Fresh off the release of his new single, Can’t Explain It, which dropped a couple of days ago via Counter Intuitive Records, we sat down with indie artist Jordan Krimston to discuss his profession as an engineer and his new full length record Somewhere I Might Go. Krimston, who is the touring drummer for Oso Oso, produced, engineered, and mixed the full release, and we wanted to dive a bit deeper to learn more about his craft. Here’s our interview.
Jordan works out of a studio in San Diego, and has credits on releases for The Obsessives, Oso Oso, Benches, and many more up-and-coming artists in the emotive indie rock space.
Mixed and mastered by Daniel Charleston, “Somewhere I Might Go” will be available on streaming April 28th. Meanwhile, check out his two new singles, “Fall With You” and “Can’t Explain It”.
Words by Skyler Pia:
Jordan Krimston, who released his effervescent debut album “Bushwhacking” two years ago, has been keeping himself busy. Despite contributing to many of San Diego’s most exciting projects, drumming for Oso Oso on massive tours, and accumulating an impressive CV of production and engineering credits, he has made time to write and record his second album “Somewhere I Might Go”.
This new album boasts 11 pop gems that more-than-adequately showcase the breadth of his talents. Krimston’s razor-sharp melodic sense is at its most refined in this album, with each track revealing rich layers of texture and micro-melodies that buoy, but never distract from, the songwriting. The production, courtesy of Krimston himself, along with close collaborator Daniel Charlson, is nothing short of impressive, positively glistening with each track.
While the lyrics are introspective, the album features an expansive list of collaborators and contributors, including members of the Obsessives, Prince Daddy and the Hyena, and his bandmates in Weatherbox and Band Argument. This variety of collaborators reflects the fact that Krimston keeps good company wherever he might go.
“Somewhere I Might Go” is an impressive second album that showcases Krimston’s talent as a songwriter and producer. Listeners can enjoy his razor-sharp melodic sense, glistening production, and the compassionate pragmatism of his lyrics. Krimston has collaborated with several musicians on the album, and it is evident that he keeps good company wherever he goes.
When did you get your start in engineering?
I think I technically first started recording when I was 14 or 15. It’s a tale as old as time itself: I was playing with a handful of bands and it was just cheaper for us to get a shitty interface and record stuff ourselves rather than pay for studio time. Lots of living room/garage recording sessions. Lots of ‘figuring it out’.
However, when we did have the chance to go a studio it was pretty much The Best Day Ever ™ . Some of my earlier bands (Big Bad Buffalo, Traffic Bear) spent a lot of time with local engineer Brad Lee at his studio, SDRL. Working with Brad was super formative for me.
I ended up spending a lot of time at Brad’s studio in high school just trying to pick up some residual knowledge from him. He was jaded in a good way- an honest way maybe?
There’s a lot of people in the music scene who are jaded in a bad way- like, a borderline unsalvageable way. There’s a lot of ego that interrupts actual paths of communication in the music world; it can make it kind of hard to see the light at the end of tunnel, or to even know you’re in a tunnel at all. Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that Brad was just very ‘real’ with me even though was young and I think that got me on the right path in terms of touring/recording.
Who were some of your biggest producer influences when you started recording?
I honestly can’t really remember. I wasn’t very savvy to the producer-celebrity culture that exists in our hyperreality today, so I think I was mainly just inspired by my friends who were recording bands in their garages.
If you asked me back when I was getting started, I probably would’ve told you Steve Albini, because he recorded Spiderland, but that probably would’ve been my only reason haha.
What are some of your favorite titles you worked on and what made them memorable?
Very tricky question! Right off the bat, I think ‘Hardship, Heartache and Horse Thieves’ (a country compilation album I co-produced) was a particularly memorable recording experience.
I was a student at Studio West’s recording arts program, and my classmate Nathan was very set on producing a country compilation album that highlighted all of his favorite country artists from Wyoming & Texas.
The way we recorded the album kind of broke my brain a little bit, because we flew most of the artists out to San Diego and had them record their song just vocals + guitar, and then we’d go in after the fact and embellish the songs with additional instrumentation. We got to conclude the project with an album release show in Wyoming at a super legit saloon; that was very special! I feel like that time in my life will stay with me and my work forever.
Another very memorable session that comes to mind is my 2 week stint with Yonbre Netz. Yonbre came out to record 19 psychedelic-electronic songs with me in surround sound. I feel I owe a lot to them, because my approach to mixing/producing fundamentally changed lot after our sessions together.
Whereas most people I work with tend to stay ‘in-bounds’ with their descriptions of what they want to hear (punchier drums, reverse swell at :30, more reverb on the vocals, more shaker in the chorus etc…) Yonbre was a total left turn from that mentality in the best way possible. Our musical vernacular seemed way more akin to a visual artist by the end our time together.
We weren’t really talking about verses, choruses, bridges and transitions; we were moreso discussing electrical storms and outages, blood coursing through our veins and Neon Genesis Evangelion scenes as sonic references. I believe that album is coming out soon and I’m very stoked for people to hear it!
What studio did you work in for this release, and who else is featured on the record?
I mainly worked out of Singing Serpent Studios for this album, but I also did a bit of recording at Studio West, Studio West Satellite, EastWest Studios and Turkey Haus.
For my own stuff I tend to work a little haphazardly and just record stuff whenever I can make time for it, it’s usually not very linear.
The whole album is co-produced/mixed/mastered by my great friend Daniel Charlson. He has an amazing musical mind, and I’m ultra appreciative of his ability to inspire me when I’m feeling hesitant about my songs. I have a pretty long list of friends who helped with this release. Not sure the best way to list them, but here’s a list…! I’M GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF THEM!!!
Cole De La Isla – additional vox
Jake Kelsoe – additional synths & production
Jackson Mansfield – additional arrangement
Drew Pelisek – additional vox, production, guitar & piano
Sila Damone – additional bass
Ryan Finch – additional viola, piano, organ & guitar
Shane Moylan – additional guitar
Kory Gregory – additional synths
Strings arranged/conducted by Zane Alexander
Engineered & Produced by Daniel Charlson & Jordan Krimston
Mixed & Mastered by Daniel Charlson
Additional engineering by Andy Walsh, Jordan Cantor and Zach Korduner
Art / Layout by Avia Rose
What is your personal favorite song from the release and why?
There have been some tricky questions thus far, but this is the trickiest of them all! I have no idea- it really depends on how I feel when you ask me. I think the title track has my favorite songwriting on the record, but it doesn’t hit like Off Chance when I’m blasting the album in the car with my friends, and it doesn’t hit like Izzy & Sam when I’m driving down the same street I wrote that song on. I think it’s all pretty contextual.
I’d like to think that there are different songs for different people on the record. When I was in elementary school, I had a Sony Walkman and I’d burn a bunch of varied songs I liked from my parents iTunes library onto a CD and then listen to that CD obsessively. In a weird, serendipitous kind of way, those CD mixes were my first ‘favorite albums’. Even though it was more of a ‘mixtape’, it felt totally cohesive to me. It was probably kind of odd for a Colin Hay song to be followed by a Green Day song, or for an Outkast song to be followed by a Kaki King song, but when I burned those CDs it made so much sense to me at the time. I think I’m still chasing that sensation when I make albums now.