Award-winning fiddle-player and musician Karrnnel released his highly-anticipated brand new solo double album Crazy Old Man and SKMB on September 13. I had the pleasure of chatting with him ahead of the release. Check out the Q&A below:
Describe the process of putting together a double album.
Well the idea for the double album came about a number of years ago, so the planning involved with everything around making the album (i.e. writing the music, arranging, rehearsing, recording, etc.) took a long time. Once the idea of a double album was born – and specifically the plan to have one album be my ‘solo’ album and the other be songs I had written sung by guest singers – the writing and arranging phase took off.
Throughout this phase, I was repeatedly applying for funding opportunities to help with the production costs of a double album and those costs associated with working with an abundance of artists collaboratively. Once some of this funding came through, I was able to confirm my producer of the two albums, Murray Pulver, and then the project was full steam ahead.
The band was purposely made up of friends and artists that I had worked with before, that had worked together on countless occasions, and were all the type of musicians to bring their creative output to rehearsals, writing sessions, and the studio. I really wanted the creative, arranging, and recording process to be collaborative with these incredible musicians. Looking back at the time in the studio, it was an absolute blast because of the conscience effort I made to work with these artists.
The music that I write and record is created with purpose and meaning, and the energy and vibe that was created in the studio amplified the intentions of my musical creations.
What are some common misconceptions that people have about this genre of music?
I think overall, people here the word fiddle and have an idea that it is one thing. Usually, the idea that it is that old man/woman playing old time music my grandparents like. My goal with this double album was to make music that spans a wide variety of genres and stages my creative voice.
How do you hope people will respond to the album?
I want people to love my music. Not all of it. That would be too much to ask. But at least, some of it. The spread of genres throughout both of these albums is wide, so I am fully aware that some tracks are not for everyone. But I truly believe that there is something on these two albums for everyone. Each album for me has its own goal to try to change some of the misconceptions people may have when they hear the word fiddle.
I wanted Crazy Old Man to really expand the sonic definitions of what a fiddle could sound like – specifically, using the copper fiddle with some effects pedals on the song Crazy Old Man. I really feel that the cross section of music that is on Crazy Old Man paints a picture of who I am as an artist.
For SKMB, I wanted to make music with the fiddle as the main solo instrument in a wide variety of genres. Each song was crafted for the guest singer that I wanted to voice the song I had written, and really I want the album to reach audiences in each of these varied genres.