After the Blood: A Conversation with Eric Krasno

He first turned heads as the guitarist for the bands Soulive and Lettuce, and though he's demonstrated comfort in a variety of musical genres, it's his funk and R&B chops that have earned him a fast growing fan base of admirers... many of them fellow guitarists. With his recent solo release Blood From A Stone, Krasno moves front and center effortlessly, as vocalist and songwriter. obviously it's a fruitful time for this longtime signature artist, and Ibanez couldn't wait to chat with him about his quickly evolving creative journey.

Ibanez: Congrats on the new release ‘Blood From a Stone'! Today is the album's release day. What's going on through your head now?

Eric: It's excitement at this point because the record has been done for a little while and I'm just ready for people to hear it. We've been doing shows and now the band is starting to get nice, tight, and comfortable in playing the new material, so it's been great. I'm singing on most of the record and people are starting to know a couple of the songs that they've been playing on Sirius/XM and some of the other stations. So last night, seeing people sing the words was pretty exciting!

Ibanez: That brings up a good point. This is technically your first time singing lead vocals on record, right?

Eric: Yes, singing lead. I've sang background for years on a lot of things, but yeah, this is the first time being a lead vocalist on my own record.

Ibanez: We've been listening to the record nonstop and it's great! It's tough to believe that this is your first go around as a lead vocalist!

Eric: I definitely worked on it a bit during the process, but I've sang my whole life. I sang as a kid, in musicals and stuff like that, but the guitar was just cooler to me when I was in high school and college. It has come around full circle now. I've always been into writing songs and lyrics, and I've done a lot of that for other people and on other people's records, but decided that I'm ready to do this on my own. I still wanted to focus on guitar and guitar playing on this record, but I think I found a balance between the two. I'm excited now to get that out and start doing it live.

Ibanez: You're such a great lead guitar player. Throughout your career, you've always had a smooth and musical feel. Particularly on this record, you able to bring the listener along emotionally with your lead playing, but you still accentuate and strengthen the harmony and the rhythm that's going on around your leads. Is that a conscience effort on your part?

Eric: I guess so. I mean, it's helped that I've worked on a lot of records over the last 10-15 years doing a lot of producing, and I guess that it has been embedded in me that you have to play for the song. If the song wants or the song needs a ripping guitar solo, then that's great, but if it just needs some pretty chords and some kind of interweaving melodies, then just do that. So with this record, I think it was most important for me to showcase the song but also at the same time flex a little bit of guitar muscle here and there.

Ibanez: A way to describe the record is that it's very varied, yet focused. There's a lot going on stylistically genre-wise, but it's all still very much you and it doesn't try to do too much. Was that also an effort that you wanted to make in creating this the album?

Eric: Yeah, I think it was. It was an underlying theme for this album and when I went into it I had few ideas of how I wanted it to sound, but I didn't really want to limit it. So what happened was I just recorded a ton of songs. The hardest part was reeling it into a cohesive album because there were so many different styles going on. That was the biggest effort I had to put in at the very end; being okay with which songs I want to include on this, and how I could thread a lining through the entire album to make it all make sense. That was definitely the most difficult part.

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