Exposed Vocals: How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? What made you decide to sign up?
I had actually discovered Exposed Vocals a while back before I was ever even approached for this interview. I was browsing sites that offer promotional packages for artists and musicians and I found that Exposed Vocals seems to have the best deals in my opinion.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
I was born in Lima, Ohio in 1983 and moved around a lot because my dad was in the Navy. He played the harmonica and did some shows in Memphis when we lived there. He is the one who introduced me to music as a small child. He would play Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and other great records from that era constantly, which instilled in me a sense of natural rhythm as I would always rock back and forth when I was sitting, and move my leg back and forth restlessly when I would lay down, and sway back and forth when I stood up. Which, I confess, I still do to this day. I always knew from a small child that my love for music would manifest itself into my life creatively in some way at some point. I started freestyling in my dad’s ’79 Cadillac Coupe Deville in ’96. I would lock myself in the car at night and just spit whatever came to mind. It evolved from there and I was recording demo tapes in 2001 by sticking my head between my brother Nick’s (who is a guitar God) stereo and my Dad’s old tape recorder. I finally started recording digitally in 2003 with my friend Dustin Taylor when we founded the indy label KrypT Records.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Well, back in 2000, when my buddy Robert Vaughn’s little brother threw a Holy Bible to the floor, spit on it, figuratively kicked a field goal with it, and told me “I worship Crucifer!”, the serious look on his face coupled with the mistake in the pronunciation of “Lucifer” tickled me so much inside that I laughed for days. I never forgot that. So, when it came time for me to pick my first stage name in 2002, when I was offered my first steady pro-wrestling job working for Ultimate Championship Wrestling (later re-branded Ultimate NWA), I opted for Krucifer because I thought it sounded dope at the time. In 2006, after discovering that there is a metal band named “Crucifer”, and that the name “Krucifer” sounded too much like Lucifer, I decided to change my name to “One Man Kru” to be more mainstream friendly and have a more symmetrical spelling for marquees and posters as well as pay homage to other big men wrestlers like Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Van Vader, and One Man Gang who have influenced me.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
My philosophy is if you can’t afford to pay for my music, but you appreciate my work, go ahead and download it for free. You can find it anywhere on the internet. On the other hand, I offer incentives for fans that do support me by purchasing my music. For example, for every 10,000 download purchases on my Reverbnation page, I give away $1,000.00 cash. The best part is that half the money from those purchases is donated to charitable cause such as helping support the lives of children living with HIV/AIDS. So, it’s a win/win for everyone if you ask me.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Don’t be afraid to pay to play or invest in yourself. You have to do what it takes to separate yourself from the pack by taking the path less traveled. These days, everyone is an artist or a musician. Hell, you can even record songs on your phone. So, with that being said, what are you willing to do to separate yourself from the wannabes? Do what they are afraid to. Take a chance. If you believe in yourself and what you are doing then there is no excuse. Hustle, work hard, and use your money wisely to gain steam. It takes money to make money. If you have solicited over 10,000 physical copies independently as I have, you will discover that it is only the beginning of a long, hard journey. Take the path less travelled.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve messed up, I’d probably be having this conversation with The Wall Street Journal. Just kidding. But, seriously, I’ve made my share of mistakes and you just have to forget about it, put it behind you, and keep on pushing yourself. Even the biggest and best in the world make mistakes on stage or in the studio. Nobody is perfect.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
If you are a serious entertainer, you have to tour. I’ve performed over 100 times in Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Hawaii alone these past few years. Whether it be music, wrestling, acting, or stand up comedy. Whether it’s in front of two million viewers on national TV, in front of 20,000 screaming fans or in front of 20 people on open mic night, I’m always staying active and trying my best to promote myself in the real world. In the United States, I have performed over 1,000 times in countless cities. That’s who I am and what I do. I am, essentially, a performance artist.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
For me, the source has always been what resides within. My thoughts, my feelings, and my ideas. I just channel another kind of energy somehow with my mind. It’s almost as if I am a vessel for these expressions. I try to feel what I am saying 100%. Usually, it consists of me being alone at strange hours of the night and it somehow just comes to me naturally that way in my solitude.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Yes. www.reverbnation.com/onemankru I share my music everywhere. All you have to do is Google me.
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
“Starrider” by Foreigner, “Rhiannon” by Stevie Nicks, & “Into The Groove” by Madonna.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Probably blow it all on coke and ho’s. Not. I would record a new album with features by top artists, and use the rest for videos, marketing, touring, and pressing CD’s. Or I would use it as a budget for an independent film.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Well, I’m in Korea at the moment, but there are various studios I record at all over the United States. The best one, by far, that I’ve been to is Woodshed Studio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Home of Sam Peezy and Uri Band.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
I’m just resourceful. I make the most out of the least. I find ways to make a dollar out of a dime. You have to in order to survive and thrive as an artist in a world where limitations are placed on what you can do before you are even born.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
In the past, I would perform at Woodstock with Jimi Hendrix to make my father proud and to make history. In the present, I would perform on the main stage at the Gathering of the Juggalos with Insane Clown Posse just because of the atmosphere. There is nothing like The Gathering. I have actually performed there at their wrestling shows and performed one song at their open mic event. It was fun.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Right now, the future is uncertain. But I like it that way. For some reason, I have always been blessed with many opportunities when things seem the most uncertain. But I know that I will be focusing on getting in shape and working toward making myself look like a Superstar so that I can pursue bigger acting roles and be taken more seriously as an entertainer.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Probably be in prison for mass murder. No, um, I’m pretty sure I would be expressing myself creatively in other ways. Particularly acting. I’ve always had a deep appreciate for the art. My grandfather was a local stage actor as well as my uncle Wally.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Yeah, it was “Too Legit to Quit” by MC Hammer. I got it back in 1991. It inspired the song I wrote called “I Will Never Quit”. I just remember thinking MC Hammer was the greatest at that time. Vanilla Ice, too. Then, a year or two later I was bumping Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. After that it was 2Pac, Notorious BIG and Master P and so on and so forth. I listened to a lot of Metallica and Megadeth as a kid too. Then later I was obsessed with Insane Clown Posse. Then Eminem changed the game.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Music life is hard. You constantly have to be on your grind. And it’s hard to do that when you’re stuck at a nine to five job to pay the bills. You end up making a choice. Do I want to go for broke? Or try to balance it as a weekend warrior? For me, it has been a difficult choice. I’ve always been in limbo. I live like a homeless person pretty much. Drifting from city to city. From country to country. Just hoping to catch another break. Because I’m the only one who believes in myself and what I do as much as I do. So, I have sacrificed a lot of precious things on my journey. But I have a plan to balance it all and become the best person I can be, as well as the best father I can be and the best entertainer I can be.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2015?
Look forward to appearances in film and TV. Possibly another pro-wrestling tour of Japan. Possibly another album. But most of all, look forward to the $1,000.00 cash you could win for purchasing my music at www.reverbnation.com and helping poor, sick children live a while longer.