Ten questions for musician Corinne Kessel

Ten questions for musician Corinne Kessel

The following profile first appeared in the summer 2014 edition of Look magazine, published quarterly by the Now

North Delta resident Corinne Kessel is the principal of Greenscape Design and Décor, an award-winning company based in Burnaby (Greenscapedecor.com), and she also plays trombone in the reggae/ska band Los Furios (among other musical and artistic adventures).

1. Without a doubt, you’re a musician with a real green thumb. How does that happen?

"With a felt marker. Or a bingo marker works OK, too. As a musician, performer and theatre producer, I learned how to create experiences for people. Greenscape Design & Decor is all about transforming spaces and creating memorable experiences and atmospheres, so there is unexpected crossover between playing the trombone and playing with fake plants."

2. Rumour has it you have mad skills with wax – as a decorator of Ukrainian Easter Eggs, that is. That must your Edmonton heritage shining through, yeah?

"Oh, my Ukrainian baba would be tickled to know you are talking about my pysanka skills! Yes, I am actually wildly talented at drawing really straight lines and tiny designs on eggs! I probably should have been a tattoo artist. My mother also perfected the art of extracting the egg whites and yolks with a syringe, after a few of my early creations exploded in the china cabinet after a hot summer! I still need to perfect the art of the perogy though."

3. According to IMBD.com, you have a belly-button ring shaped like the state of Texas. What’s that all about?

"Everything is bigger in Texas. And I will always remember that night in Marfa!"

4. Your band has toured several times in Mexico, where you’re bigger than in Canada. Any crazy tour stories to tell?

"That time we opened for Moby? That time we played in that packed club with zero fire exits with the stage next to a open elevator shaft with a piece of string being the only thing preventing us from falling six stories? That time we played in the snow – in May, in MEXICO? The time we drove eight hours to Acapulco with 26 adults crammed into a 12-passenger van? The weird taxidermy ferret? The "Tentacion" incident! When we were performing on Telehit (the Mexican version of MuchMusic) and it was broadcast to 20 Latin American countries around the world?  That time we showed up and our rider included two coolers full of beer, a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of red wine, sandwich platter and 50 extra-large condoms? You know you are a rock star when…"

5. What was your very first concert-going experience? 

"It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, at The Bronx, an all-ages show: SNFU and the Wheat Chiefs. It was my first gig. I wore a plaid shirt, cords, Docs, and I moshed." 

6. What was the first record or CD you ever bought?

"It was a cassette shopping spree: Cyndi Lauper (She’s So Unusual), Twisted Sister (Stay Hungry) and Prince (Purple Rain). I liked everyone’s hair."

7. Finish this sentence: I’d rather be hit in the head with a garden hoe than listen to…

"Douche rock. Can I say that? Nickelback, Three Days Grace, Limp Bizkit, crap like Aqua, Rednex, Right Said Fred."

8. If you could play a concert in the lush garden of any celebrity, who would that be?

"David Beckham. While he is shooting an underwear ad."

9. What’s your ideal way to spend the summer months?

"With David Beckham. While he is shooting an underwear ad. The summer is actually a pretty busy time at Greenscape and with Los Furios, so I take a lot of B.C. mini vacations to Gambier Island, the Okanagan — anywhere there is water and a nice beach!"

10. What’s next for Corinne Kessel?

"Los Furios plays July 11 at the Imperial with Los Rastrillos and July 12 at the Carribean Festival in Maple Ridge, and we will have a new album out this summer. Greenscape Design and Décor is already in high gear for the summer, busy with events, weddings and patio season. In early July we will be pulling off an epic event design in an unusual secret location! Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook for photos."