By Holly Budd
Consider yourself invited. Monday Dec. 13 marks the release party for Kris Demeanor’s new self-titled CD. A member of the former folk/pop trio Tinderbox, Demeanor strikes out on his own with a delightfully wry and engaging solo album. The decision to pursue a solo career was prompted by the desire for more freedom.
"You have finite energy and so you have to channel it towards the things that are going to be productive. The nice thing about being by yourself is you can go in any direction you want and not have to worry or explain your actions to anybody," he explains.
So far, the challenges provided by setting out alone have all proved to be rewarding.
"[The challenges] have been the good kind, the kind that force you to become a little more resourceful, a little more hard-nosed, more business savvy. It has forced me to do more for myself including those areas I don’t naturally gravitate towards. You feel a bit more satisfaction in that things are a little more self-directed and you get a bit bolder, it becomes more fun."
A singer-songwriter, Demeanor pieced together his album by keeping several factors in mind.
"Different tempos, subject matter, presentation, instrumentation–variety is important, you want to mix it up as much as possible," states Demeanor. "I didn’t want it to be an easy listen, though it kind of is because it’s pretty melody friendly, but I wanted to release something that didn’t just reach one type of person on one kind of level. I wanted to do something that disturbed people a little bit but also sort of consoled them a little bit."
Fans from the Tinderbox days can look for many of the group’s elements to be retained in Demeanor’s music.
"The focus on the absurd to some extent, and hopefully a bit of the mixture of the wit and social commentary to some extent. There’s the same energy, a desperate frantic feel to some things. I naturally retained that because I still feel and play that way."
In 1993, Demeanor earned his English degree from the University of Calgary, but chose to pursue music.
"It comes down to your passion, your love, it can be a gratifying industry and when you’ve got enough encouragement it’s basically a matter of choosing what your skills are, what are you best at? This is what I’ve been best at the last couple of years."
You can check out Kris Demeanor’s unique brand of maniac folk-rock at his CD. release party in the Big Secret Theatre in Calgary’s Arts Centre on Mon., Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.