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Interviewed by
Martyn Pepperell
Wednesday 10th September, 2014 12:44PM

Hailed as a 'national treasure' by The New Zealand Listener, Auckland based DIY garden shed musician Kraus is a genuine guitar hero and purveyor of fascinatingly unique electronics. Active as a recording artist since the mid 2000s, he's been slowly and surely slipping out album after album, and EP after EP, of mind-bending music for over a decade now. In the process Kraus has connecting with a series of overseas cassette and vinyl release based boutique labels, while winning critical international acclaim throughout the global underground. This month he is on tour around New Zealand to promote the release of his new album Interior Castle via Moniker Records. In celebration of the remarkable stone aged futurism of his recent works, Martyn Pepperell gave him a call and asked him a series of surrealist questions based around the titles of the songs on Interior Castle....

Heavy With Child'
When was the last time you saw someone heavy with child? 

Just the other day. Not super heavy, but definitely showing. I really wanted to do the cliché thing of touching the belly. I didn't know her that well though.

'A Cardigan In Cashmere'
Have you ever had a cashmere cardigan?

I don't think I've ever owned anything made of cashmere. I guess that's an aspiration of mine in life. Also with clothing I really like stuff that looks super comfortable to wear. You just know the person is having a nice time wearing it. That is attractive. Cashmere just seems really super cuddly. I just want to go up to the person and give them a hug. I like cardigans. The song title is a pun as well. I haven't really checked this but I think Cashmere, the region, there might have been a British general called Cardigan who was involved in some campaign there. I never actually bothered to check it.

'A Flower For You' 
Do you remember the first time you gave someone a flower?

No. But I can remember the first time I gave someone a balloon. I had to climb over a fence on the way to her house. It wasn't the greatest romantic present. I can't remember giving anyone a flower, but I can remember carrying flowers when I was going to someone. I remember the feeling of embarrassment from walking around with flowers, which is absurd because if someone sees you carrying flowers, you're obviously going to give them to someone you care about. That should be something to be proud of.

'Slime With Worms'
What do you think it would feel like to be inside slime with worms?

Kind of how that track sounds maybe? I'm interested in the fact that I'm not the only person who finds that kind of drone electronics slimy. I guess it's just that sense of layers sliding over each other. I usually make a big list of titles and fit them to songs when it comes time to compile an album. That song is like an electronic drone with wriggly little guitar things over the top of it. I guess those kind of represent the worms.

'Eat, It Is Good' 

What did you eat, and why was it good?

'Eat, It Is Good' is something people say in fantasy, bad sci-fi and horror movies. Alien races can't really speak proper English sentences. It's the sort of thing a caveman on another planet would say on Blake 7 or something.

'Interior Castle'
Describe your interior castle?

My interior castle? Nah, I don't want to go there. I don't want to share what is in there. Lately I've been a lot more social than I used to be. I've been really noticing that when you become friends with someone and get to know the, you realise they're incredibly complex. People are so incredibly complex. There is so much interesting stuff happening under the surface. It doesn't come out straight away, but when you get to know them, everyone is really super amazing. They all have really rich inner lives which get suppressed. Everyone totally acts like there is nothing going on underneath. I think that is horrible and I always just really want to draw people out.

'Love Crime'
When was the last time you were witness to a love crime?

I might come back to that later. That is a pretty cool question.

'Cry Of The Cur'
What is the Cur and why was it crying?

When I am expressing myself, at least in song titles, I often use very negative language about myself. I had that album Lamentations of an Ape. My track 'I Am A Worm' was my way of saying I am this lowly debased thing you should have nothing to do with. A Cur is a dirty dog. Incidentally that song is the first recorded example of me singing. I'm singing through a re-modulator, so it's not my actual tone of voice, but that is me singing. I'm doing a Jessica Rylan thing really. She does a lot of that singing through synthesiser stuff. I basically just ripped her off an added drums to it.

'A Cat And A Gentleman'
A cat and a gentleman walk into a bar. What do they talk about?

They discuss how they are going to vote. I don't want to be part of that conversation because I've had it too many times.

'Badge Freak'
Why were they so freaky about badges?

I was ordering some Kraus badges from a website. This weird little window popped up saying, "Would you like to chat about your order live with one of our staff?". I was talking to myself and I muttered, "Fuck off you badge freak!" My friend Mary-Anne was there and she said, "Dude! That is an awesome title!" It could also be about someone who is really into that lame Cream song 'Badge'. If they thought that was the best music ever made, that would be really funny.

Have you ever played the flute?

Yeah! My friend Liam made me a bamboo flute and I've been playing it all the time. He's so incredibly cool. I met him at a party and the first thing he said to me was, "Hi I make flutes!" I'm using the word play really loosely, but I'm really into it. I used to hate the flute. Flute was probably one of my most hated instruments. Flute and cello man. You see a lot of really terrible stuff with those instruments. But hang on, wait, there is heaps of really amazing 60s pop music that has flute solos in it. I'm going to play my bamboo flute on the tour.

 Kraus is kicks off his New Zealand this Friday. Head over here for more information.


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