Nouveaux Visages: Kristy And The Kraks

We got to talk to Ana Threat and Kate Kristal about their new lo fi/punky project Kristy And The Kraks, about the music scene in Vienna and some of their concert highlights. Soon they will be releasing their debut EP, which we are looking forward to, on Totally Wired Records.

PD: Lets start first with some introduction, who is Kristy And The Kraks?
Ana Threat: Kristy And The Kraks was conceived by Kate Kristal and Ana Threat in the late spring of 2013. We had played together on a very casual basis before, with Kate Kristal helping me out for the release show of my first solo EP Broken Heel Island (on Trash Rock Productions). It went so well that we wanted something wild and easy just among ourselves. The concept is simple: two girls, two microphones, a very basic stand-up drum set and one guitar. We keep switching instruments during shows and on the record, so that everbody plays everything at some point. KATK is the band I’ve been dreaming about ever since I was a punky teenager madly in love with girl groups like The Crystals, The Ronettes and The Shangri-Las: lush choruses and end-of-the-world lyrics, catchy but rough and raw. Plus, I get to play the drums. I love playing the drums.

Kate Kristal: There’s not much to add, I’m totally d’accord with Ana Threat. Playing drums is pure pleasure. We speak of drums as the feel-good-instrument. What I also like about KATK is our different musical background – exotica queen of Vienna Ana Threat plus the biggest The Fall fan in the room Kate Kristal – and the intersection builds a firm ground for a passionate project.

PD: What is about to come on the horizon now?
Ana Threat: Our first EP will be released on March 28, 2014, on Totally Wired Records. That’s four songs on a 7″ vinyl record, on a limited run of 300. It will be a real punk piece: four songs under a total running time of 10 minutes! I find this astonishing for a non-crust-outfit, though you’re probably not supposed to talk about your own band in such celebratory terms. The release show will be hosted by the good people of Accordia Schallplatten Club at Rhiz Vienna, Al Bird Dirt and Alaska Al (event link).

Kate Kristal: Besides the EP we’ve been shooting a video to accompany one of our songs. The screening is supposed to precede the release show, but we haven’t set a date so far. I’m really excited about the clip, the shooting was very focused and a completely new experience to me. Fortunately we had a solid team by our side – so big thanks to all you helping heads and hands.

PD: You both are still working on a couple of other musical projects, are you going to leave them on the background at the moment?
Ana Threat: Ever since the sad freeze-up of The Happy Kids, I have just been working on the Ana Threat solo stuff, where I just tied up an EP project, Dropout Dumpling, last October (a two 7″, four song instrumental EP on Totally Wired Records / Trash Rock Productions). Ana Threat does some live shows every once in a while, but not so many as they would keep me from working on KATK. In general, both Kate Kristal and I are excited about (and very capable of) working many projects at once. We also have full-time day jobs. We never sleep.

Kate Kristal: I’m a shiftworking machine. Making music is a good way to waste some time in return for those hours in the office. KATK and Dot Dash (my constant boy group) exist equally cheek to cheek. You can have ketchup AND mayonnaise to your french fries, they’ll never compete against each other, you dip here and you dunk there.

PD: With an increasing number of bands in Vienna, how is it to be part of this scene?
Ana Threat: For small, independent, and non-conventional combos who do not attempt at (international) fame or fortune, Vienna is an excellent place to be. The local scene is absolutely inspiring. I am especially grateful for my extended network of support, be it the Trash Rock Archives, Trash Rock Productions, Totally Wired Records, the Transformer dudes, and the myriads of clubs, off-spaces and bookers (like Accordia Club, Eternal Laser and Reich & Föhn, to name only a few) that make it easy to play shows, get wasted and – in the best of cases – go home with a little extra cash. I never wanted anything else out of the music thing.

Kate Kristal: Yes, that’s what it’s all about, Ana Threat. Besides it’s a comforting thought to be imbedded safely in this net, gives me a feeling of home.

PD: What’s the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?
Ana Threat: That must have been The Boys of the GG Fan Club, an Eternal Laser show at Vester 99 in February 2013. Venster 99 is a 20m2 room at the Gürtel that was packed that night. The band’s stage show got out of hand, two frozen trouts were pitched back and forth between the stage and the audience, and everybody got covered in fish scales. Shiny. The eternal laser guys got so enthused that they kept throwing half-empty beer cans at the band, in a really friendly way. The band threw them back. The fish disappeared.

Kate Kristal: It’s a shame I didn’t attend that gig, sounds like a hell of a night. One of my most memorable concerts was The Dandy Warhols in Frankfurt, 1998. I was 16, 100 km away from my small hometown, I had to go to school the next day. They played in a tiny venue, the audience consisted of students, it was smoky and dark and loud and their opener song lasted 40 minutes and everything was thoroughly new to me and i instantly fell for it. Not a big story or anything, but an essential moment in my teenage boredom.

PD: What bands or artists have you been listening to recently?
Ana Threat: My most recent record purchase was The Country Girls! 1927-1935. 16 Rare Blues Ballads With Guitar, on Origin Blues Library. I traded it for a copy of Dropout Dumpling at a Second Hand Store.

Kate Kristal: At the moment I’m into early Orange Juice stuff, the interaction of the two guitars delights me a lot, and I’m expecting some The Cramps Singles to complete my collection. I’m in love with the Cramps day by day, I put some Lux and Ivy photocopies next to my desk at home, such an upgrade of my flat. Speaking of The Cramps: This morning my boyfriend played a great song to me, one of Poison Ivy’s favorites, it still sticks to my mind, weird lyrics and straight and powerful: Hugh Barrett – There was a fungus among us. Very good.

PD: Thank you for this interview and see you on 28th of March!

Kristy And The Kraks’ EP will be released on March 28, 2014, on Totally Wired Records.
Kristy And The Kraks on Facebook

Text+Picture: Svetlomir Slavchev