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Published: 1998/12/15
by Jeff Waful

Chris Kuroda Sheds Some Light

JW: That’s what I was gonna ask you. They didn’t learn it back in ’94, when they teased it?

CK: No, it was just kind of a “you snooze, you lose” joke. We started out joking about breaking out old tunes and by the time the joke ended, it had escalated to playing Dark Side of the Moon.

JW: And they just decided at dinner that night?

CK: Yeah, and they went and put the CD in and sat in the practice room for an hour and came out and played the first set. Then they went back into the practice room at the break. I don’t even think they had the album. I think they just gave it a whole run-through, beginning to end, in the practice room, and went out on stage and played it.

JW: So they told you about two hours ahead of time that they were going to do it?

CK: Something like that.

JW: And did you go get the CD or were you familiar enough with the album?

CK: No, I didn’t. I know the album, I mean just (from listening to it) as a kid. I spent a little time trying to think about what I was going to do, but really I just winged it, just like any other show. We just wing it every night anyway.

JW: You must have had a field day. I mean, everyone missed the show. There were what, 4,500 people there…

CK: 4,600.

JW: 4,600. So can you tell us about the light show. Were you doing a lot of fog and a lot of strobes?

CK: I did. I really cranked the fog during “Great Gig in the Sky”. There wasn’t too much strobing. There were a lot of big, huge lighting effects, big huge, giant picture looks in the house, kind of like what it’s been looking like lately, just kind of following the flow, nothing special really.

JW: A lot of people would just die to have your job. How often are you just sitting back there thinking, “wow, I am so lucky”? I know you work tremendously hard. What’s the balance like there?

CK: I consider myself lucky, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s now my life more than anything else. I mean, of course everyday I do think I’m lucky, but it’s gotten beyond that. It’s hard to describe, but there’s more of a personal satisfaction of the work I’m doing out here, more than just being a lucky guy getting to cruise around lighting Phish. I mean, that’s’ great. Don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot more to it than that, as far as my life goes.

JW: With digital technology advancing at such a rapid rate, can you speculate on the future of lighting?

CK: There are a couple of lighting companies that are doing extremely radical prototype designs on new lights involving computer screens inside the light and stuff like that. I mean, the future is gonna be insane. And, the technology in the lighting industry is advancing so fast. I mean, it’s faster than a lot of other industries. Companies are just battling it out, trying to come up with the best products. It’s gonna be crazy. It really is. But, a lot of that is geared a lot more towards projection more than just light purists. So, we’ll see how that sort of stuff integrates with us cause we’re not big on projection. I mean, we do a few things, but nothing that major.

JW: You’re in this for the long haul, no other plans?

CK: As far as I can see, right now, sure. I mean, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

JW: Have you made any travel arrangements for New Year’s 2000 yet?

CK: I have not made any…well, no. All the planes are gonna crash, …..(laughs)

JW: So it’s still up in the air? I know they haven’t announced anything yet. Do you know of any plans?

CK: I know of some, I know there are a few options.

JW: There’re rumors flying all over the place…

CK: They’re really working on what they want to do.

JW: Do you plan on bringing out some special stuff for that show?

CK: Sure, of course I do. I hope to anyway.


Jeff Waful graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in broadcast journalism. While at Emerson, he hosted a improvisational radio show called “Space Jam” on WERS FM. He is currently working in television and managing a band called Uncle Sammy.

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