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Kym Brown

The Crackling Make Ears Burn

The Crackling

Not satisfied with mere pyromania, The Crackling lead singer keeps drunk with a childrens choir.

By Scott Wood

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Hello folks, Scott Wood here! I'm the host of the interview show, which is a syndicated radio program you can find on several campus community radio stations across Canada. Each month I profile one of the “hidden talents” in my local Vancouver scene. Basically, I am going to give the campus community radio readers the chance to get to know some of Vancouver's most interesting, up-and-coming talents.

This month, I talk to Kenton Loewen from The Crackling.

The Crackling are basically Dan Mangan’s touring band—without Dan. From their website: Led by Kenton Loewen on vocals and guitar, The Crackling brings together Tyson Naylor on keys, piano and accordion, Jeremy Page on bass, Gordon Grdina on guitars and vocals and John Raham on drums. Experienced road warriors, many members of The Crackling divide their time playing in Dan Mangan's touring ensemble.

On his band "boss" (an indie music super star) Dan Mangan: I think of Dan more like Jesus or like a king and less like a boss. More like the most powerful man or woman that ever stood on the face of the earth.

Scott Wood: Your "day job" is being a "power drummer" for Dan Mangan's band (among others). Drummers are often the butt of jokes in music circles. What is one drummer stereotype that fits you and one that doesn't?

Kenton Loewen: Drummer stereo type that fits: I can drink more than you. One that doesn't: I can't drink more than you.

Scott Wood: Dan Mangan is Vancouver's indie music golden boy and also your "boss." You get him to sing on two tracks on the record. How do you tempt your boss to sing on your record and how do you decide which tracks to put him on?

The Crackling

Kenton Loewen: I think of Dan more like Jesus or like a king and less like a boss. More like the most powerful man or woman that ever stood on the face of the earth. I tempted him with brilliant acting. Just loves the stuff. Roll the dice, ya know? Fuck inspiration!

Scott Wood: The Crackling have even opened for “king” Dan Mangan on tour. Opening for any big act can be humbling--the fans are there to see the name act and not the openers. (And in this case, they get to see you twice.) Can you talk about your experience?

Kenton Loewen: It was wonderful to open those gigs. A fantastic opportunity and a blast to lay some shit down for a generally unassuming crowd.

Scott Wood: You’ve said the band name The Cracking comes from your love of hearing things burn. Should the police be looking at you when buildings "suddenly" flame up? What's the strangest thing you've burned down?

On things Kenton would like to set on fire: The police, random online journalists, the general public. It's good to keep an eye out. I set a yard on fire once.

Kenton Loewen: The police, random online journalists, the general public. It's good to keep an eye out. I set a yard on fire once.

Scott Wood: Your latest record is called Mary Magdalene. She is a popular biblical character and the mother of the hooker with a heart of gold stereotype/archetype, what does she mean to you?

Kenton Loewen: Mary Magdalene to me means the overthrowing of Christianity.

Scott Wood: The first single from Mary Magdalene is "Keep Me Drunk." You also get a children's choir to sing on this track. How did you explain to them what the song meant? Perhaps a demonstration?

Kenton Loewen: I explained to the children's choir what the song “Keep Me Drunk” meant using magic and the art of illusion.

Scott Wood: Reviews of the record characterize the music as "dark," but as you've said it is also "hopeful." People can turn to music to get them thru good times and bad times--can you talk about a song/record that has got you thru some dark times?

Kenton Loewen: I don't use music to get me through times.

Scott Wood: Your record company hosted a listening party for your second release MM, but you didn't make it! Why? What's it like (or what do you think it would be like) listening to your music with people who are critics but love music?

Kenton Loewen: I wasn't able to be at the listening party. I think it'd be great. Critics or media folk that were actual people? I love when that happens.

On Kenton's strange cover selection: The M*A*S*H theme song is a beautiful song I've been obsessed with most of my life.

Scott Wood: You cover "Suicide is Painless" aka the theme song from the M*A*S*H movie and TV show. An odd choice. Why?

Kenton Loewen: The M*A*S*H theme song is a beautiful song I've been obsessed with most of my life. The lyrics are quite nice.

Scott Wood: Along with Dan Mangan, you've also played in Mother Mother. Vancouver music is a small scene. What's an unexpected connection that The Cracking and/or you has with another local band that will shock readers/fans?

Kenton Loewen: I'm 1 of 13 consultants for the Guldemond's hair decisions.

Note: Ryan Guldemond is the lead singer of Mother Mother.

Find more about The Cracking online.

http://www.thecrackling.com/
http://www.fileundermusic.com (the band’s record label)

 

The Crackling are on tour this summer.

June 1 - SASKATOON, SK - Amigos
June 2 - REGINA, SK - The Exchange
June 4 - TORONTO, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
June 5 - HAMILTON, ON - This Ain't Hollywood
June 7 - BARRIE, ON - Clarkson Pub
June 9 - LONDON, ON - Aeolian Hall
June 11 - OTTAWA, ON - The Mercury Lounge
June 14 - TORONTO, ON - Supermarket (updated)
June 14 - Cancelled - MONTREAL, QC - Quai Des Brumes
June 15 - SUDBURY, ON - The Speakeasy
June 17 - THUNDER BAY, ON - Black Pirates Pub
June 18 - WINNIPEG, MB - The Windsor
June 19 - MOOSE JAW, AB - Java Express
June 22 - VANCOUVER, BC - The Biltmore

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