FINALLY. That’s the best way we could open things up here, talking about Brooklyn-native, and guitar virtuoso, Eric Krasno. The two-time Grammy award winner, Hendrix student, and producer shows off his eclectic roots through the incredible variety of artists he’s worked with, including studio time with superstars like Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Justin Timberlake, Ledisi, Chaka Khan, Vieux Farka Toure, Dave Matthews and Aaron Neville. He’s worked on stage with legends like the Rolling Stones and The Roots, started bands like Soulive and Lettuce, and was recently on tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band (on Bass), as well as Pretty Lights.
So why are we kicking off this introduction with “FINALLY”? Krasno, after an already amazing career, for the first time, is stepping behind the mic to share his own songs in his own way, and we couldn’t be more excited for the result. The product is a record titled Blood from a Stone, and we dived right into it with Eric; he said, “It’s an amalgamation of everything that was me in 2012 when I first started writing the record. It’s about going through some darkness but coming out stronger in the other side. It’s rock, it’s soul, it’s funky, it’s heartfelt.” And its friggin’ guitar man – if you want to be transported tonight to a planet of Krasno’s own making, go download Blood from a Stone immediately. Its available from Eric’s Feel Music Group. Click to http://www.erickrasno.com/ to get into the new music and keep up with this busy artist…right after a good read of all the answers to the XXQs below.
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?
Eric Krasno (EK): I incorporate so many different genres together; it’s a stew of all the things I grew up listening to… along with whatever else is inside my crazy head. So I’d like to say it creates its own genre in a way.
PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
EK: Jimi Hendrix changed everything for me as a kid. I also loved Led Zeppelin and later was really into guitarists like BB King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and George Benson. My first real concert was seeing the Grateful Dead with my older brother at MSG when I was 12. A life changing experience for sure.
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?
EK: All I ever wanted growing up was to be in a band. So in the beginning it was all about finding Eric Krasnounnamed-1musicians to play with. When I met the Lettuce guys, it all started to fall back in place. I learned how to book shows and put together gigs as we went. We did everything ourselves for a long time. It was tough at times but I’m glad we did; it really forced me to gain a real understanding of how the business worked. Our first show was a basement frat party at Tufts University…it got real weird (laughing). We had a blast.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Eric Krasno show?
EK: It’s a blend of a lot of ingredients. I am blessed to have a killer band out here on the road. It’s really becoming a unique sound as we get tighter and evolve as a unit. We play most of the cuts from my recent album (Blood From a Stone) blended with some of my other material and select covers. We also have a bunch of new songs that feature my singer Mary Corso (a superstar in her own right!) and the rest of the band.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
EK: Don’t think!! I do my best to connect with be music, band, and crowd…try not to think too much.
PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?
EK: I love the energy from the audience…especially when things are ‘on’.
PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music?
EK: Uplifting and connecting people. Music brings people together and celebrates life. I love meeting people on the road and seeing what music brings to their life.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
EK: I’m very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given. I’ve been able to perform and work with some of my favorite musicians. I give thanks for that every day. Sometimes I do think the 18 year old me is freaking out right now!
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?
EK: I love Dolly Parton.
PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?
EK: Get in nature. Talk a walk, read a book, get away from things (especially my phone). A good conversation helps too. In certain cases I’ll put on some of my favorite records for inspiration.
PEV: How do you think the industry has changed since you first started out?
EK: It’s changed tremendously. Literally anyone can put out a record now. There’s good and bad in that. There’s so much music to wade through now. But there’s also a ton of artists you may never have heard years ago. Overall I’m excited by all the new music coming out right now.
PEV: What can fans expect from your new album, Blood from a Stone? What was the writing process like for this work?
EK: It’s an amalgamation of everything that was me in 2012 when I first started writing the record. It’s about going through some darkness but coming out stronger in the other side. It’s rock, it’s soul, it’s funky, it’s heartfelt.
PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
EK: I still haven’t been To Australia. I look forward to getting over there.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?
EK: My family and friends are very supportive of everything I’m doing. I am very thankful for that.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
EK: Making more music. I’m kind of addicted.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
EK: Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Jimi Hendrix.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
EK: The Marcus King Band, The London Souls.
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?
EK: I honestly have no idea (laughing)! Definitely not a doctor or a lawyer (sorry mom!).
PEV: So, what is next for Eric Krasno?
EK: A lot of music coming out in the next year: new solo album, producing for other artists, and lots of gigs!