It comes from all over the place, really. My surroundings, my family have all had an influence. There are a bunch of musicians in the family. My uncle was in a band that played rocksteady and ska, and I used to go see them a lot.
Your bio makes it sound like you had a rough upbringing. How would you describe your teenage years?
They were really good for building knowledge.
As you've become more popular, is your lyrical content changing?
Maybe, I'm not sure. I'm just trying to develop it. I mean, it could do. I can't say how yet.
You've said that "Easy Easy" was written when you were just 12. What is the timeline for this album?
A lot of the songs were written this year. There are tracks that go back to when I was 12 years old, but there's a mixture of all kinds of stuff, like events from over the years I talk about. This album is about myself.
A lot of songwriters would cringe at the thought of using a song they wrote at such a young age…
There are a lot of tracks I've written in my life that are shit. But I think the tracks on the album I wrote at a young age, I kept for the naiveté, y'know? The basicness of just being funny representations of that time and myself, it reminds me of how I'm constantly developing my art form and bettering myself, or at least trying to better myself. I like to understand where I started, and so I enjoy the naiveté of the older songs because now I can explain some of the lyrics. It's hard for a young person to do that.
You have a few other projects going, so does that limit what you do with the music of King Krule?
I really see it as a blank canvas. I take influences from all sorts of genres to get a certain style or certain sound. I think that I'm never gonna hold any limitations to the idea that I could be making some really bad bossa nova music in the years to come. [Laughs.]
Do you see King Krule possibly going in more of a direction like that track you did with Mount Kimbie?
Yeah, of course. I'm going to be working with Mount Kimbie more. I'll be working with Kai [Campos, of Mount Kimbie] more. I think this really is a passion of mine. It's nice to work with other creative people. It's always good to have that relationship, and I do enjoy working with other people. Mount Kimbie have a really fucking good sound, man!
How serious are you about other projects like Edgar the Beatmaker and DJJDsports?
They're more on the side. But lately, King Krule has been on the side because Edgar at the moment is the main thing. I've spent so much time going in and out of stuff, but I really like working on Edgar stuff every night. When I finished my album I freed up some time to do even more experimental stuff with less of a purpose, but it's nice to make a little mixtape. The music is quite unconventional in some respects.
If Edgar the Beatmaker had taken off instead of King Krule, would you have focused more on that as your #1 project?
I changed my name from Zoo Kid to King Krule right when it was about to kick off, so I calculated that King Krule would be the main thing. But I definitely think that in my personal time, I've been spending more of it on Edgar. And I've been spending more time making music not under any name. I've got a new pseudonym coming out in the next year. There's a steady rate of work that I've been doing. I've been working so much the last few years that I've consistently made quite a bit of music. I'm just waiting to get it all out in different forms for people to listen to.
Is the music very different or is there some crossover between all of this material?
Yeah, there's some crossover, but it all sounds different, it's all over the place in a state of flux. It can't really be defined at the moment, but it's mostly me fucking about with analog and electronic equipment. It's quite experimental and weird.
You once told Pitchfork that you feel more like an MC than a vocalist. Do you write your lyrics more as raps, then?
Yeah, a lot of the time I don't write my lyrics though; I freestyle them. I'll be recording and they come on like that. It's mostly the Edgar stuff for which that happens. I write more for King Krule. I feel my voice is pretty unconventional, it's more of a preach or a shout than singing. I feel more like an MC than I do a singer. 'Cause I really hit those notes, man. [Laughs.]
What makes you play the guitar as opposed to playing the sampler or just rapping over beats?
It's just my weapon, man. It's my gun. I have that in my hand when I look at the audience. I can shoot down the whole audience with my guitar if they don't like me. My guitar is what I've been doing gigs with since the start. There are tracks live where I don't play guitar, but maybe in the future I'd like to become more of a guitarist than a vocalist. It's just my instrument, my weapon of choice.
What were you looking to do with 6 Feet Beneath the Moon that you didn't or couldn't do with the 12-inch EP?
Control the songs better. I've done a lot of things differently [this time] and I expected things to be different. I kinda calculated it almost less than the other releases; they were quite calculated in their structures and tracklists. It was more of a looser, natural process making with this album. I didn't bother trying to calculate these songs, I just got stories and took the right endings and put them with the right starts. I think that was the only way I could have done it. And it's definitely different because I spent so much more time thinking about it and working on it.
Your album comes out on August 24, the same day as your birthday. Was that strategically planned or coincidental?
It was strategic. It's my debut album, 19 years of my life and from my birth, to the birth of my album. It's cool.
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
Samantha Savage SmithSteps Outside the Box
It took four years for the release of Calgary singer-songwriter Samantha Savage Smith's follow-up to her 2011 debut. In that time Smith has ...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
High EndsClass Act
There's a line at the start of "Working Man's Blue," the last song on Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes's debut LP as High Ends, that goes...
NewsMay 25, 2015
Shamir Finds His Disco-Pop Voice on 'Ratchet'
One of last year's best new discoveries was a confident debut single called "If It Wasn't True" that sounded straight out of the DFA laborat...
FeaturesMay 22, 2015
How I PlayDine Alone Records' Joel Carriere
It all started in a mall. Joel Carriere was working at Sam the Record Man in St. Catharines, ON. Still in his early 20s, the local show prom...
NewsMay 21, 2015
Patrick Watson Melds Flesh and Machine on 'Love Songs for Robots'
Patrick Watson's new album may be called Love Songs for Robots, but it was inspired less by science fiction than science fact. The Montreal-...
NewsMay 20, 2015
Brandon Flowers Goes in Depth on the Killer Collaborations of 'The Desired Effect'
Brandon Flowers is best known as the frontman for the Killers, but for the second time in five years, he has gone out on his own. While the ...
StreamsMay 20, 2015
Danko Jones and Damian Abrahamon Exclaim! TV Chatroom (Part 2)
In part one of Danko Jones and Damian Abraham's recent Exclaim! TV Chatroom session, the two endlessly discussed their views on music, award...
FeaturesMay 11, 2015
Mikal CroninStories We Tell
In a lot of ways, gifted garage rock songwriter Mikal Cronin's MCIII feels like the culmination of the last decade of his life. "About t...