Interview with Old Kerry McKee: 'The love to just explore and try to find your own thing has been the passion all these years'

 

Old Kerry MCKee photo

On October 23, Old Kerry Mckee released their third album 'Mono Secular Songs' through the "Icons Creating Evil Art" label. A one-man band that has been doing  folk / rock but with a very particular vision of their own. We did not miss the opportunity to interview its creator who kindly told us about his new album.



Hello, thanks for your time. How are you?

Hi there, thanks I’m feeling great over here

 

How is the reception of your new album being?

Quite good I think. I’ve read some really nice reviews at least! I’m happy it’s out!

 

I think it's your third album, first with the "Icons Creating Evil Art label". How was the experience?

Thats is absolute correct. My experience with ICEA is the best one so far.  it has been professional but at the same time, really nice people around there!

 

For those who do not know who Old Kerry McKee is, when was this project born?

It was born almost 10 years ago now. I just wanted to do something else than all the blastbeating in the deathmetal band I was playing in. Recorded a couple of songs on myspace and released.

It has been some periods where the music was just dead. Now almost 10 years later Im back with a more rock/metal influenced sound I guess, ironic.

 

Several instruments are heard on the album, and the first thing that comes to mind is a band, but the surprise is greater when you see that you are the one who plays all the instruments live. How did this original idea come about?

I finded it really difficult some times to be in a band. Iguess it was because of me though.. Cause I wanted to decide a little to much I guess. So being a oneman-band fitted me really well. No one else to blame and to do whatever I want, no limits at all. And of course I discovered Daniel Norgren in 2008. Before that I’d never heard a onemanband I think. No serious ones at least




 Did you initially have the idea of making music to play live, or did it come to you later?

The purpose have always being to play it as I write it. I started with a snare and a tambourine. I’ve been playing on homebuilt antique cow bells, chains, banjos and mandolins. And the love to just explore and try to find your own thing has been the passion all these years, and still is. I guess

 

Also in your videos I see that you enjoy, isn't it difficult for you with so much instrument to do it live?

When you’ve been practise all thosee hours and it is time to play live. Hopefully and sometimes at least I  enjoy the moment.


Talking about your latest album "Mono Secular Sounds", I have read that at first the idea was to make Death Metal, although in my opinion it doesn't seem like it. Could it be from songs like "Cattle and wolves" where the atmosphere is darker and the voice is more ragged?

It is a misunderstanding! Like I said earlier. I played in a metal band called Inevitable End. We released two albums on Relapse Records. "The Severed Inception" (2009) "Oculus"(2011). Sertainly I’ve picked up some of the old influences from that past era into "Mono Secular Sounds"

 

There are darker and more aggressive songs like "South Spruce Blues" and other calmer ones like the case of "Humming on The Porch" or "Woman from Tarnava". What has been your inspiration when writing the album?

I think I always had that idea and goal when I am planning and writing an album. To make it diverse with a lot of contrasts. But maybe next album just be more straight up. I don’t know yet.

 

You live in rural areas, has this been decisive for folk and blues in the compositions for or was it something that you already wanted to do even if you lived in the city?

I discovered the american folk music when I was living in Gothenburg. It doesnt matter where you live. But when I started to breath and more than just liked the music. When you get a little obsessed with all those old instruments, artists and stuff. Eventually I ended up in a really small cabin outside the city. Then I moved far and far away from the civilization I guess :)

 

What have been and are your biggest influences to create your own sound?

The idea from the beginning was to create something unique. One day as I went to a small little vintage hi-fi store  I met this old man called Helmer. The store was called Helmers Hi-Fi by the way. I told him that I was gonna build my own rig. With a gramophone, speakers and  TV. He showed me this little beauty. A german Dual recordplayer with built in speakers in. That is what inspired my sound most I guess.

 

How was the process of recording the album, did you have any collaboration?

My friends built a new studio in their barn, called Let The Swing studio.

It wasnt done when I recorded the album, but it worked out really well. Ulf Blomberg from Hoborec / The End studio recorded and mastered it. I also had Axel from the band Horisont doing some guest vocals on Woman from Taranava in the last chorus. He also put on some synth and piano

 

In 2018 you toured with Avatar, and you were in Spain. How was the experience?

That was sick! :) And I really mean it. It was awesome and an experience I never will forgett. Both the being on tour with Avatar and also the gig in Madrid was one of a kind!

 

What is the immediate future of Old Kerry Mckee? I suppose that since this pandemic is also affecting you, do you have closed dates for 2021?

I’m not sure at the moment. I just started to laborating with new sounds. Writing new songs.I have one festival booked for next year, but that is all!

 

Have you considered playing with more musicians live? The truth is that your performance is very original and I particularly like it more than seeing a band with everything sampled.

Thanks. I’ve had that idea many times and acutally have tried a couple of times. It didnt turned out too good some times. And sometimes better. For now I will be a oneman band

 

For my part that's all, thank you very much, good luck with the new album and I hope to see you soon in Spain. 


Thanks for a nice interview!