Raymond Raposa, the man behind Castanets, just got back from recording a new album in San Diego. If you haven't heard Raposa's music, it's a mix of folk, electro and found sounds, Midwest and California. Busy as he is, Ray, an Asthmatic Kitty recording artist, decided to answer to a few questions for us. Learn about his neighborhood in New York, what he hates, and what Sufjan is really like. Read on reader.
J: You just recorded your new record in San Diego. First of all, do you
have a name for it? Second of all, did being surrounded by barbecue
and beaches and surfing have a big influence on the sound of the album?
R: I ended up surrounded by dexedrine and adderall. A good couple of miles inland. Could've been anywhere almost. The record seems to be called In The Vines.
J: I read that you quit school at a young age and travelled around on a
bus for a while. Is that true? Got any really cool stories?
R: I've forgotten all the good stories. Lost to the DNA now. It's weird though, I hear people talking about high school and college and it sounds awesome. It sounds crazy. Crazier than any Cleveland Greyhound station.
J: What music have you been listening to lately?
R: A lot of hip-hop. A lot of country. Some of the older hardcore stuff I grew up on, Discordance Axis, Man Is The Bastard. I don't really have too big a place in my heart for a lot of the musics that we share a section with in record stores or the blogs.
J: I see you hanging around with Matthew Houck from Phosphorescent a
lot. You toured with him playing bass. Are you guys going to write
songs together at any point? What will the name of the band be?
R: Matthew and I have toured together a few times. Warmed to each other after a rockier start and sharing sides in a few streetfights. He's drummed for us on a few trips and I played with him on his last one. We've talked about starting something up together. We're sharing a house right now but we're both trying to finish up new records of our own. He sings on a couple of songs on this new one.
J: What secrets can you tell us about the music you've been writing as
R: I've gone on record with a few friends and unlucky strangers on adjacent morning barstools as claiming Kels+The Dead. That's probaby way off, but there's moments for sure that're more interactive, looser as well as moments that are so uptight and quantized that we could probably squeeze a hit out of like, Omarion or whoever that dude is. Those dudes. The vibe is sleepy. A lot of the songs started out at these multi-page epics and ended up getting whittled down to three or four lines. Lots of my favorite singers are on it. Jana Hunter, Matthew, Viking Moses, Sayard Egan, Sufjan Stevens, Rafter. A little less fake rock, more secret soul.
J: Is there any modern music that you hate so much that you get mad and
tense when you hear it?
R: I have a hard time figuring out who's Tapes 'N Tapes and who's Cold War Kids and stuff like that. I guess that kind of actively pisses me off. Bigger scale-wise I am absoluelty a pop apologist. I love the radio. I love hits.
J: What's good and bad about living in New York City?
R: Good: Everything is here.
Bad: I never go see it and my neighborhood is heavy and dudes point guns.
J: What's Sufjan Stevens really like? Is he just like his music sounds?
R: His hair seems to change a lot. Very moody hair. Could probably work the alt.alt. comedy circuit if he wanted to. True hitting you two days later shit. Very knowledgable and generous with such. A dude among dudes. Running shoes.
J: If you were a library book, what section would you be in?
J: Can you tell us in ten words or less what to expect from you in the
R: I am in your city and I want the trouble.
By Jeffrey Thrope