Calvin Johnson is a founder of K Records, and the bands Beat Happening, and the Halo Benders, among others. He is an imperfect living legend in the American music and art underground. I asked him 5 questions.
Dan Shea: Can you speak to the matter of K Records artists being owed back royalties for their records? And what steps you/ K have taken to rectify these financial issues?
DS: If you hadn’t started K Records what else might you be doing with your life?
CJ: In college I studied alternative energy systems and local agriculture. These have remained issue that have absorbed my interest.
CJ: The average person involved in underground music today seem to have a much broader taste and tolerance for all forms of musical expression. It’s refreshing.
DS: You’re touring behind a new solo record, A Wonderful Beast. What can you tell us about the record?
CJ: It was written and recorded in collaboration with Patrick Carney in Nashville, Tn. As I write this I am in Akron, OH, where Patrick grew up. The underground scene here is still as weird and arty as ever, with the same sheen of industrial decay as the city itself. The music on A Wonderful Beast[KLP269] has a lot of the off-beat garage and new wave sensibility that the best Ohio sounds have displayed over the last 40 years.
DS: Any chance of the Halo Benders ever recording/touring again? And can we throw the Boston show if so? CJ: That would be far out. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be in the cards. So bogus.