First off, a big thanks to Ana at Drive-Thru Records for all her help in setting this up. Also of course thank you Kris Anaya of An Angle for answering my questions.
Congratulations on releasing your new album; I got it in the mail the other day and have spent much time with it. How long did The Truth Is That You Are Alive take you to write and record?
Umm I spent a brief period in this town called “Elmo”, Missouri… writing a lot of the love songs at the time I was away from this very special woman. I am in Love with her, and alot of my happiness about missing her came out and I expressed how I felt. Funny how happy moments make you write a better tune huh?
After listening to the album I clearly noticed a major change in the overall mood and tone of the songs. I pick up on a healthy amount of positivity and true happiness coming from this record; do you get the same impression from the music?
Yeah I feel like the overall record is very happy, and thankful to be alive… but now I think the road is taking me down a new path, it’s going to be a major change for the next album as well.
Not that your music was ever overtly negative or sad, but what brought on this change and songs such as Clean and Gold, I’m Alright, and Falling in Your Arms?
All those songs are about Melody. This lovely women, who I think everybody should meet.
I’ve been listening to your music since Drive-Thru re-released your first record; I sincerely believe that this is truly your best work. How do you feel that you have grown as an artist, both lyrically and musically?
I feel I got a handle on the balance of music and my energy around me, but lately I have been kind of lost. I escaped to Seattle to hang out with some old friends to get my head clear.
Throughout all your releases you’ve always had a seemingly revolving door of musicians contribute to each recording. Have they all been friends and fellow artists or how have you gone about finding these individuals?
These people I play with on my records are my loved ones they are me think and thin. Without them there would be no “an angle” just an asshole with a guitar.
Stylistically the song Red River is a big departure for you, what brought you to write a song of that nature?
I have always liked the way Jon Brion records string songs, they were always crazy from Rufus Wainwright to Fiona Apple. He has always been heavy into strings; I thought I would give it a try with that song. I don’t think I made it amazing like him… but we tried our best, we are still young.
You deserve to be incredibly proud of this record, many songs are worthy but which one will you be shooting a music video for?
I think they want to do “Trouble” but who knows… my mind is focused on new songs, new outlook on life.
What touring plans do you have to promoteThe Truth Is That You Are Alive?
Want to tour, but it’s always hard for us to go out… because of gas prices and things like that. Don’t have much money, ya know?
In the past there have been songs upwards of eight minutes in length; did you make a conscious effort to shorten the songs on this album?
Yeah nobody doesn’t want to hear an 8 minute song anymore; I ain’t Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. So I figured I would fit in a 3 minute space. Leave the 8 minute songs to the real poets.
You’ve always played a big part in the layout and design of the art on each record. How much of the artwork did you create for The Truth Is That You Are Alive and what is the meaning and symbolism behind it?
A close person of mine passed away and I made the album artwork to dedicate her passing.
I understand the significance of artwork to an album, but why have you chosen to not include the lyrics in the liner notes on the previous two albums?
I wanted to let people decide what I say, not me. I love how people sometimes have different words when they sing the songs. Like they think it’s that word but aren’t sure… but maybe in their minds it should have been ya know? So let them enjoy art not words, we got enough words in this fucked up place.
I’ve noticed the rather optimistic phrases phrases printed on the disc-faces of the CD’s on the last two records, was that your idea? Also, are you planning to continue that pattern on future releases?
I will always do it for all my records. Yes, they are beautiful I think.
Kris, thank you very much for your time; do you have a final statement that you’d care to make?
Well I would really like to thank you. To let me express my thoughts… so many people aren’t as lucky as me to have a chance to share their feelings, ya know? Maybe change one or two lives… maybe change a thought, maybe change nothing at all. But the fact that I have that is the biggest Gift I could of ever gotten from my music. I have been compared to Conor Oberst or Bob Dylan or Robert Smith or Leonard Cohen or Tom Petty… hell whoever. But I am proud and happy that people have thought of me in that light because those people I think have brought a huge change to music and to this planet. So to be a part of them is a great thing, I love music… I love to write… I love feeling I can give something back to the dust and the sun… kind of thanking this planet for letting me have a voice. But for now I am going to escape and become a better person when I come back. Thank you, xo.
Order The Truth Is That You Are Alive here.