Kristen Ford is back from Boston right after the release of her new album Alone, Together. Windy City Times wanted to catch up with her while she’s here in Chicago for a show.WCT:
(Windy City Times) So are you excited to come back to Chicago?KF:
(Kristen Ford) I’m so f**king excited to come back to Chicago. I lived there for like, almost four years and I feel like it’s made a huge impact on me just as like a human being. And plus there are so many like amazing people there and cheap burritos everywhere and cute girls on bicycles. It’s a great town.WCT:
Yeah, it is. So, why don’t you tell me how you got in to music?KF:
I originally wanted to be an actress and I had a lot of trouble getting cast in roles that I wanted. And I just sort of found myself doing more and more music and I didn’t get really too serious about it until I moved out to Chicago for college. Me and a bunch of people started playing at this open mike at this café. So we would just play every week and that kind of turned into me garnering enough material over like six or seven months and playing my first actual show. And then maybe six or eight months later I started Plaid on Plaid with Ann Van Marter and Buck Foley. And I’ve just kept going since then. So, hopefully it will be a lifelong love affair with music.WCT:
So, with everything I read about you, you sound pretty notorious for jumping around into different genres.KF:
Yeah, maybe I should just be more selective about the type of music that I enjoy, but I really like everything. And I try to bring versatility to all the different environments that one could play in. I don’t know, I just never wanna be too predictable and I never wanna be boring. Hopefully, that’s something that people can embrace and like believe it. Especially when you’re an independent artist, you should be easily definable so you can grow in that scene. But I don’t really care, I just do what I want.WCT:
So, how would you describe your lyrics? What are you trying to say with your music?KF:
My lyrics are kind of just a mix of lies and truths and just creative vomit that comes out at the same time as the guitar part. Sometimes there’s a vision involved, but sometimes not. I’m continually trying to be more sparse about my lyric writing cause I think a really good song, like if you look at the lyrics on the paper, they’re like one paragraph, if that. But, I do try to tell a story or like take listeners some place that they can like see themselves and it doesn’t even matter what every word’s about. It’s just the song is what it is. I think my most popular song so far is called Red Couch and that’s from my debut record, Filthy Nasty. And the chorus to that song is “I didn’t think it would happen, but it happens all the time.” Like, what the f*ck does that mean? I don’t know. But people seem to really enjoy it. I mean because they can relate to it. So it’s often the less you say, the better or the more vague you can be—without being overly cliché.WCT:
So your new record—Alone, Together—just came out?KF:
Yeah, it did. It’s called Alone, Together because the first six songs (Alone) are a solo EP that I did with this woman named Audrey Ryan, who is, like, a fuckin’ genius. And the second six songs (Together) is with my band of almost two years—we did a live recording back in April. I think people will get a taste of both, so more thought out sparse kind of you can imagine me just with an acoustic guitar and then you’ll get the energy of the band and kind of what you can expect from a live show. This new record there was just one or two takes for everything and the live portion is obviously just it is what it was. It’s probably the most honest thing I think you can put out. Hopefully, people will embrace it. I think it sounds pretty good.WCT:
What will you be performing at Reggies? Any new music?KF:
Reggies will be a lot of new music. I’m taking Colin Kelly with me on tour. He’s going to be playing lead guitar. And my ex-bandmate Ann Van Marter from Plaid on Plaid will be debuting her new band, Deathmaps. And I hope that there’s a lot of really adorable queer people comin’ out for the show. That seemed to be what would happen when Plaid on Plaid would play—we’d have, like, any dive bar we played at kind of turned into a gay bar for the night. It was pretty awesome.WCT:
Do you prefer performing live or recording an album?KF:
I’m really addicted to performing. I played 100 shows last year and probably am on course to exceed that this year. I think that I really love performing, but in recording you can really act more as the musician and it’s pretty incredible to look at the mixing process and the different sounds you can get through a microphone. The sky’s the limit, really. This record is I think a new direction for me and we wanna continue that and releasing more music and having it be real. Where a show is hopefully something crazy awesome will happen, but it’s just the moment.WCT:
Do you have anything else going on right now?KF:
I don’t know. I would really like to become the queer Lady Gaga, if possible. So once this tour wraps up I’m going to be starting a House of KFO productions where we’re gonna do a crazy music video. So, that should be pretty awesome. And if Chicagoans ever want to come to Boston, then they can see me regularly. I might just have to come visit more. It’s a pretty amazing place. Chicago’s got a good rep—I think deservedly so.
Kristen Ford will be at Reggies Music Joint, 2109 S. State, at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 15. Tabitha Tae, Deathmaps and Sour Boy Bitter Girl will also be performing. See www.reggieslive.com/musicjoint.
For more about Ford, see www.kfomusic.com.