"Do yourself a favor, take your vehicle out on a long nights drive to the middle of nowhere. Find a dark & desolate road where civilization ends, pavement begins, and eeriness surrounds.."
Chromatic Folk From The Void Above
San Diego's Castanets borrow from country, folk, and experimental rock and turn them into a sound that's equally moody and inspiring. The band, which features a revolving cast of supportive musicians (including members from Pinback, Rocket from the Crypt, and Tristeza), centers on singer/songwriter Raymond Raposa, who explored the U.S. for four years via Greyhound bus after testing out of high school at age 15. This searching, traveling nature extends to his music, which he initially released as a series of CD-Rs. However, the Asthmatic Kitty label stepped in and released his first widely available album, Cathedral — the bulk of which was recorded in a cabin in northern California's woodlands — in fall 2004. A year later, Raposa and company returned with First Light's Freeze. A period of acute depression followed, during which Raposa was mugged outside of his home in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. In the Vines, Castanets' third release, was completed weeks after the mugging; appropriately dark (but earnest nevertheless), the album was released in October 2007. Recorded in three short weeks in a Nevada desert motel room (alone), the sparse and atmospheric City of Refuge arrived in 2008, followed by Texas Rose, the Thaw and the Beasts in 2009.
Hello, how are you?
Drinking Cororitas w/orange slices. White cheddar. Sunset is OK. 6 out of 10.
What are you currently listening to?
Swans. Darkthrone. Van Morrison. Hot Snakes. Tonetta. My Mother.
Who/what inspired you to start Castanets?
The songs had to go somewhere.
How did you originally get connected with Sufjan’s label Asthmatic Kitty?
Got lucky. Was playing in Liz Janes' band. Met some people. Made a couple decisions.
Your previous full length album “City of Refuge” had a Dub companion titled “Dub Refuge“, why did you decide to remix that album?
Because the challenge of dub versioning an LP w/no rhythm tracks was too good to pass up. Also it was good to give Ero a bit more room to stretch out than he did on the original mixes. Also, we love dub.
Your newest release “Texas Rose, The Thaw, and The Beast” is one of the best releases I’ve heard all year, it’s a lot “spacier” than your previous releases. How do you feel about the outcome of this release? Did you go into the studio knowing what kind of album you were going to write?
I've heard, and I believe, that it's less spacy. That seems to be the consensus. Went into the studio knowing as much as I ever do about what's gonna happen which is quite a bit and never enough. I am extremely happy w/it and anticipate being even more so w/the next one.
Do you tend to be a gloomy guy or is that just how I perceive you from your music?
C'mon man. Gloomy? Percieve something else. I party. Hard.
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Beach Boys "Sunflower".
Are you living your dream?
Far from it friend. I don't even have a motorcycle yet.
Castanets are currently embarking on a European tour right now, US dates to follow shortly...