What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I first decided I really wanted to make music after becoming obsessed with Jimi Hendrix’ version of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ as performed live at Woodstock in ’69. That was probably 6th grade. I thank my father for buying me a CD that had that recording on it. I’ve been playing music ever since. My first official project was a duo called Holy Spirits from 2009-2011. I then released music solo as Longshoreman for a few years. Recently I decided that I needed a name that resonated more with me and I chose Kin Hana, which is the name of my late Japanese great-grandfather. Along the way I’ve studied acting and performed in experimental theater and dance works as well. Now I mostly just do music.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
My newest single, ‘The Wolf’, is an 8 minute long piece that is Kin Hana’s first full exploration into a metal, doom and drone kind of sound. I’m very inspired by a lot of heavy music and have wanted to explore that more in my work. Lyrically, the song is about discovering power in oneself by stepping outside mental barriers and constructs and becoming fully present in the body/the world.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Some musicians I’ve spent ample time listening to lately and throughout life that are influential are: Bjork, Mount Eerie, Arvo Pärt, the album ‘Dopesmoker’ by Sleep, Songs: Ohia, Blood Warrior (particularly the album ‘Letter Ghost;), and lately Circuit des Yeux. Non-music wise I look towards personal ancestral history for many of my song’s lyrical inspiration.
Two artists that come to mind: the painter Kerry James Marshall — easily the most inspiring exhibit I saw at an art museum within the past couple years — and the late photographer William Gedney, who’s photograph of a house in the nighttime I used for the cover of a Longshoreman record. Lately I have also been looking at a lot of yūrei-zu, which are Japanese paintings of ghosts and other kinds of supernatural beings.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Kin Hana is an aesthetic attempt to embrace multiple elements of music that resonate with me and synthesize them into a singer-songwriter kind of format that provides varying sonic climates within one world. For me, those musical genres that I am currently swimming around in are: folk, metal, ambient, electronic/synth based and sound art. However, this is a very clinical description of Kin Hana and is what happens when you ask a musician to describe their own music, we’re sometimes not very good at that.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Bjork – Homogenic
Radiohead – KID A
Songs: Ohia – Didn’t it Rain
Stanislaw Lem – Solaris, Cormac McCarthy – Blood Meridian, Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
2001: A Space Odyssey, A Monty Python DVD (one must laugh), and Hiroshima Mon Amor. I’d go darker, really, but we’re talking about being stranded on a desert island and I don’t wanna get stuck watching Eraserhead over and over.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I’m not sure I have a preference over one or the other. There is magic in both things in very different ways. But if I have to choose to only be able to do one thing from now on, I’d say “live” because it’s a collective experience rather than working on things in isolation.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I met someone at a party not that long ago and they asked me what my music was like and I tried to describe it to them. Their response was: so is it like Primus then?
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Probably the most unique track I’ve released so far is ‘The Wolf.’ It merges elements of heaviness, oasis-like softness, and flourishes of abstraction in what I intend to be a journey through song. I’m working on more music like this.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I’m planning to do a little tour in the US this Summer as well as release a new EP around that time.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Q: If you’re wearing a sweater right now, what color is it?
A: Sorry, I am not wearing a sweater.
Photo credits: Henry Applewater (1st one), Jim Smith (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Kin Hana:
Main site: https://kinhanamusic.com