Tell us how Kram came about?
KRAM: Mark spelt backwards invented by an old mate while we watching a Leyland Brothers movie in the local hall.
What have been the highlights and advantages since becoming a solo artist?
KRAM: It’s very liberating to make a record where you play all the instruments yourself, like a massive bedroom 4-track session. I enjoyed doing that with Andy, recording everything! I will definitely make more records like that in the future. If you have the idea in your head, you can just go in and play it without having to think about the live thing at all.
… and how does this compare to Spiderbait?
KRAM: Well, Spiderbait is a totally intuitive live thing. We’ve played together for so long that we kind of know where each other are going on stage without it being meticulously prepared. Improvisation is a bit of a lost art with a lot of bands these days, particularly big acts… They don’t want to risk things falling apart in a song, so often things can sound pretty much the same from gig to gig. I say go for the risk because if it works it’s really awesome and something you could never prepare for, and that’s the point… Every gig should be a unique event; never exactly repeated. Sometimes it goes pear shaped, we’ve had our share of those moments, but we really can’t play any other way.
You’re the guest performer for Tooheys Extra Dry uncharTED. How do you feel about ‘band’ competitions, and how important are they to independent artists?
KRAM: I hosted the Wotnext Band Comp Round Australia a couple of years ago and found some bloody good stuff out there, especially in the country like where the eventual winners –Jackson Firebird from Mildura, VIC, came from. These comps are always worth supporting as they give bands a chance for people to check them out and maybe win some $$$, which always helps.
As an already accomplished music artist, what do you think are the major challenges in ‘making it big’ so to speak?
KRAM: This is the most common question and the one with no answer. Honestly, don’t try and make it big… You’ll smell of it a mile off. Just make the best music you can and try to do your own thing. Don’t care too much and hope for some luck.
What’s the best thing about your job as a musician?
KRAM: To make your own music.
You’re also playing at Splendour at the end of the month, who from this year’s line-up would you love to have merry ol’ drink and chat with?
KRAM: Anybody as long as the gig goes good.
What should we look forward to from Kram in the near future?
KRAM: Mix-tape Side B is in the can as I recorded 2 albums at the same time, so that will be next for me.
Is the Australian music scene dead or alive and why?
KRAM: Alive and kicking, simply because there’s so many Australian music fans of Australian music. Just ask the film industry how valuable that is to a scene.
What is your advice to the bands if they win or come in as the runners up in uncharTED?
KRAM: Winning is great but losing is not too bad either. I mean you’re playing music not shovelling shit and life is short so good luck to all!