Many things are set to change this summer with COVID-19 and COVID-19 restrictions still lurking, but having a good time hopefully won't be one of them. Out of them all, musician Kirin J Callinan has no plans of slowing down, and doing things for pleasure is high on his agenda. The musician has recently teamed up with Saintly Hard Seltzer - an alcoholic seltzer company - to bring the party to all with the phenomenon that is hard seltzer. Callinan's music, and general energy, seems perfectly suited to a collaboration of this nature, mildly chaotic, but with a pleasant end result and “just the right amount of wrong”. Here, we speak with Callinan about staying creative amid COVID, the art of 'doing' and his biggest fears.
What are you working on right now?
My new solo album, my old solo album and the KJC live experience 2021. The Genesis Owusu album is now done now but we’re still refining the live show. Aside from that, I’ve been playing electric guitars for a few artists, both here and remotely abroad: Hubert Lenoir, Isabella Manfredi, The Beefs. There might just be a new Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders album on the way too, as well as a feature film or three and my memoirs, o’ course.
What has kept you inspired to create during isolation?
Pumping iron daily SAVED MY LIFE.
When you’re drinking Saintly Seltzer, what are you doing?
Advertising it, mostly. Though I have been known to slip into something slightly less comfortable and sip on a saintly come sundown.
Can you walk us through your creative process? What gets the ball rolling?
It always differs, with the exception of one simple rule: doing. The difference between doing something and not doing it is... doing it. The other important thing is spending my time with people that excite, inspire and tickle my funny bone. Not really interested in anyone else.
Who were your first musical loves?
The Radiators, surely. Though 80’s and early 90’s NOFX was the first o’ my own volition.
What is it about Saintly Seltzer that aligned with you?
Well, there was their very generous offer (of money). Cold hard cash. Four fat figures that got me all greased up and willing to seltz my soul. Turned out they just wanted me to drink their delightfully refreshing, perfect for- a -Sunday or any day of the week tipple blessed with flavour, zero carbs and zero sugar and post some stuff online of me doin’ so, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Where are you finding balance right now?
I swing like a pendulum, between obsessive workaholism (eg. right now) and pleasure (most of the time) with little time for balance in between. That is my balance.
Are you afraid of anything?
Malevolence, maybe greed.
Our recent issue is themed ‘courage’, what makes you feel courageous?
Being empathetic and open, being patient, hearing others and speaking/living by my truth.
How early in your life was music important to you?
From the very beginning, apparently. And not a day now goes by without it.