Interview with Kris "Halo" Pierce
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I don't think I can pinpoint a specific moment or thing that got me into music. When I was three, my parents introduced me to the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. I attended a local summer music school when I was six and my favorite class was Music Appreciation. I remember convincing the teacher to make copies of all the music she'd played in class and I spent years playing those cassettes over and over. Bach, Schubert, Mozart. All the great classics. In a way, I think I was born with the music bug.
If I hadn't gotten into music, I'd probably have gotten into electrical engineering. Around the same time, I had a small electronics kit that I used to make my own contraptions that mimicked what I saw on Star Trek that at least had the appearance of working.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I'm not playing music, I'm mixing bands in Times Square's premier concert hall, Palladium Times Square. I also build, install, and operate large format audio systems for various theatre houses around Broadway. I'm constantly surrounded by really been-there- done-that creatives and techs, so I'm always learning something new that I can take back to my studio.
How long have you been making music?
I've been writing music since around six. To hear my parents tell it, they had gotten a piano and were surprised how quickly I took to it. That's when they signed me up for lessons. I wrote an orchestral piece in Junior High that I convinced my orchestra class to perform at a recital. My grandparents paid to register an oﬃcial copyright for the piece. Professionally, I have been paid for writing music since 2000.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I'm now based out of New York City and I am really fortunate to be surrounded by some really amazing talent. Every day I learn something new.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
There've been three special shows so far. Performing at the Orpheum in L.A. for America's Got Talent (and making it to air), Heart Ibiza for the Ibiza Burlesque Festival, and the Xiamen International Music Festival in China. Amazing venues, amazing audiences, and a ton of fun.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Probably Heart Ibiza. The house Cirque Du Soleil people really get the audience excited, and it sort of inspires you to bring your A-game.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I think I would fit with Rhys Fulber, Grimes, and maybe Halsey or Night Club.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Learn how to do everything. Learn how to fix everything. Also, anything under 20 years experience is not experienced enough. Don't trust what your friends and family say about your songs; trust a stranger's opinion, especially a more professionally experienced stranger. If your mom tells you a song sounds good, great. She's sort of obligated to tell you it's good. When Trevor Horn compliments your mix, you take it to heart.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That's like picking a favorite child, and I really don't have an answer to that. All my songs have their special place in my psyche.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Odyssey would be my most favorite song to play. My most requested song would be Midnight Dive.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process really is just sitting down at my gear and fiddle around with elements until I think I have several interconnection sections. Then I start moving things around, muting and unmuting instruments until I have the backbone of a song. I'll then start mixing and producing the track to its finish. Almost everything at the start is a series of improv performances.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Most of my songs are about music itself. Any "message" would be abstract. It would be about exploring the human condition through music.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I think once all the older bands get their touring done, I'd like to take things on the road. With COVID restrictions recently lifted, the live music market is way too saturated. I'd love to do a planetarium tour. I do have several European shows in the works for later in 2023.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: @haloaskew
For quick links to highlighted music videos, interviews, and streaming: linktr.ee/haloaskew