We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexander Krispin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexander, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As most freelancers have experienced, the early stages of establishing your work identity are extremely intertwined with your developing self. Work in the early stages can be all – consuming, as it was for me. I’ve been very fortunate to work with incredble artists whose life is all about work. It has showed me the power of dedication to a craft just as much as it’s depicted a life that ultimately would not be healthy for me as an individual.
Space and time away from ‘making’ and ‘doing’ has become my most important tool in the music I work on: they allow me objectivity, give my ears a rest, and provide my creative heart with the inspiration and confidence to be more and more radical with every project I do.
I recently had a son who is now six months old. My work/life balance has allowed me to spend so much time with him. and that’s something that i will eternally be greatful for!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
First and foremost, I believe that one of the most beautiful things we can experience in life is the combination of sonics and human emotion. When those two things come together (more often than not coincidentally), time ceases to exist, movement becomes a love letter to yourself, and life is boundless. It’s that sense of ecstacy that I think people love about albums and concerts: they’re allowed to be free.
I spent many years working with Daniel Lanois. I’d say that we spent about 20% of our time making sounds and 80% listening back and analyzing. We would hear things differently in the morning than we did at night, tempos were different and notes sounded clearer or more opaque. Perception became the crux of our experience – the same piece of music could be experienced so many different ways… This time in my life gave me the deepest education I have ever received when it comes to my work.
I’ve gotten to where I am today because I’ve been one of those ‘yes’ guys that allowed creative curiosity to drive more than a capitalistic motive, and I’ve worked really, really hard. Most of my income in my twenties came from the road. I spent over ten years touring with bands like Mazzy Star, Emmylou Harris, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, doing anything from Guitar Teching to Stage Managing to Front of House Engineering.
Touring is a really great work life for some people – low overhead, travel all over the world, very few responsibilities outside of work, yet it never felt sustainable for me. I always have made it a point to continue Composing, Experimenting, Setting up Sound Installations, Mixing Albums, Recording, Working in new Genres… Trying it all! I’ve now landed in a place that is comfortable for this chapter of my life. I love mixing records and I love producing songs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite thing about this city is how different everyone’s living situation can be. Back houses, apartments, achitectural marvels overlooking the city, sprawling backyards – My favorite thing to do is hang with my dear friends at their beautiful homes, enjoying conversation and nice wines.
Outdoor hangs – Elysian Park, Angeles Crest, Murphy’s Ranch, any beach in Malibu… Or drive out to the desert in Joshua Tree, down to San Onofre, or hit the mountains in Idyllwild.
Food – Tacos Villa Corona, Tacozone, Kismet, Wolvesmouth Dinners, Dune, and any homemade meal you can get!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Susan Rogers and Daniel Lanois – both of whom have pushed me to seek what was beyond the plane of understanding and to turn the corner into the unknown.
Justin Tyler Close