Grateful Web recently had a chat with Grammy Award-Winning Guitarist, Songwriter, and Producer Eric Krasno. Though his genre-bending guitar work with Lettuce and Soulive garnered widespread acclaim as a virtuosic talent, he is always anonymously working. In conversation with Dylan Muhlberg, Krasno opened up about his superlative debut solo album Blood From A Stone (out July 8th) and talented new band, exciting upcoming records he produced, and his favorite artists classic and contemporary.
GW: Thanks for joining me Eric.
EK: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
GW: Of course. I’m a long time fan.
You’ve been long established as a solo player and producer in addition to the bands you cofounded. It seems like there’s so much background that inspired Blood From A Stone. Why did you wait until 2016 to release a solo album?
EK: It seemed like the right time. I had been working on a lot of different projects. I actually started on the album in the end of 2012. That was when the concept came together but it took a long time for it all to come to fruition. I had to find the right time to break off and establish a new band. Once I decided I wanted to tour behind it I had to think about when I could actually do that between all of the other projects. I’ve been producing a lot of stuff over these past few years and also started my own label.
I’m kind of glad I took the time because I went back to remix and touch up a few tracks then added some new tracks. There were a lot of factors, even though I was antsy to get it out back in 2013, I’m glad it took a little bit longer.
GW: What you’ve got is a depth full album. It’s not the looser jam stuff of your previous touring acts. This is heavily influenced by R&B and soul music.
And I loved hearing your voice on it. Anyone who’s seen Lettuce and Soulive could attest to your vocal talents, but you’ve never recorded them until Blood From A Stone. Can you talk about your decision to sing on these songs?
EK: Part of the reason I never recorded my vocals before is because I’ve always been in bands with great singers [laughs]. I’ve always been blessed to have Nigel Hall, back in the day Reggie Watts, Susan Tedeschi, or Aaron Neville most recently. I’ve always sung around those people and I’ve written a lot of songs over the years that have ended up on other people’s records. I would always sing the demos. A lot of the time those artists would push me to sing on my own, they’d ask me why don’t I sing it? And I would tell them one day, I’ll put out my record. I needed to figure out what I could record, and then go out and perform.
I’ve had such an eclectic background. I’ve produced hip-hop, R&B, Rock, and pop records. I’ve been all over the place because I really like all of those styles. I knew that my record would have to find something cohesive and fit my vibe and vocal range. I’m still figuring out my vocal range in performing. That was a process and I wanted to do it right. I’ve always been in bands where I would share the lead and there would always be a consensus to it. It’s a lot harder to go out on your own though I did have help on that. Dave Gutter, who co-wrote most of the album with me was a big part of it. He was lead singer of the group Rustic Overtones; he’s a great songwriter who’s worked with amazing artists over the years. When we first got together on this album I wasn’t sure if I was going to sing these songs. The more we got into the project the more Dave encouraged me to sing the songs and further to take them on tour with a band. I owned it during that process which I again why taking a while longer was good.
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