Interview with Kristine Kruta (Little Kruta)

Little Kruta is an all-women orchestra that has recently released a rearrangement of Metallica’s iconic 1988 album ‘…And Justice for All’. We had the chance to chat with cellist, arranger and producer Kristine Kruta and asked her about her orchestra and other things.

Hello Kristine, how are you doing during this annoying pandemic era?
Hi! It’s been rocky, but I’m really thankful to have a great circle of colleagues, friends and a wonderful therapist, all of whom have helped me navigate such intense waters over the last 18 months!
Your group, Little Kruta, is an all-female orchestra. What made you decide to only include women in your orchestra?
A few reasons! I think the most important, though, is that I wanted to create a space that felt safe and easy for women to just have fun while on the job and not have to worry about being marginalized, sexualized, belittled, etc. while they’re just trying to work. Don’t get me wrong – there are a ton of awesome men out there with whom I love to create – but it felt right to have a space for sisterhood in our community which, historically, prefers to lift up men, especially in a non-classical setting.
You have released your own vision of musical works by Metallica, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson among others. Now although these are completely different backgrounds in music, what would be one thing your arrangements have in common, like your signature?
I’m not sure there really is a signature that is special to each arrangement. I find comfort in not being tied down to a specific sound, and I find value in the idea that each mind is unique. So to me, the common signature of these arrangements is simply that I created them! For clarity, I did not arrange the Metallica album – that was my fantastic colleague Pierre Piscitelli.
Your latest album, ‘Justice’, is a wonderful orchestral arrangement of Metallica’s album ‘…And Justice for All’. What is the reason you chose to cover one whole Metallica album and not their greatest hits for example?
That choice was actually made by the then-A&R of the label, Jeff Lanier. It was his idea to cover that album, and I’m so glad he brought it up. It’s a classic.
How did you feel about the reception ‘Justice’ got from Metal fans and other fans?
I think for the most part, people accepted it with joy! It’s VERY different from most Metallica covers, and of course very different from Metallica’s sound. After reading the few negative comments or reviews, it seems to me that the folks who didn’t care for it were expecting something familiar (a more metal approach) and were disappointed at our funky/jazzy spin.
To get our readers to know you better and from a different point of view, how about we play a little imagination game? I will give you a scenario in an alternate universe and you’d have to react. In a universe where your life is a series on Netflix with a Metal theme song, what would that song be?
Definitely Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’. It’s my ringtone. It’s my pump up song. I love it!
In a universe where cellos haven’t been invented yet, what instrument would you be playing?
I love the alto flute!
In a universe where the currency used is the person’s sense of humour, how rich would you be?
Whatever level Jeff Bezos is. I find humor in almost everything these days! A light heart leads a placid life.
In a universe where music is illegal and you get sentenced for a year in jail for every album you have a physical copy of, how many years would you be in prison for?
Oh gosh… I can’t even count! More than a life sentence, that’s for sure.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up, what would your music taste like?
Pop rocks candy! Delicious, sweet, unexpected, and fun.
Thank you for playing, Kristine! Have you ever been treated in a sexist way? How would you face sexism and what advice would you give to young people who face any kind of discrimination?
Unfortunately yes, as I’m sure almost all women would agree. If I could offer a word of advice to young people facing sexist treatment, I’d say: speak up. Even when it’s scary and you’re worried about how people will react. Make yourself known and let them know it’s absolutely not ok to treat people that way. Worst case scenario? You might lose a job. It’s happened to me. But then you just rally your favourite teammates and create your own job. And I’ll be there to cheer you on!
Thank you for the interview, Kristine! It’s always an honour to talk with talented women such as yourself.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me! xx

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