Visionary superstar Rocky Kramer celebrates the very essence of the term “Rock Star.” The fiery musician, singer and songwriter has played for sold out audiences both abroad and here in the states. His recent concept album, “Firestorm” via Allied Artists Music Group has spawned some of the most creative and orgasmic tracks…including: “Rock Star”, “Go To Hell”, “Attitude”, and his newest single, “Alcohol.”
Like a raging tsunami or fireworks lighting up the darkness, bursting through the night sky with brilliant sparks of color flaming on a canvas of stars, Rocky hits the stage with his effervescent brand of rock ‘n’ roll. I spoke to the Norwegian born, LA-based rocker regarding his music, his intentions, and his destiny…..
Let’s talk about your new single “Alcohol”.
Let’s go back and talk about the album “Firestorm,” which is a concept album. With a concept album you are telling a story throughout the entire album instead of having just individual songs that tell their own little story. It’s just more one whole story told through the album. There are 14 tracks on the album and “Alcohol” is track number 3. The first track starts out with a preacher saying “We are gathered here today to ROCK”, then there is an organ that comes in and I play guitar solo for the beginning of the album. Then the song “Rock Star” comes on. “Rock Star” is not about being a Rock Star although the lyric says “I’m a Rock Star.” It’s a teenage dream, and that’s the beginning of the story. I am a teenager dreaming about being a Rock Star. With “Alcohol” we are now going into the general idea of music. The lyric for the chorus is “I’m your alcohol and you’re my alcohol”. So, in one sense you can ask is it a love song? And if you wanted it to be a love song, you’re allowed to treat it as a love song, because it’s written in a universal way. You can interpret it that way and that works for a lot of people. But when I wrote it, I was actually writing about my love for music and how when you’re an artist you have this relationship between yourself and the fans. Because of that you are kind of addicted really to each other. Because you are addicted, I like using the word alcohol. Alcohol can make you feel good, but it can also make you feel bad. You might become addicted, you might become an alcoholic and so on. So, I like that when we talk about love or being a fan of something it’s not all good, it can also be bad in one sense. But it’s something that we pursue because we enjoy it.
Well music is addicting as well, and so is love.
Absolutely. So that was really my thought process while writing the song. Music is the alcohol and with me on the stage, rocking out with people; that’s the adrenaline; that’s the high that I am pursuing.
What is that addicting force that you have about performing live?
The reason that I perform a lot, is because I’ve been performing a lot my whole life. I’m very used to it. I started out playing the violin when I was five. The way it worked for me, with my violin teacher, is if you’re playing an instrument at some point you have to perform in front of people. My father, although he’s retired now, was a first violinist in the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, so he’s a classical musician. He was originally trying to teach my brother how to play the violin. I was watching them and thought to myself that I could do that, so I asked my dad if I could try. I played the part just as my dad wanted. Somehow, I instinctively knew how to play an instrument very quickly. My brother, who is an excellent musician himself, ended up playing the piano and still does. In fact, he’s a jazz pianist who has played on albums himself.
So, you have one big musical family.
Yeah. It’s all about music. Since I was five, I’ve been performing for people, playing violin and then, when I was 11, I started playing guitar. The very first thing I really wanted to do was to start a band. If you’re in a band you have to perform. I didn’t want to just rehearse. My instinct has always been to perform. When you play an instrument, it’s natural, you perform for people. So, I started playing in bands that were performing regularly. At first, I was very insecure about what I was doing, which is always the case. We are always learning. When you’re a musician you never act like you’ve graduated. By the time I was 15, I was getting so used to the idea of performing that I wanted to do it as a career. I want to do it for the rest of my life!
What moment changed the trajectory of your life?
I had a couple of moments…a lot of the moments were probably dark moments, more than thinking “this is what I want to do with my life,” and not wanting to do anything else. I was better off focusing on the music, instead of doing all kinds of different things with nothing really working out. I decided to focus on the music and try to make it happen. That’s what I’ve been doing since.
You speak English so well that I don’t even detect an accent.
When I was about 13, I had already decided that I wanted to move to the United States. I wanted to go when I was 18, but when I turned 18 I just wasn’t ready. It took me another three years to come to the United States. It made a lot of sense, because the drinking age is 21 and if you’re younger and hoping to perform at a club, sometimes they don’t let you perform. You’re better off being 21 than 18, because people might think if you’re not old enough to drink, you’re not old enough to play. I decided I would move to the US for a year and if I didn’t get a record contract within a year, I would go back home. I had a record deal in 11 months. So, it worked out. The reason I stayed was because of Allied Artists and because of Kim Richards. He is really the architect of all of this.
He’s the architect and you are the visionary.
Yeah, I guess you could say that.
If you could make me ask you any question on the planet, what would that be? In other words, I’m giving you the chance to promote anything that you might be working on.
Well, I guess we can talk about the current situation. Ever since the COVID-19 thing happened, it’s been a bit of a question mark as to what we’re going to do as performers; rockers rely on playing in front of people and end up all sweaty, and touching each other all the time―for hours and hours during a concert. So, what can we do when we’re basically stuck at home and can’t perform? I have been trying to adapt to it by streaming on Twitch, but it hasn’t caught on the way I would like it to just yet. But, I’m working on it. Right now, my approach has been to make covers. I’ve been basically recording a cover and then making a video for it. I have hundreds of songs and recordings of songs that are fully orchestrated, so it’s very easy for me to say let’s make another album. I’ve already sent out the music for the next album to my band. I have demos for at least 10 albums, if not more on my hard drives. So, I’m good to go for a long time. I just need a green light from Dr. Fauci and this hundred year pandemic!
I heard you’re a child born in the 90’s who loves the 80’s?
I wish the 80’s never ended. The 90s and after that have been disappointing. If you look at the timeline of everything that was going on; things were getting better and better―then when it got to the 80s, that’s when it peaked. The world peaked. I think that was the best time we had with music and movies, it was a fun time. I think that the 80s are kind of coming back now because people are starting to realize that it was a great time.
The official website for Rocky Kramer may be found at https://www.RockyKramer.com
Photo Credits : Kathy Kielar, Fred Wolfson, Mark Maryanovich