Questions and answers: Kuri talks about I love you, you’re welcome

On her latest album, Kuri dives into memories both old and new.

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I Love You, You’re Welcome is the kind of album title you might expect from a ’90s-era hair farmer band on the Sunset Strip.

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But the new Nevado Records session of kuri – the project of Abbotsford composer Scott Currie – is anything but an exercise in amplified ego. Rather, the eight-track release is a study in laid-back, introspective indie pop that visits past and present memories of the artist and movie composer.

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The title existed before the songs were written.

Kuri wanted to express how motivated by praise we all are, even with things that should be offered without reward. Eventually the idea that we all get to a point where we move beyond that, loving ourselves and sharing freely.

“Saying, ‘I love you, you’re welcome’ to someone is basically saying, ‘Aren’t you so lucky to have me?’” Kuri notes in the album’s press release. “But during the pandemic, I started to relate to the phrase very differently… The change in me came from a place of love for my old self, so the title became a meaning: ‘I love us and where we’ve been, but it’s time we got into something new.’ ”

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In addition to creating her own music and composing projects such as the Bruce Willis films American Siege (2021) and Gasoline Alley (2022), as well as the actor’s latest upcoming film, Kuri has also produced albums for contemporary independent artists Jenny Banai, Syd Warwick and Joel. Brandt.

Taking a break in her home studio, Kuri talked about her music, her past, and ideas for the future:

Q: Your Human Nature album brought Hollywood attention to your music and launched you into film music, which must have been great during COVID-19.

A: I’m working on my last movie of the year right now and hope to focus on my own stuff for the fall. When you’re composing a film, you’re helping someone else achieve their vision. Depending on how you feel about the movie, it can be quite satisfying or it can be a desk job. Either way I’m happy to have it.

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Q: You were raised in a Mennonite family and were performing in the church at the age of 12. Did that prompt you to pursue a music career?

A: The community I grew up in, Mennonite Conference, was very artistic and diverse. They put me on stage because I played drums and then I went on to sing, play guitar, piano, bass, a little clarinet and saxophone. I am mostly self-taught. As the youngest of four brothers, making music was something I did differently than hockey, in the basement with my two-track recording setup.

Q: Do you think playing so much led to you gaining a comfort level with making your own music?

A: Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of people to play with, but I did have my recording software. So if I needed a bass part, I just learned it and made it. In high school, I got into bands and was heavily influenced by early Wintersleep and other Canadian indie rock. Eventually, this led me to develop my own interests in things like weird time signatures and music that felt like something bigger was going on.

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Q: You started the album before the pandemic and you finished it during the isolation that we all live. Is this final product a “pandemic album”?

A: No. I started much earlier on this record, and it went through many iterations to get to the end. Certainly being alone in my home studio for that long led to a lot of loneliness and that led to me getting a little weird, making weird sounds and experimenting with a lot of material. Reducing the ending sequence of the track, I was actually feeling bummed out with the process (a lot of artists were at the loss of work and income) and wondered if I needed to be doing this. In the end, I got to it.

Q: Given the individualistic and layered sound of I Love You, You’re Welcome, do you have plans to play it live or is it a studio thing?

A: I’ve been tiptoeing around producing anything live. But I’ve been rehearsing with a live band and I have one sofa sounds show early next month, which should be fun. What’s nice about this album over the last one is that all the songs can be boiled down to something easier like two guitars, bass and drums, and still sound good.

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