KinderCrowdControl! We immediately are drawn to your visuals when it comes to your musics artwork. Do you start from a visionary perspective when it comes to making new music?
Edem: I am a fine artist as well as a musician. A little background on this… I started as a musician, but was always fascinated by album cover art. I grew up in an era when the album art was as important as the music contained on it. Listeners would sit and enjoy the 12 x 12 album artwork while they listened to the LP. I was no exception to this. I actually bought my first album because of the cover; though I loved the artist, I had very little idea what the music would be like. Graphic design companies like Hipgnosis were releasing to-scale album art books which were amazing. Anyway, having this background, I enjoyed making the flyers/posters and packaging art for Brett and my musical releases. Many were featured in musical magazines of the day, such as Option out of L.A. Actually, my cassette packaging first and foremost got us into the Capitol Records office, which demonstrates how crucial good design/packaging is to your music. Though we ultimately weren’t signed by Capitol, an indelible impression was made on me… Ultimately I came to a crossroads in Brett and my musical journey where, due to internal conflicts and turns of fortune (though never with Brett), I found myself loving creating the packaging art far more than dealing with band/music industry/personalities dynamics. What followed was my application to the Art Center in Pasadena, and they accepted me with scholarships into their program. While there, I met the well known designer Roland Young, who was formally the art director at A&M Records in Hollywood, who took me under his wing, and had me create music, and design the packaging, for this music. After graduating, I forged a successful career in Fine Art. Brett and I continued to create music all the while, continuing on our musical path. This year Voyage Magazine did a feature on my art and life. In my interview I outlined my journey with art and music. BsquaredMGMT out of Nashville, Tennessee read the article, sought out our music, was wowed by it, and here we are. Music brought me to art; art brought me back to music. So, to answer your question, the music, and the art associated with it, are inextricably tied together. One hand washes the other. I usually start with the music, and then find the art that conveys the idea visually. http://voyagela.com/interview/check-edem-eleshs-story/
Brett: I can’t say enough for Edem’s visual expertise. He’s always been the go-to for this part of our partnership. My input is generally that of a sounding board to bounce ideas across. At best I can draw a Stickman.
Can you tell us what it takes to get pen to paper when creating a new song?
Edem: Motivation. I have learned that it’s all about taking action. With today’s musical technology allowing for superior home recording, we are able to create amazing music when we feel the call. It is no longer necessary to write a whole album, and then book expensive studio time, to create. Now musical recording is just like painting with sound; you can see the measures of music, and edit/sculpt the sound at your whim. So, I approach music like painting: sketching, adjusting, adding, subtracting, and finishing. Of course you need a state-of-the-art-digital interface, and a solid speaker system, which we have. Having a good ear, and eye, is crucial though. Luckily, Brett and I love what we do, and share a similar taste in music, so it’s a “path of bliss” as Joseph Campbell would have said.
Brett: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The toughest part is taking out the pen and paper (or strapping on that guitar). You never know what will develop until you’re in the process of developing something. Anything. You have to stir the pot as you’re cooking so you can tell what’s developing. Then things just start coming together. Like finding gold.
Is there a process to starting the project?
Edem: Having a rough concept is where KinderCrowdControl music starts. Our music is topical: we pose questions to the listener. Then it’s about plugging in my amps, grabbing my guitar, which is where I start as a composer, and allowing myself to be taken on a journey. Though I start on the guitar, very often these ideas are translated to Brett’s bass, my son Griffen’s piano etc etc. Then I record sketches, which I then send to Brett, and then he bounces ideas back when he comes to record. After this I react to his input, and we move forward. At a certain point we send the concept, not the song, to Sandra Ban (our wordsmith extraordinaire, and celebrated Croatian artist) for her words, input, and acumen; it always comes back brilliant. It’s like any collaboration: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We let the music lead us: we serve.
Brett: I never know when inspiration will strike. So I carry around something to record my thoughts and ideas. Usually on my Smartphone. The key is to record it in the moment of inspiration so that you don’t lose it. From there, I’ll take those ideas and start expanding on them. Some develop and some don’t, but I never throw anything away.
What keeps you motivated during it all?
Edem: As I said, we serve the music; always have. We love what we do, so it’s a labor of love: absolutely. We’re always excited about what’s on the horizon.
Brett: Each new song we write gets better and better, so for me it’s like Christmas all the time. I get the emotional rush every time we craft something new, just like opening presents on Christmas day.
What’s the latest release you want to tell new fans about?
Edem: 2021 has seen us releasing so much new material. Same was true in 2020. During the lockdowns, all of us were forced to create out of our homes which, as I mentioned above, is now easy.
With the internet, we are able to create remotely with Sandra, so composing music without physical attendance of other collaborators is a breeze. Also, though physical travel was prohibited, music has no physical boundaries, so we were not slowed down. Any of our recent releases are great: “MMXX/Romans”; “Halcyon/Love Soldier”; “Rhapsody in C19”; “Day Zero”; and “Sto Da Radim” are good places to start. We are currently working on a 7 part opus, at the behest of Sandra, which she plans to use as soundtrack to an art performance she has planned for the end of the year. This is a great challenge we have risen to, and Brett and I are enjoying every minute.
Brett: “Sto Da Radim” is our latest. “Yes” is up next. We have another 6 tunes in development. We’ve been enjoying releasing singles as the songs are completed so that fans don’t have to wait a long time (such as between albums). We’re also in the works to begin posting up some social media clips of the instruments we use to craft our sound, so be on the lookout!
What do you want to make KinderCrowdControl known for?
Edem: Excellent music and art; the whole package. Beautiful music created without industry or genre constraints, that will stand the test of time.
Brett: Ultimately, we’d like to be known for producing great music.
Where are you connecting with your audience?
Edem: Here’s our hub… kindercrowdcontrol.bandcamp.com
Instagram, TikTok, Spotify: kindercrowdcontrol (remember that’s one word kids!).
Facebook Edem: https://www.facebook.com/adam.elesh.94/
Also a shout out to all who have interviewed us this year, and to Marco Rocha and his amazing Transmission Lima (from Lima, Peru), who has been spinning our music for years. Cheers!
Leave us with your favorite lyrics from your song!
Edem: When we create compositions, we send the concept, in the form of a questionnaire, to Sandra, who then sends us her answers as soundbites. We then incorporate these into the pieces. As an amazing footnote, though she never hears the music in advance, her words, delivery, and time are always perfect. A miracle. So, during the lockdowns of 2020, we sent Sandra a questionnaire asking her if she felt these lockdowns were government overreach, and if she was afraid. Her answer: “Oh no, definitely I’m not afraid” and the brilliant “Freedom is a punk philosophy”. That’s us, right there.
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End of Interview