4 min

Trespassing with love

Krister Holmes thinks music and action merge well

Credit: Kevin Teneycke

Krister Holmes is a well-read and well-rounded young chap who has come into his own and released an independent CD of his work. I was pleasantly surprised at how diverse and solid the songs are. Vancouver is about to burst with great new talent and Krister is this year’s poster boy of young up-and-comers.

Michael Venus: Something very exciting just happened to you; tell us about it.

Krister Holmes: Yes, I just released (well it’s probably my third CD) but my first CD that I did all by myself.

MV: When you say by yourself what does that mean exactly?

KH: All by myself. I played everything, I mixed everything, I produced everything, I engineered everything. My friend Luis Manchuca helped me with mastering and Troy Jackson helped me with the sticker for my CD. The CD is called Trespassing and it’s called Trespassing because that’s what it is, the genres are very eclectic. The first song is sort of a weird Tom Waits sort of story, with a drum machine, heavy bass and piano, with some trippy sounds that are almost psychedelic. The second song is a pretty much straight-up pop song, very straight forward and accessible. The third song is almost ‘country-ish’ with lots of harmonies, and the last song is a treatment of a Charlie Parker song, “Blues For Alice.”

MV: How did you come to this moment?

KH: I started taking piano lessons at five and then kinda took a break and learned how to be a mechanic to have something grounding to fall back on. But I was always involved in the arts. I’ve been back into writing and making music again for about three or four years. I did a CD with a band on the island called Lotus Eaters; I’ve also been involved with Jason Schultz with a CD called I Love Lily and that is in post-production and almost done as well.

I’ve done a lot of soundtrack work as well; I really like to have a lot of projects and keep really busy.

MV: What other medias do you dabble in?

KH: I was at UBC for theatre and English so I’ve always written poetry and stories. Music is now just more the focus.

MV: What do you have planned for the future? What is the next step for you in your career?

KH: I’m looking for management and we’ll see from there. I’ve been working a lot with my partner, Troy Jackson, doing events; he’s really great at getting things done. We do a lot of shows; we recently did one for the release of the CD with Sahara McDonald (from the band Sugar Jones and the TV show, Pop Stars). I collaborated with her and it’s been great. I’m looking to do more shows and just kinda see where things could go. I don’t like to project too far into the future just because I like to watch things unfold and have positive affirmations.

MV: Having a boyfriend who is also a performer, is it ever weird-like one of you being more of a diva or anything like that? Or is it a new twist on Sonny and Cher?

TH: No we’re pretty good that way; we’re both pretty cool. Troy likes to work by himself until it’s almost done. We don’t perform a lot on stage together because our work is very different-his is more spoken word and on a house tip. I have done production work with him, but again we keep our music stuff very separate, we do our own thing. I did a solo project because I work best on my own. The learning style I went through is very classical with inner kinda stuff: you know, getting smacked on the finger in piano class (not hard).

MV: What motivates your musical moves?

KH: More recently, the thing that is most inspiring for me is having people actually like the stuff I do, because it is very much introspective and I spend a lot of time by myself with my computer. So to go out with my CD and get positive feedback and kind words is so fantastic. It’s been so weird because it was personal until now. It makes me want to do more, share more and show more. Other than that, it’s the drive of doing better, fancier, cleaner or more inter-city. I love practicing even though it can be boring. I am inspired by the unknown, even though it can be terrifying. I love to feel my way through.

MV: What else turns you on?

KH: I think locally and globally a lot of things are going on, people gathering together. Take that march on the Burrard Bridge. Having a peace march is a response to all the bad stuff going on in the world. If we start investing in solutions that are positive, and stop investing in solutions that are negative, the amount of change that can happen really turns me on. People who are speaking out and saying stuff, not being afraid in spite of all the limitations on rights that are continuing (especially in the US).

MV: Being an opening gay male in this industry (which isn’t unheard of but people are usually a lot more closeted) have you experienced any bullshit?

KH: I haven’t really received any. I am a person and most people, regardless of their sexuality, can relate to that first and I appreciate that. I think more and more people are caring less and less. It’s completely necessary that we make more of an obvious presence. The fact that now openly gay celebrities can be on an award show holding hands and kissing is progressive and fantastic and about time. People seem like they are ready to put themselves out there and are being supported. It’s a very exciting time in Vancouver with so much talent. This whole curse of having no big live venues within the city has made a boom in smaller venues for new singers/songwriters.


Starting Jan 27 you can pick up his CD at selected music stores. Zulu Records, Red Cat, Scratch.



Krister Holmes performs on Feb 1 at Up of Up and Down (formerly known as Naked or the upstairs of Ballantine’s) at 432 Richards St