Interview Our Krypton Son

"No one with any integrity that does what we do started doing it to become rich and I suppose to have some measure of critical success would be the main goal." - Chris

With the impending release of the beautiful new single ‘Catalonian Love Song’, here at GigApe, we felt it was about time we spoke to Our Krypton Son aka Chris McConaghy about, among other things, Phil Spector, Napster and Superman II.

With around 15 years working in the music industry and four years into the current incarnation we were really intrigued - Our Krypton Son?! 

"I wanted a pseudonym and my girlfriend Jules and I were watching Superman II. There's a bit where General Zod says 'I like the glow that flashes red like our Krypton sun'. Seemed like an interesting moniker that could double up as a band name and didn't lend itself to a certain style of music or sound. Anyway Jules is a massive Superman fan and threatened to dump me if I opted for something else!" The path to the music industry can be a colluded and complex journey - one filled with many pitfalls and empty promises, "You keep gigging, trying to get better, trying to raise the profile of the band and the songs. For us though, getting the album finished and sounding as impressive as possible was crucial. To that end, I made use of one of the few business contacts I had and enlisted Sam Williams (Supergrass, Plan B, The Noisettes, Tricky, Kula Shaker and The Go Team) to mix the album. I'd worked with him before when he produced Red Organ Serpent Sound's album. I sent out a ton of album promos to various labels, and radio DJs and promoters for gigs. Eventually we started to get a name for ourselves, do bigger gigs and gather momentum. It was local music champion and BBC Radio Foyle DJ Stephen McCauley who eventually introduced me to Andrew at Smalltown America."

Its clear to see that the love of performance is at the core of Our Krypton Son and this is backed up by a keen desire to polish the craft of live delivery, in all locations and to audiences of different sizes, "We've had loads of brilliant gigs over the last few years but a couple stand out in my mind such as the AU magazine 5th anniversary gig across two rooms in Sandino's in Derry. There were around 20 great bands played that day and the place was rammed. It was a great buzz. Did an acoustic gig with a great trumpet player (Bryan Morgan, who played on the album) in Mason's in Derry a while back and though there were only about 6 people there, it was a fantastic, intimate gig! Performed a few really good support slots for artists such as David Kitt, Gemma Hayes, Jape and Cashier No.9. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of performing with the Inishowen Gospel Choir in the Playhouse in Derry and the band had a great intimate gig in The Spaniard Bar in Belfast also. The best gig so far though, has to be our slot at T-Vital in Bangor there in August. We practice as much as possible. Our main rehearsal room has been a large industrial roofing warehouse (where the album was recorded) which gets absolutely baltic in the Winter, so there are other rehearsal rooms we can use as well when we need to. We practice my songs but we do jam as well. It's good to get the fingers working properly and everybody gelling together."

With success being so transient in the world of music its interesting and life affirming to hear that its all not just about the Benjamin's, "Before Napster and illegal file sharing, music had more currency and artists could become filthy rich whether they deserved to be or not. At the end of the day, no one with any integrity that does what we do started doing it to become rich and I suppose to have some measure of critical success would be the main goal. In my case, to be able to be self employed and get some royalties, keep gigging, release my work and support my girlfriend and kid would be fantastic." The culture of celebrity for celebrities sake seems along long way from the though processes of Our Krypton Son, "It would be really nice to see actual bands and artists have a chance at a hit single every once in a while without the requirement of a billion votes and the backing of a bunch of celebrity judges who often know zilch about music."

So as we are talking fantasy and if you could play with anyone who would it be?

 "I would've liked to record with Phil Spector back in his heyday and perform my stuff with The Wrecking Crew - the legendary group of session players who performed with The Beach Boys. I would've loved a jam with Jimi Hendrix just to be knocked sideways by him…" Next year promises big things for Our Krypton Son, "The single has been available for pre-order through and will be officially released on 16/01/12. It'll be available on iTunes as well. The debut album will be out shortly thereafter. We plan on a lot gigging and touring in support of these. Wanna get some gigs down in Dublin and over in England. Also, i'm working on new stuff too!"


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