Krisp Celebrates Sonic Monarch Vinyl Release This Saturday at Sweat Records

Krisp's new album is a little bit of everything.
Krisp's new album is a little bit of everything.
Photo courtesy of the band

Krisp had a somewhat meta approach to songwriting on its latest album, Sonic Monarch. "A lot of the songs, we're talking about making the songs in the songs," lead vocalist and guitarist Juan Ledesma tells us.

Krisp will debut its vinyl release when it participates in Sweat Records' Live at Sweat series this Saturday, November 14. The band's long-awaited sophomore album will be its first on its new label, Gummdrops, a burgeoning indie label repping local heavyweights like Millionyoung and Bluejay. 

Capitalizing on a long-suffered identity crisis – Krisp's sound has been referred to as everything from synth pop to chillwave to indie dance — Sonic Monarch takes its cue from the band's inability to commit to any one idea about how music should be made. Like an indecisive hungry person at a buffet, Krisp is grabbing a little bit of everything.

We sat down with Krisp's Ledesma to talk inspiration, the group's continuously evolving sound, and its permanent place in Miami's countercultural music scene.

New Times: How has your sound changed since you started in 2011?
Juan Ledesma: At the beginning, there was a lot of different ideas — one was to be a groove-based band that used electronic elements, and over the years, it's been taking a shape of its own. And while it may not be the basis of the project, it's still there.

So what are some of your musical influences?
We're influenced as much by music as we are by ideas and objects. That sounds kind of esoteric, but we derive a lot of our inspiration from nonmusical things. A big influence for us has been the process of how we make the music. For example, while a lot of bands will have one specific songwriter, we never went that route. Everything starts in practice with all four of us. Sonic Monarch really came together because we started playing around with ideas and sounds that our caught our ear and then went with it.

How is the sound on the new album different from your last?
Well the most obvious differences is definitely our drummer [Roberto Villar]. For lack of resources, we never really explored having live drums. We always wanted to, and now we did for this album. The other difference is we worked a lot with our friend Ian Mercel, who produced and mixed the album; he's a person that we're all good friends with, and we really trust him as a sound engineer, musician, and friend, so we were really able to let go and get his direction and see where the music could really go.

What was the turning point for you in terms of your recognition in the Miami music scene?
A couple of years back, we were playing constantly — almost two shows a week — and we think that's what helped us gain momentum, just straight-up playing all the time. The best way to do anything is just to do it and learn how to do it by doing it. And it wasn't deliberate. We weren’t thinking that specifically when we were doing it. We just realized it over time: It actually works when you just do it.

How do you really feel about that scene, though? Do you think it's somewhere you'll stay?
The obvious thing about Miami is that it's driven towards DJs, but a lot of interesting people in Miami are doing stuff to make that more exciting. We've clearly seen all these different efforts to make bands relevant in Miami. And while New York and L.A. are obvious options to go to and they seem very seductive as far as the networks, Miami is still being shaped. In New York and L.A., you have to play by someone else's rules. In Miami, you make your own. 

Live at Sweat With Krisp and Cog Nomen. 7 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-693-9309; sweatrecords.com. Admission is free. All ages.

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Sweat Records

5505 NE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

786-693-9309

www.sweatrecordsmiami.com


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