An Interview with Kyle Crane: Crane Like the Bird
Crane Like the Bird
Drenched in autobiography, Crane Like The Bird, the project and debut album and brain child of esteemed drummer and prolific songwriter Kyle Crane, is like looking out distinct windows of the same childhood house. Crane’s father, Jeff, was a Coast Guard lieutenant out of Humboldt Bay, CA whose helicopter crashed in 1997 and left the family in shambles. This album tells the story of the time leading up to his father’s death and the impact on the family. Everything from the music to the album art (which includes his dad's old pilot logs and maps) to the album cover photo of his mother at the site of the crash on the cliffs of Mendocino, throwing a rose out to sea, tells this tragic story. .
As expected, Crane Like the Bird explores love, loss and reminiscence, but also touches on lighter things such as ski lifts and Nintendo. Filled with perfect pairings, including Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos), famed Producer Daniel Lanois (U2), and Peter Moren (Peter, Bjorn and John), bring the album to life with diversity and depth.
Kyle Crane has toured with the likes of Neko Case and M. Ward among others as well as being the astonishing drum double for the Oscar-winning film, Whiplash. Now he lends his considerable talents to a project all his own. Crane took some time from his busy schedule to answer some questions for me. Read them, and then check out Crane Like the Bird.
Justin W. Price: First of all, Crane Like the Bird is fantastic. How do you feel about it?
Kyle Crane: Thanks! I’m glad you like it. It’s nice to have it out into the world, it’s been incubating for a while.
JP: Can you give my readers a little background on Crane Like the Bird?
KC: Sure, Crane Like the Bird is music written and produced by me which features my favorite musicians in the world.
JP: How did it come about?
KC: I wanted to make an album that makes me feel how I feel when I listening to my favorite artists. So I thought the best way to achieve that feeling was to include them in the recordings.
JP: How does it vary from other projects that you have done?
KC: Other projects I just focus on drumming rather than overseeing every aspect.
Crane Like the Bird: "Nicole" Featuring Ben Birdwell
JP: How has the new record been received?
KC: I’ve gotten a lot of nice messages from folks saying that it means a lot to them and I appreciate that.
JP: Where do you see yourself over the next decade?
KC: My main goal is to keep putting records out that I am proud of.
JP: One of my favorite films in recent years was Whiplash, which you were a drum double on. What was it like being a part of such a great movie?
KC: It was a once in a lifetime experience. My role was to play the last tune in the film “Caravan”. I couldn’t have any charts for that scene and I had to play it verbatim like the studio recording so I had to practice it hundreds of times to commit it to memory.
"Whiplash" film trailer
JP: What and whom are some of your musical and lyrical inspirations?
KC: Apart from the folks on the record my inspirations are Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, Wilco, Feist, and America to name a few.
JP: What is the songwriting process for you?
KC: I’ll figure out the chords , feel, form and tempo of a tune and then once I have that I’ll write a melody. Lyrics come last because I end up changing the melody a lot in the process. I have a note book that I’m always writing lyrics in that I will pull from if it fits the feeling of the song.
JP: Does pineapple belong on pizza?
KC: I think pizza belongs IN pineapple. I think someone should cut open a pineapple and stuff pizza in it so it’s a “calzoneapple”
Crane like the bird" "When I see" featuring Connor O'Berst
JP: What are your five desert island movies?
The Land Before Time 1,
The Land Before Time 2,
The Land Before Time 3,
The Land Before Time 4,
The Land Before Time 5
JP: Where are some of your favorite spots to perform?
KC: Red Rocks was pretty amazing, MSG too because of the history there. Thirsty Crow is great too because we get to do our thing and it evolves.
JP: If you could form a band with anyone, living or dead, who would be in it?
KC: The living band I already formed:) As for the dead folks it would be Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and John Lennon harmonizing, Thelonious Monk on piano, Miles Davis on Trumpet, Coltrane on Sax, and Jaco on bass. Might be a disaster...
JP: How often do you perform?
KC: It comes in waves. Sometimes every night , some times a couple times a week.
JP: Do you have any advice to young musicians out there about how to handle yourself in the industry?
KC: Just follow your heart and put everything you have into your craft.
JP: What is your favorite book?
KC: On the Road Jack Kerouac
JP: What are your hobbies, outside of music?
KC: Surfing , Snowboarding and Biking.
JP: There are a million bands and artists out there. Why should people devote their time to listening to your music and going to your shows?
KC: It comes from our souls.
JP: What makes you guys different and special?
KC: The content and performances are unique.
JP: Where can folks purchase your music and keep up to date on upcoming shows and events?
KC: Purchase at -
For updates on shows go to Instagram -cranelikethebirdmusic
© 2019 Justin W Price