EMQ’s With J.P. KROM
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Chilean “AstroMetal” solo project, J.P.Krom. Huge thanks to J.P for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
J.P. Krom, I sing and I play guitar. This is a solo project – I started it years ago when I was really bored with singers and their egocentrism. I decided to sing, but it took years to “discover” my own voice. I was in a male choir and had a speech therapist in that process. After recording two self-made albums of covers, I decided to record an album with songs that I had composed. Gothic influences were on me at that moment, but I decided to do the album with many influences such as Zakk Wylde, heavy and a bit of progressive metal. I studied astrology and the path for the lyrics naturally channelled in that. The music had the same inspiration in a more abstract way. I decided to call the style “astrological metal” (after called AstroMetal) after a conversation with a classmate who called my music that when I told her what the lyrics and the composition were based on.
How did you come up with your band name?
Crom is the god of “Conan the Barbarian”, the main character of the movie. I randomly decided the name, without taking it too seriously. At that time most of the musicians didn’t use their real names and I did that because my parents gave me the same name as my father, so it was very confusing when people looked for me on the web. I only changed the “c” for “k” and I added the initials of my name to differentiate me from other people using the name Krom. Years later I discovered a book called “Krom” and it was the name of a solar god. Maybe the real influence came from that and I didn’t know. I believe there are a lot of ideas that we share in our “collective unconscious”.
What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?
I’m from Santiago, Chile. We have a strong metal scene here I guess, even though we support more international bands than Chilean bands. But what we don’t really have here is a gothic metal scene with male singers, like the music I do (I think my music is closer to that than other styles).
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
My latest release is Luna Plutón, which is the single for my upcoming EP “Astrometal”. It was released on August 17th and it has a videoclip with a woman that represents a suffering moon.
Who have been your greatest influences?
That is a very difficult question for me. My headbanger bands are Slayer, Dream Theater and Guns N’ Roses, but what I do is not similar to that. But if you listen very carefully, you will find those influences. I really love “Bloody Kisses” and “October Rust” from Type O Negative, but they are not my favourite band (maybe if they had just released those two albums). I love that style and I found it in other bands as well with songs that sound like that, but that the band doesn’t cultivate it. And at the same time, I love songs from bands that are gothic, but I don’t like most of the songs of the bands.
What first got you into music?
Maybe it was the environment in which I was raised, with a lot of classic rock and alternative music. While the other families were listening to popular music, this different music was being injected into the depths of my mind. Also the art in general was very appreciated. I think in my youth I was shocked by rock stars and after that metal musicians, and their divergent thinking. Music was always my company and drug, a world that I could travel to any time; to different places and through time.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I don’t know of any band I like that would want my presence. Just a band that I love their creation and have a good projection to work with them. If you ask for a famous band, it would be Theatre of Tragedy, but they’re dissolved. I really like what they did on “Aégis”.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
It is very interesting what goths do, very creative in what you see in their performances and the way they look. And those festivals are in Europe generally. And of course any famous festival from Germany or the Netherlands. I think my music fits well in those countries.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t know if it’s weird but I do remember just one now. I really loved that she thought of me by giving me a present that would be useful for me: it was a keeper? Of picks. That is very important because you always lose those things, “they magically disappear”. If you’re reading this, thank you again!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
The message would be two questions: what do I like the most from what I do? What ideas do you have for me to do in this project?
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
No one should be back from the dead I guess. But I really would love to have to see Type O Negative live just once in my life. They never came to my country to play live.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I really like creating. Creating is like being an antenna. All of the ideas are there, as are all of the thoughts we have as humanity. An artist takes that signal and transforms it in relation to what the artist is. The artist is a filter, and each melody is taken to a different style, depending on the person and its influences. I like being on this antenna and traveling to other places/times. What I hate is the ambivalence in all of what is art. In the first place, art is a part of what any human needs in life, but we treat it in two opposite ways at the same time. An underrated person on one side and on the other an overrated person. We see this with street artists and pop stars.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I think it should be like any regular job, not an underworld. An artist is a regular person that does something that everyone needs in life.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Guns ‘N’ Roses – “Appetite for Destruction”.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Each of them has its own taste. I have tried them all, except the vinyl, because I don’t like the “dirt” sound that it has because of the needle.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
When we were the opening act for Moonspell this year in April. We had a very good time playing before them. We had an excellent sound. We played Luna Plutón for the first time even though no one knew that song.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Creating in another arm of the arts. Don’t know what. Maybe an audio-visual person? A graphic artist?
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I don’t know. I could admire someone because of what he or she does. But that’s independent of the way this person can be in a dinner situation. This person that I admire for his or her music can be an idiot in that situation. I have to know those persons personally first to answer that question. And I don’t know personally any of my music idols for example.
What’s next for the band?
The next thing for now is the release of the new EP “Astrometal” very soon, and all of the work that comes with that. With Braulio (the keyboard player) we’re looking for places to play out of the country, that should be the natural step for now, to promote this new EP.
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Music Video – Luna Plutón – https://youtu.be/T34TkGnv5JU?feature=shared
Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun, a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?
I don’t know about that. Sorry!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for these different questions that make you think beyond the normal. Hope you enjoy this new production “Luna Plutón”. Keep the AstroMetal alive!
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