Kristeen Young comes with Morrissey … finally
Music • Morrissey to play his oft-delayed show at Kingsbury Hall, with “the most awesome rock star you’ve never heard of” in tow.
Published: May 15, 2014 09:12AM
Updated: May 19, 2014 01:35PM
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FILE - In this July 21, 2012 file photo, British rock singer Morrissey, the former front man of the alternative rock group The Smiths, sings during his concert in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, File)

As of the time of this writing, Morrissey will perform in Utah this coming Friday.

It’s not the first time he has recently been scheduled to play Utah, with several postponements and cancellations related to this performance. It’s not his fault, really — there was illness with him and his family.

One of the best things about Morrissey finally performing in Utah is that he is bringing Missouri-raised Kristeen Young along as his opener. A dynamic cross of Tori Amos and Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls, Young (and her four-octave range) is touring behind her seventh studio record, “The Knife Shift,” which featured recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dave Grohl drumming and playing guitar on the entire record. The album also includes playing from Morrissey sideman Boz Boorer. (Click the links to hear her new songs “Pearl of a Girl” and “This is War.”)

Young, known for her dissonant and discordant take on piano-fueled rock music, answered questions posed by The Tribune about her upcoming performance, which includes bass player Megan X, a native Utahn.

How did you get Dave Grohl to play drums on your forthcoming album?

I asked him. A writer [stand-up comic April Richardson] on the “Chelsea Lately” show gave him a mix tape with one of my songs on it when Dave guest-hosted. He liked my song and looked me up on YouTube. We started emailing and around the same time the drummer I had lined up for recording on my album had to drop out. So, I asked Dave if he’d be interested.

Do you have a longtime relationship with Morrissey, with mutual respect and creativity?

Absolutely. It wouldn’t work any other way. I continue to be inspired by him and I believe it is very mutual. This is not unusual. Throughout time there have been artists who prefer to live and/or work around each other. It’s a challenging atmosphere and I think better work comes out of it. And as far as “longtime”? I’ve known him since 2006, so eight years. Is that a long time? Not really. Step back a little further and you’ll see it isn’t.

“Kristeen Young is the most awesome rock star you’ve never heard of,” said BlackBook. Do you crave and hunger for more fame and recognition?

Umm. Yes. Why wouldn’t I? Wouldn’t you like some kind of acknowledgment for the time and heart you put into your writing? Although “crave and hunger” might be a bit dramatic. On second thought, no, it’s perfect.

What do sidemen “Baby” Jeff White and Megan X bring to your performances?

Power, soul, aggression, creativity. They give everything to playing.

Much of the album relates to you surviving your upbringing in St. Louis. What exactly is wrong with St. Louis?

I’m not sure I understand the question. There is nothing “wrong” with St. Louis. It’s a terribly interesting place. I am endlessly inspired by it and all the f----- -up pain I experienced there.

Your album has themes of religious and cultural constraints within society. Have you encountered religious and cultural constraints? If so, how did you overcome them?

Yes. Of course. I overcome them by walking right through them. I don’t pay much mind. I used to walk through the halls of my high school without looking from side to side, because I knew I’d see people saying awful things about me and giving me horrid looks. I continue to take this approach to life and it works really well. They might try to stop you and it might take you a little longer to get to where you want to go, but you will get there nonetheless, and they will stay where they are. I know I’m making it sound easy, but, of course, it’s not. I’ve had to give up family, friends — many things. I’m alone a lot. But, I don’t care. I like my life, and quite a few people have generally joined my way of thinking a few years later anyway. If any of you are wrestling with it, you cannot live your life for your parents. They will die and then you will see how it didn’t matter. It’s nothing. They will disappear like everything else (even though when they were alive everything seemed insurmountable) but you will have already wasted a good portion of your life.

How soon is now?

P Morrissey performs, with Kristeen Young opening.

When • Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $55 to $70 at SmithsTix and Kingsbury Hall box office