. Yep,Prince got his started by writing,playing and producing every song on his “Dirty Minds” and “Controversary” albums.Ever since then I have much respect for any artist that can do that,be it a rock record,electronica or industrial. To be able to keep your sound flowing while doing many different things musically and not go crazy commands attention, even if you don’t dig the sound.
When I was surfing the music section and ran across Kirk Chukalas aka Intuitions, I stopped and took a listen while I read his profile. As I was listening I kept hearing Annie Lennox so I wasn’t surprised even for sec to see her listed as a influence. Kirk’s music is extremely fresh and new wave. It seems to be created with one purpose with mind, to make you hit the dance floor running and not leaving it til last call. And if you ask me, he has achieved his goal!
As always,comments and kudos are always welcome! Upcoming interviews include English songbird, Kate Emerson…stay tuned!
1. How did you get your start in music? I started singing in my mid 20’s, but the first instrument I learned was the acoustic guitar (I still know some of it). I was working on learning chords and some classical pieces, then I attempted to sing with it. Oh yea, I took some guitar playing lessons… The acoustic guitar limited me a bit, so I moved onto electronics. I could do more with full drums and sounds. My first keyboard was the Kawai Spectra (I still have it). It’s been the keyboard that I use to write every song with. It’s sort of a good luck keyboard for me… the songs seem to come at a faster pace. Anway, I really found my voice with the electronics. I took small ideas and put them together on a 4-track recorder… since then I’ve moved up to a digital 8-track recorder, but it’s still the same. I always start with pieces and build everything together. Sometimes I will make a song and remake it 2 more times to get a finished product. It’s always different and you never know how anything will turn out until it’s done. Thankfully, I have turned out some strong songs.
2. What are some of the pros and cons of being a one man band?
Ah, this is an interesting question. Well the pros would be that I can control my sound a bit more. It’s always nice having a full band doing their part, but, sometimes not everyone gets along. If someone gets fed up with things and leaves, then you are stuck with trying to replace that person. See, I don’t have to depend on that sort of thing. I can just whip up a synth part quick! 🙂 My job as a singer is demanding enough, so I would say the cons of being in a one man band is that I cannot focus on one thing. I have to be the sound man, the midi controller (If I run it via midi) and sometimes put up and tear down the equipment. So, I’m a bit out of breath after doing a show because I’m running every aspect. But, doing everything is not such a big deal to me. I’ve been doing this for a long time now, I’m used to it. It would be nice to have a helping hand at times. So, I really work for it when I do live shows.
3. Does what happen in today’s world affect how you create your music? If so,how?
Every song I write is about the world. I write about real-life situations, some are very personal and some come from me standing in a grocery store observing people. Sometimes I walk down the street and an idea comes to me. I have to have paper around at all times. There’s so much misery out there really and I sense it. Sometimes it’s all I see and it’s all I have to write. The trick is to look past the misery and the heartaches and over come the “darkness”. That’s where I’m at right now with my song writing. I feel that I’ve spent alot of time in “darkness” and I’m just now realizing there is “light”. So, basically working with the public (even out of music situations) has broadened my writing. The song “Sleepwalking” is a great example of one day in the grocery store. That is where I wrote all the words. It was written on a whim, just looking at everyone and feeling the vibe.
4. Where do you hope your music takes you?
I know it’s going to take me somewhere. Where, I am unsure of. But I hope to inspire people, through the words and emotion. I think that is what the music is there for. Of course I would love to have my music played everywhere and be well known. This is something almost every performer wants, even if they deny it (I think). See, I feel that I have already arrived spiritually. It’s just everyone taking the time to tune into it. When I’m out doing live shows, I can see how people get touched with it and that is what I like the most. Connecting on that level is what makes me happy. Sure, money is great and I would love to become financially secure, but it’s not my motivation. I’m sort of the “classic case” struggling musician, so monetary advancement is definitely appealing to me.5. What 3 acts have influenced you the most in your career?
Well, Annie Lennox is the one that really interested me in music to begin with. I think it was her voice and her looks that got a hold of me. I like the simple approach of her music too. There is something basic and simple about the music she made with co-partner Dave Stewart that struck me right in the heart! Loreena McKennitt is another that I really like. I admire her for her business approach (she runs her own label). Her music is timeless, she’s a one of a kind. I’m really a dance-lover too. I love dance music. All kinds of dance artists. All interesting electronic music. I don’t spend alot of time listening to other people’s music too much lately because I’m very busy on my own. So, these two artists are the best, in my opinion. Moby is really good too. He is very flexible in his music. I like that in musicians. Variety. As I was saying, I don’t spend alot of time listening to other artists. When I sit down and create music it’s from scratch with a bunch of influences sort of way off in the background. I try not to sound like anyone but me. I do get the Bowie thing alot, which is a nice compliment, but I really hear my music differently than what is currently out there.6. You just got a show thats happening in 14 days….tell us how you prepare for it,what steps do you take to ensure a good turnout.
Well the turnout is always an uncertain thing. I usually make sure I’m practiced up. I tend to practice everynight up to the point of the gig. It depends on what type of gig it is. I usually watch what I’m eating because it affects the voice. So, not too much dairy (if any at all). And not alot of vocal strain. I have very sensitive vocals. So, I have to watch it. Usually I’m pretty consistant with my shows and I believe I do a good job. Confidence is really the key.
7. How long did it take for you learn to play all the instruments that you use to record with?
Well most are synth instruments. It technically took me 10 years to achieve the songs I have. So, you could say 10 years, but I concentrated on each part until I got it right. I’m not a technical piano/keyboard player, but I can get what I want out of the sound. Alots of times I just go over and over the pieces until I get them right. I want to technically train on the piano, but we’ll see….8. Whats the scene in your town like?
Well, the scene is not so hot. Opportunites are slim, but you have to think outside of the “box”. So travel is a necessary thing for future events. So basically the scene is “blah”. If you look at places like New York or Chicago, it makes the Detroit scene very shabby. Especially for electronic artists. The Detroit scene caters to rock genres. Need I say more! :-)9. How has MySpace helped your career?
Well it’s helped to connect to other people. Though, I think more people are out there doing the “myspace thing” now. It’s like eveyone can be a musician by throwing up a song and a couple pictures. Instant musician. So, It’s gotten a bit commercialized and very clogged up. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good thing, but sometimes a good thing can be over done.10. Which one of your friends will comment on this interview first?
Lol, Christopher will. I will tell him about it tomorrow, lol.
To add Kirk as a friend,please go here:
By Michael Sullivan