Where do I begin.
First of all, this was a very difficult person to interview. Souper #4, Sean Krell. This wasn’t difficult because he was shy, or uncomfortable with being asked a million questions, or even because he was awkward telling his story. NOPE. This Souper was most challenging because Sean made me laugh so hard and so often, that I was missing things he was saying. I couldn’t keep up with a brother!!! Frick!! He’s like the drug-free version of Dave Chappelle’s Tyrone Biggums, constantly talking and cracking me up left
and right. I hope this post goes well considering I probably missed most of the hilarious things he said because my hands were covering my face in amusement instead of typing on the keyboard. Ugh.
Truth is, I haven’t known Sean long. In fact, it’s only been a little over 3 months since we’ve crossed paths. However, humor is something that I really appreciate, and Sean was just one of those people who picked up what I put down, right off the bat. He just plain understood. Gah! Don’t you just love when that happens? New friends are like getting to work and finding a whole box of fresh donuts awaiting for you to choose first. SO. GREAT. Yet so unexpected (yes this actually happened at work yesterday and I accidentally had two–a crumb and glaze–whoopsies).
From 6am-3pm (yikes, early riser), Sean works as a Display Artist for Urban Outfitters in Los Angeles. He works with another very talented creative to produce all the visual work that makes Urban the unique palace it provides for customers. His job includes building up window displays, floor fixtures, wall graphics…ANYTHING inside the store that a customer sees or shops off of, is most likely built by a Display Artist. This is Sean’s Monday through Friday job; and although he enjoys the creative freedom to explore his design side, his real passion lies within the rest of his life–music.
At 27, Sean has been in a number of bands since sixth grade. Nevertheless, before his interest in music, growing up in Elkins, West Virginia, Sean wanted to be an inventor. Before that, a stunt driver. When asked where he thought he’d be at this point in his life, he says, “a famous actor.” I giggled, but truth be told, Sean had some tricks up his sleeve. He explained that in middle school he moved to Southern California for nearly a year to pursue an acting career. Nothing huge came from it, except nailing an audition for the National Education Association. Sean made me laugh out loud when he said, “I’m the poster boy for book readin’…My little brother was in a Trojan condoms commercial. He’s the poster boy for birth control. Totally serious.” After I made fun of him and his uber talented family for 2.5 seconds, he quickly added, “Acting, dancing, singing. We’re pretty much street performers.” I died.
Proficient in 4 instruments, he started playing the trumpet in 5th grade. In 6th grade he joined his first band ever, “The Migraines” and talks about it as if it were last night: “I was the singer actually. And we played Green Day songs at talent shows…we rocked it.” New life was brought to Sean in form of a bass guitar on his 14th birthday, and from there on it was a match made in musical Pandora (yeah, the place from Avatar. Duh. That place is magical).
The synthesizer is Sean’s second weapon of choice. His newest band that comes to surface–who at this point doesn’t have a name yet–are putting together their E.P. (Extended Play; ahem, record too short to be an album, but more songs than a single) as we speak. Sean has been apart of this, what he calls an “awesome project,” for the last 4 years. The more I got to know about his experience with these guys, the more I could see the excitement–and if you know Sean, he’s always enthusiastic. (Quick side note: he has 2 tattoos. On one arm it reads, “START TODAY,” and on the other, “Procrastination is not only the thief of time but also the murderer of ambition.” Wow, right? I swear he’s the happiest person on earth who thinks unicorns and rainbows make babies.) He exploded with eagerness when I asked him to share with me his path with the guys, and what kind of music he would describe the band to be.
“It’s been good. We were originally a hip-hop thing…the guitarist used to rap on it…but not like white-boy rap…we opened up for KRS-ONE, like huge shows! We had a horn section–we were huge–we were a 9 piece band at one point…now we’ve moved towards a more soul-dancey thing.” They used to be called The Library, but The Library was “more like electro-soul.” He struggled to compare his new bands sound to anything in music right now, but when I sat in silence for 30 straight seconds, he finally said, “I wish I could give you a ‘so-and-so meets so-and-so.’ Ahh. David Bowie meets The Knife meets Willie Hutch.” (I had to look up Willie Hutch, since the only Willie I know of is Mr. Nelson. Duh. Thank you Wikipedia.) Further, Sean said that The Library is old news, “you can still tell it’s us, but [we’re] more mature.”
Band members include:
–Ahmad Larnes: Main vocalist (“the new guy.”)
–Sean Krell: Bass, Synthesizer, back up vocals
–Steve Lopez: Main song writer “and the creative genius.” Guitar and synthesizer (“Steve is from [the band] Castro—original founding members—they found me on Myspace and recruited me.”)
–Matt Blackmar: Keyboard and synthesizer
For the most part, Sean is usually seen laughing, cracking jokes, and eating graham crackers like an eight year old kid. But when I ask him who his idols are, he quickly turns deliberate and says he marvels at the guys who are doing exactly what he’s doing. Working the day job, but succeeding in music. He mentions letting the people down who are rooting for him as one of his biggest fears, but if I were to point fingers, I’d say his grandma told it to him best, “It’s not if it’s gonna happen, it’s when.”
1. Guilty pleasure: “Bad science fiction or action movies. I’ll watch them and enjoy them. Anna gets mad.” Sorry ladies, but Anna is his very significant other. They met while Anna was just finishing school studying film. Anna, if you’re reading this, I feel like I know you because Sean and I talk about you all the time….creepy, I know. 🙂
2. What makes you nervous: “Reckless drivers. Being in a car with someone and they’ve got dangling shit from the mirror…they got gadgets everywhere…” He mimics the driver and himself, “‘Let me change the song…’ No, I’ll get it!!” HAHAHAHAHAHA…oh man, this was one of those hilarious moments where I had to ask…am I one of those drivers? He said no. Thank goodness.
3. Hidden talent: “I can do armpit farts with one arm.” My first reaction was silence. My second reaction was–DO IT, I WANNA SEE. At this time, Sean proceeded to make his fart noises with one arm while I burst out of control with laughter in front of Starbucks. He then adds, “It’s how I got friends in middle school.” Well OF COURSE it was.
4. Ever licked Play-dough: “Of course. Are you kidding? Licked it?? I use to make a hamburger out of playdough…” He motions eating a hamburger. “I did eat a dog biscuit though.” If you can’t already tell, I’m just continuously laughing.
5. Interesting quarks: “There’s probably a million…oh. I always have to…I always gotta show up at least 45 minutes to an hour before a movie. I can’t get a bad seat in a movie. I’ll just go home. I need to be in the middle, in the center. It’s about the experience.”
6. Music of choice: “Im’ma say Radiohead. I love. Hate 90s top 40.” I gasped. How dare he. He points to me, “This is why we’ll never be friends. Yup, this is the dis-connect.” He starts singing Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” song. “Kissss mee…I know you played that song on repeat in high school…” Damn!! He caught me!!!
7. Trademark: “My trademark? Do I have one? Pass. I have these big massive tattoos. I wish I had a catchphrase like ‘boom-shaka-laka.'” I wish he said “boom-shaka-laka” everyday. Maybe he will when he’s 80.
8. Know any random facts: “I know a ton of useless information. It’s always hard when you’re put on the spot! I recently read this article about these seven people that hold the keys to the internet. Smart cards, sim cards, I.D. cards. All across the world. In case of a world-wide catastrophe, these people have these cards that can re-set the world-wide web. It’s pretty sweet.” Yikes. NERD ALERT.
9. You have an hour of free time, what do you do: “Do an interview for Donutsoup.com. This was great. A blast.” Awwwwww. Thanks Sean, you’re a lamb.
10. Favorite donut: “There’s a place up in San Francisco. Totally forgot the name. Vegan blueberry donut. The icing…it was awesome.” BTW, Sean constantly talks about food (he’s vegan) and gets “hangry” often. He always needs snacks and officially shuts down if he hasn’t had food to keep him from turning into a beast.
I’m looking forward to posting about “the band” once it gets closer…I want to reveal the music!!