When Krista Acheson moved to Edmonton from Moncton, NB in 2008, she didn’t anticipate her music career would end.
“It was going so well,” Acheson explains over the phone. “I had to move and leave everything I started behind, [like] my band. Everything that I was building [out east] had crashed. I thought I could pick it up here after having success out [east].”
Just a year before the move, Acheson had released her first album, Jane’s World, which was receiving positive press reviews and commercial radio play in the east. Her husband got a job in Edmonton, which resulted in Acheson having to move as well, though she had hoped to continue with a new group of musicians.
“It was really hard to meet people and get a band together,” Acheson explains “Nothing seemed to work. It was closed doors everywhere. I got really dejected, and I was really disheartened and thought maybe I had to let that part of my life go. So then I started painting and got into the visual arts scene.”
While her music career sat on the back-burner, Acheson, working under the artist name Gerri Harden, concentrated on a career in the visual arts, creating illustrative and contemporary art, sculptures, prints and fiber art.
“I felt fulfilled in that way, because I was at least expressing myself and being creative,” she says.
After seven years away, Acheson is returning to her music career with three new musical personas, equipped with three different stage names to better represent the different genres she plans to explore.
“On the last album, it came off as really eclectic. When you’re listening to an album, you kind of expect it to be the same theme and style. … The album was kind of like a mixtape,” she says with a soft laugh. “The styles were all over.”
Not wanting to give up that mercurial way of expressing herself—and an attempt to be more “brandable”—Acheson decided to “compartmentalize” her music by having three monikers to represent those variances.
Acheson will be known as Krista D for when she performs her punky doo-wop/ska music; Molly Grue for when she plays softer acoustic tracks, while Hooha and the Peter Guns will represent the hard-rock side of her music. In addition to performing under the different aliases, Acheson will also release three EPs over the course of 2016 under those names.
Acheson’s first performance in Edmonton will be at the opening reception for her art exhibit Inside Out—a sculptural series that explores and expands on the many symptoms of severe mental disorders by zooming in on Acheson’s own experience of living with Bipolar 1 disorder—where she will perform as Molly Grue.
“[This way] allows me to do whatever I want in terms of creativity without having to worry about managers having a problem with [the different sounds].”
Thu, Jan 28
Gerri Harden “Inside Out”