Hard work does pay off, Kristina learned that as an IFBB pro (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) a few years ago. The discipline you got the have to make it as an IFBB pro is almost insane when it comes to your training routine and more important, your diet.
The same discipline she had for fitness, and probably still has, can be found in her musical project Le Destroy. Attention for every detail, musically, and visually, come close to perfection and it’s all created in the artistic mind of Kristina.
Hi Kristina, can you give us a short introduction about Kristina Olson?
I’m a self-taught musician. I taught myself how to play the guitar after buying an acoustic from a guy in one of my college classes. I’ve always loved singing and didn’t even know I could write a decent song until after I graduated high school. But I did enjoy writing a little poetry as a teenager.
I started my first music project in Los Angeles when I was about 19. It was a band called The Paper Dolls, but then we had to change the name to Kristina & The Dollsyears later due to legal reasons. At the time of the name change, I was signed to Lakeshore Records, a division of Lakeshore Entertainment. They release music for TV and Film works like Stranger Things and Logan. They’re also the entertainment company behind the Underworld franchise. While I was signed to Lakeshore, I was brought on to write some music for film and got hired to sing the theme song for a Barbie film for Mattel. At the time, I was known as Kristina Allison, which is my maiden name. I actually got lucky enough to have one of my songs mixed by Danny Lohner. He played guitar for Nine Inch Nails for a long time and has worked with A Perfect Circle and Marilyn Manson as well. He actually laid some additional guitar down on the song too!
The debut EP We Destroy is out for a while now, how long did it take you to create it from start to finish?
I started digging into the sound for the project and experimented quite a bit. It’s still evolving but after spending a lot of time in the studio, it’s pretty much narrowed itself down. Most of the songs on the EP had been done for at least a few months prior to release. “Knives” was actually the first to be written in the group of songs that ended up on the EP. That was around June of last year (2017). There’s a bunch of songs that didn’t make it on to the EP because they didn’t quite fit the sound and direction. I really wanted the music on the EP to be cohesive and for all the songs to fit in the same world. “Monster (Remix)” is kind of the outlier of the group. I just really liked it so I had to include it.
While creating songs, do you listen to music? And of course what bands/songs?
As a creator sometimes it’s important to have a bit of silence. Especially when you’re trying to develop new ideas. But music appreciation is always a part of my routine whether I’m working on new music or not. I exercise regularly and that’s a great time for me to really dive into new music and some of my favorite records.
More recently I’ve been listening to a lot of The Prodigy. The Day is My Enemy is a killer collection of songs with some rad energy. Of course, I love Nine Inch Nails. They’ve been putting out a bunch of new music. The Soft Moon came out with a new record recently and I enjoy listening to his stuff. I also really enjoy some of the new tunes on Marilyn Manson’s new record, especially SAY10 and Saturnalia. Saturnalia is very dark dance and has a bit of a nostalgic vibe to it while still being new. It reminds me a lot of Berlin’s “Sex (I’m A…)”, which I think is rad.
What inspired you to start Le Destroy?
After Kristina & The Dolls, I took a break from music. That project was a labor of love for about 10 years. I really gave that project everything I had and just got burned out. I should have pivoted and started a new project before that happened, but hindsight is 20/20.
Le Destroy is pretty much my musical rebirth. I didn’t write any songs and barely picked up the guitar in the 5 or 6 years between the end of Kristina & The Dolls and the beginning of Le Destroy. At some point between the two projects, I hit a wall and realized that I needed to create again. I just couldn’t avoid my artistic voice anymore. Unlike Kristina & The Dolls, I spent a lot of time experimenting and developing the sound and creative direction of Le Destroy.
From a rock band to cybergothic, I guess your taste in music must be broad just like mine. What genre do you listen most at the moment?
I would say I mostly listen to music that’s heavily influenced by electronics but still has some live instruments. I just love the sound of a nasty grimy synth and pumping drums. But I do appreciate music from lots of different genres as I think most people do. In my early twenties, I went thru a huge Zeppelin phase, and I definitely appreciate the finer things like some good Sade haha. I also listen to some hip-hop. Run The Jewels is the shit. Good music is good music regardless of the genre.
What would you like to achieve with Le Destroy?
I think the basis of what I want to achieve is just to make good music and art with interesting visual elements and live performances that can touch people. And of course, the more people the better. I want to push my boundaries and really experiment.
Is Le Destroy just a musical project or would you like to reach in peoples head with your art?
Le Destroy is more of a multi-media project that will incorporate performance art as well. I’m really excited about creating striking visual elements with my creative team here in Austin. My friend Meredith Johns, Owner of Hawgfly Productions, Inc, is an Emmy Nominated Makeup and FX artist and we have some really cool ideas we’re working on.
Can you describe your creative process, where does your narrative come from and are your songs inspired by your daily life?
It really depends. Sometimes I’ll be inspired by a sound like a nasty bass tone, and other times it’s a lyric or melody. I write about things that I’ve experienced or things that happen in the world, not necessarily in my daily life. That would probably be pretty boring if I wrote about my daily life because it’s mostly spent in the studio or working on other things haha. But I have a lot of life experience to draw from and have lots of thoughts and opinions about the world today that work their way out thru the music. A lot of times my lyrics aren’t straightforward. I use a lot of metaphors and like to leave room for interpretation.
What do you consider as the typical Le Destroy signature when it comes to clothing and make-up?
There’s a variety of looks but I think a common theme would be edgy and dramatic with pops of color. I just really like to have fun.
Future plans for Le Destroy, touring? New music? Collaborations?
I’m working on an LP now. Once I’m finished in the studio I’ll switch gears and start working on the live show. There’s also some other work Meredith and I are doing on some cool new ideas for visual elements. I’m really excited about them.
There are no other collaborations planned at this time but I definitely have some artists and mix engineers that I’d like to work with. A collaboration with a group like Run The Jewels would be amazing, or an artist like Denzel Curry who just dropped some really cool stuff. He and I have a lot of the same dark sensibilities to our visual elements.
To work with The Prodigy or NIN (more specifically Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) would be a dream, and I hope someday work with Alan Moulder. He’s just so ridiculously talented and I love his work. A girl’s gotta have goals right?
Get We Destroy HERE