INTERVIEW: Cleveland artist and multi-instrumentalist Kultures

Hi Justin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello. I’m happy to be here. All is well – very excited about the new album release and happy to be answering some of your questions today.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “When A Long Time Comes”?

Yea, “When a Long Time Comes” is one my favorite songs on the record, it’s about the feeling that comes when you finally get something you’ve been waiting for and the journey to get there. I pulled from a lot of my personal life experiences as I explored the song thematically. Sonically, I would describe it as an atmospheric track that blends a lot of guitar, piano, saxophone, and brass textures to create an emotive soundscape.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I’ve focused on music/art for most of my life and because of that, certain relationships had to wait for the right time to blossom. The song was inspired by one particular relationship coming to fruition after many years in limbo.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

For this song, I utilized first person perspective footage from the front seat of a car driving on the highway at night as the backdrop for a lyric video. This imagery coincides with the final lyric from the song, “And it’s a long drive there, to the north side of the city.” This lyric refers to a 5 hour drive I was making to Chicago every other week when I was writing this song.

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the album after the band?

I decided to make this a self-titled LP because it was really the collection of songs itself that gave me the inspiration to start the project. As I was writing, I didn’t initially have any intent to release the songs under a new moniker, but as time went on, the music started to form an identity of its own, which ultimately led to the creation of Kultures.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process was both extremely enjoyable and rewarding, as always. I wrote the songs alone in my home studio and demo”d most of the instrumentation. My writing process is very free form and open ended, which gave me an opportunity to explore a lot of new ideas. To record the album I worked with a long list of collaborators who helped bring the sound to life. My close friend, Etienne Massicotte, helped flesh out the brass arrangements that are featured throughout the album. I recorded in my home studio and also tracked a portion of the record at Superior Sound studios in Cleveland. The album was mixed by Leon Taheny (Union Sound Company) in Toronto.

What role does Cleveland play in your music?

I was born and raised in the Cleveland area so it has really shaped my life in a lot of ways. I’ve met a lot of great people living here, many of which have impacted Kultures in one way or another. I really value all the relationships I’ve built and love collaborating with fellow Cleveland musicians.

How has Bon Iver and The National influenced your writing?

Both of those bands seem extremely genuine to me in their artistic expression, and that’s something I really strive for. They weave textures together in interesting ways, which is something I love to do when producing music. Their live shows also elevate their songs to a new level which is something I really admire and hope to accomplish with Kultures.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Inspiration for the songs and lyrics almost always come from something that has affected my life personally. All of the themes relate to experiences I’ve had or things I’m reflecting upon.

What else is happening next in Kultures’ world?

After the release of the album, I’ll be putting out a few music videos in support of the album tracks. I’m also scheduling some live performance dates for the 2nd half of 2021, which the whole band is very excited about. Additionally, I have a follow-up record fully written and plan to start production in the near future. Stay tuned.

Connect with Kultures


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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