Today we’d like to introduce you to The Band Kris. If you’re suspicious that The Band Kris wrote a song about you, you are probably right and you may just find that song on their Youtube Channel where they became known for uploading a new original song every Tuesday and Thursday. Committed to sharing their mistakes and heartbreaks to prevent your’s, the pop music duo has a song written about anything and everything. As one might put it, there are two types of people in the world and somehow they end up as bandmates. They are polar opposites but ultimately, they balance each other out. You get a little bit of everything with the duo, Jamilyn’s sarcasm balances out Dani’s sensitivity. In addition to their original songs, the sister duo uses their platform to showcase their unfiltered, witty personalities on camera. In fact, in 2018, the sister duo moved to Nashville, TN which essentially led them to really opening up to their followers about the unique challenges they faced. It is fair to say, Jamilyn & Dani will be the first to laugh at themselves for being overly dramatic and equally sensitive. They often close out their videos with their signature closing statement that half jokingly encourages any haters to stay silent, “Only nice comments, we’re super sensitive!” Based out of Southern California, Jamilyn and Dani gave their sister collaboration a permanent name in 2014 after writing a song to their older brother, Kris, who was also a musician but passed away before he got the chance to fulfill his lifelong music dream. In remembrance of their late brother, The Band Kris pays tribute to him by advocating the importance of treating depression before it is too late. Losing their brother to depression has led the sister duo to perform various times at American Suicide Prevention Walks in hopes that they can bring awareness to the reality of depression.
Who’s The Band Kris in your own words?
The Band Kris is just two sisters who ultimately love creating music together and connecting with people through their lyrics. We love writing songs that people can cry to or scream at the top of their lungs to and allow them to not feel crazy for feeling what most of us are actually feeling deep down inside.
Your song „Bleach” has a unique sound. What inspires you as musicians to create your songs?
If an experience is taking up a large portion of our mind, we figure that we can’t be the only people in the world who feel this way or have felt this way. So as soon as we get an idea for a song after an experience, we decide how we want this song to make people feel. Basically, our conversations go something like this: okay, I am feeling upset right now and hung up on this situation, how do I want to feel after listening to this song? Once we decide on the type of feeling that we want our song to provide, we aim to write lyrics that will leave the listener with that intended feeling. In regards to our song “Bleach”, we were initially feeling frustrated from a situation that both of us, coincidentally, went through. So the intended feeling that we wanted to provide was embracing confidence while also expressing your frustrations about the situation.
Do you find that you have a few musical influences that you find yourself coming back to again and again for inspiration or motivation? And if so, who?
YES! For both of us, our musical inspiration has always been Taylor Swift. Her ability to write lyrics that make you feel heard no matter what stage of life you are in is something that we aspire to do with our songs. We are inspired by the way she pushes the limits with each album so gracefully whether she decides to write country, pop, or alternative music.
As you said “Wearing your confidence is pretty scary”. How do you build your confidence every day?
It definitely helps having a sister by your side to keep each other in check. When one of us is having an off moment, the other one is there to say “Hey! Snap out of it! One bad moment does NOT have to make the entire day bad”. Every day we work hard to build a foundation of inner confidence and peace individually so that way when life happens, we are able to seperate a bad moment from a bad day. For us specifically, listening to positive affirmations on Youtube, meditating, yoga, journaling, and making vision boards are some of the things we practice on a weekly basis.
What has it been like being a musician in California in the middle of a pandemic lockdown?
We were living in Nashville, Tennessee in the beginning of 2020. We came back for the first week in March to visit home and that is when they announced the lockdown. So with that being said, we accidentally got quarantined in California with only a bag packed intended for a week long stay. Being a musician in California during a pandemic lockdown was challenging but ultimately helped us come to the conclusion that we can still be working towards our music career no matter what state we are located in. We originally felt so much pressure to stay in Nashville forever (yes, we are dramatic) but being quarantined in California allowed us to see how unnecessary it was to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. Although we are unable to play live music and connect with people face to face, this pandemic gave us a chance to focus in on our craft and experiment with our songwriting such as trying new things that we probably wouldn’t have even thought of if we weren’t in a lockdown. Pre-pandemic we were always on the go and always asking ourselves questions like, “What can we do next? Should we go play at an open mic or write a song or record a youtube video?” But due to the pandemic, we finally were able to pause and actually work on ourselves as individuals in order to fully appreciate what each of us can contribute to The Band Kris simply by being content as individuals. The Pandemic has allowed us to evolve and truly understand how much of a blessing it is to play live and connect with people face to face.
What does the typical writing process look like for you? Are you starting with instrumental pieces and then writing lyrics, vice a versa, or is it a more synchronous process?
Our writing process is different each time. Sometimes it will be an idea that we jot down in our notes or a melody that we record in our voice memos on our phone and we will come back to it later. We never know when inspiration is going to hit. For example, one time in the midst of a conversation with each other, we overheard someone say the word “expire” and it was funny because we both stopped talking and said “write that word down”. That night, we went home and wrote a song called “Expired” and posted it on our youtube channel the next day. To give you an idea of how we turned that word into a song, we dove into the feelings of a past relationship where a breakup was long overdue… “Baby, we expired”.
What is your favorite part of the process when you are recording new music?
Our favorite part of the recording process is definitely the moment when we hear our song start to come together in the studio. It is really cool how you can emphasize a specific word by adding an effect or harmony on top of it. Recording the first batch of solid vocals is cool, but adding harmonies and doubling up on those vocals is when the real fun begins. We get really enthusiastic about each small detail behind the songs we record. We love how a lyric really comes to life when harmonies are added.
What are some of the topics that you find yourself writing about often? How do those topics reflect who you are as a musician and a person?
The topics we write about definitely evolve with us, depending on what stage of life we are currently in. If you trace back any song of ours, you can pinpoint what we were going through at that time in our life based on the group of songs we wrote during that period. However, we do find ourselves writing about how we act in relationships whether it’s romantic or friendly. You might hear us half-jokingly say “We’re the worst!” and honestly that is a leading factor in many of our songs. Ultimately, the topics of our songs reveal who we are as musicians and as individuals because our lyrics reflect how we process our feelings. Even if we are writing a song about a situation that only one of us experienced, it is a priority of ours to make sure both of us individually relate and connect to the song in our own separate ways.
The Band Kris is an interesting stage name, how did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?
We gave our sister collaboration a permanent name in 2014 after writing a song to our older brother, Kris, who was also a musician but passed away before he got the chance to fulfill his lifelong music dream. This is why choosing “The Band Kris” as our stage name was extremely momentous for not only for us but also for our family. By letting his name live on through our music, it keeps his name and spirit alive in a more positive light. Ultimately, calling ourselves, “The Band Kris”, allows us to connect with our brother. Every decision we make, every song we write, and every time we share our music with others, our brother, Kris, is right there with us in spirit and that is why we are The Band Kris.
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