The Kintners Interview -By: Niki Kaos

Written by on June 8, 2022

It’s been several years since I met Kelly and Keri Kintner in Mechanicville, NY. I was immediately impressed by their love of music. Especially their love of records, and what goes into producing a great recording. As a fan of original music from up-and-comers 

I knew I had to reach out to find out what was happening with their latest release, “Collaborations”, due out June 7th on Bandcamp.

“Collaborations” together a stellar line-up of independent musicians from countries as diverse as South Africa, Poland, Germany and Croatia. Musicians from Georgia, New York, California, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington and Arizona also play and sing on the album. What a roster! I’m blown away by the idea that the Kintners created this album with so much of the work remotely! I speak with Kelly Kintner and I dig in to find out more. 

RRX: Your upcoming album, “Collaborations”, is such a listenable album. The sound blends Americiana, old school country, roots and even a bit of pop with the arrangements and harmonies. I got the vibe of it right away, and I’m singing along very quickly. I’m so excited for people to hear it. The nuance of the tracks, and the heartfelt lyrics, right off the bat, I feel like this album is a winner. I listened to the whole thing from start to finish. How the heck did you get all those people on your album, and how did you coordinate that amazing sound while collaborating with 23 people across the globe?

KK: I’ve been on Twitter since 2016 and building relationships with musicians. And I’ve contributed to their albums. So, whenever I wanted to do a song, I found a plethora of support where musicians I met on Twitter were eager to contribute and make something kind of bigger than ourselves. And I was really touched by the outpouring of support. People were like, yeah… I’ll do that.

RRX: So, working around Covid, your network evolved from the connections you naturally had because you love music and musicians? And you’re not afraid to show some love on social media to your favorite artists? Once you were reaching out and inspired, it seemed like people were really into it?

KK: They liked the demos…

RRX: Well produced demos are not to be missed in that equation! But a well-produced demo only goes so far if the songwriting isn’t good. So that’s something beautiful I noticed about the album. You are very strong songwriters. Are you mainly the lyricist and writing the music, and then Keri is coming in on the vocals and the harmonies? And then working with your producers on the final product? And Keri is working on the business stuff too? I remember she’s brilliant with graphic design – so is that kind of how it is laid out?

KK: She did the graphic for the album. With the music, Keri started by helping me complete the songs, but now we start songs together and finish them. Whenever I’m writing a set of lyrics, she’ll be like…’that doesn’t make any sense! Tell me who, what, when, where’! So, she puts the song through the ringer, and I feel like that helps get me out of my head. And make the song more appealing to a broad spectrum of situations, as opposed to whatever it is I’m just focused on. 

RRX: That’s cool! It sounds like the collaborative process helps pull out the emotional inspiration you started with, and express a more universal theme, which translates well to the lyrics. I’m a big lyrics person, and I was super happy to see your lyrics on your Bandcamp site so I could read them as I listened to the music. Let’s talk about the song “Fear” on the album. You said that it was inspired by your appreciation of Roger Bernard’s music. What caused the song to be inspired by him?

KK: Oh! He has a song called “Death Came by To See Me Yesterday” and I just wanted to write a song like that. I thought it was cool.

RRX: So, you were in that vibe?

KK: And I asked him if he would sing it. And he said, ‘yeah, it sounds like my kinda song’, so…he did it. And when he sent back the tracks, Roger sent back flawless, perfect tracks. But the hardest part was editing. We had so much great material to work with, and having so many collaborators, sometimes things had to get cut. That’s kind of where I come in. 

RRX: And I think seasoned musicians get that process. And one of the biggest mistakes in an album is that there is no editing ear, because it can be too much to listen to. I think you struck a very good balance with that. You had a collaborative effort with the mixing and mastering for the album to get the sound you were going for?

KK: Yeah, and to make sure the parts weren’t playing too crazy on top of each other. Because sometimes the musicians wouldn’t hear what the other musicians were doing. 

RRX: That’s an interesting point. In essence, it’s a very different kind of way to create and record music, to have all these different parts imported from around the globe, right?

KK: Right. Everyone wants to be last so they can hear everything!

RRX: That’s true! I would want to be last! Going back to your roots. When I first met you, I didn’t see you out performing as much because I think you were just starting out. The growth you’ve made together as a duo is really impressive. Tell me a bit about what that journey has been like for you?

KK: Keri and I got together towards the tail end of my trucking career. And I had all these songs from trucking that weren’t finished. That Keri helped me finish. And kind of put a bow on them. And then she believed in me enough to quit trucking to pursue trying to get these songs out full time. While she worked full time, so it’s just been kind of… it’s been a humbling experience.

RRX: So, despite the financial challenges many musical artists make starting out, it was your mutual belief in the songs that brought the Kintners’ music through the initial phase of developing to where it is now. Based on what I’ve heard, it seems you are on the right path – and these songs will be getting lots of airplay! What is next for the Kintners?

KK: June 18th we start playing live and start passing out CDs and T-shirts. It will be on all the streaming sites. And right now you can subscribe to Bandcamp for $10 a year and get every song we’ve ever done!

RRX: I saw that! Great news for people new to your music – I encourage them to subscribe. I enjoyed learning more about your creative process. I encourage everyone to go to Bandcamp and subscribe to your page, and to look out for your album that just dropped on June 7th!

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