Friday, May 18, 2007

Mini-Interview: Castledoor

Imagine you’re in the middle of a conversation with a friend at a show when a band you’ve never heard before starts up and cuts you off in mid-sentence, demanding your attention in such a way that, geesh, two weeks later you still really have no goddamn idea what the hell you were talking about.

Well, I don't have to imagine, because that little boy… was me. And that band? You know where this is going… I’d been warned before Castledoor went on at Spaceland that night that they were really good, but I was still surprised by the band’s tight and explosive pop performance.

Needless to say, you should see them play live.

So, anyway, we checked in with lead singer Nate Cole to learn more about the act and what’s next for them.

Hey there, Nate. How's life?

Incredibly wonderful. Incredibly horrific. You know, life.

How long have you been making music on your own?

I've been singing in choirs, and singing in general, for as long as I can remember.

How did the band first come together? What's everyone's background?

Gabe and I have been friends for almost 10 years now and played in another band together. (It's a long and strange story that I tried to put into a song on our first EP called Remember When).

We're from Northern California and about three years ago we started writing songs and making home demos. Eventually we ended up moving to LA.

That's when we met Brandon (bass) and Joel (drums). They're from San Diego. Lisa grew up mostly in Washington State and played classical piano – and takes care of Castledoor's health. Coury is from LA and sings and plays synth -- and gives great haircuts (although some of the Castledoor boys have vowed to not cut theirs for a year).

You've been working with Earlimart's Aaron Espinoza at The Ship and recording a new EP. (Ick. That guy is jerks.) How's that experience been?

It's been the best thing that's happened to our band so far. Aaron has felt like a long time friend since the day we met him. We appreciate and respect his musical expertise as well as his friendship. He encourages us when we think we suck and reminds us that we have room to grow when we think we're great. I can't say enough good things about that guy.

I like that video you posted of you all messing around in the studio.

He's got a lot of nice toys over there, eh?

He's got loads of drums, and so does our drummer, so they were in heaven. We'd spend hours getting the right kick sound. Then when about eight o'clock rolled around we'd go next door to the Mexican market for drinks and we'd end up having these insane heavy conversations, or Aaron would dj from his itunes and we'd have a dance party.

When's that coming out? Are you self-publishing?

The tracks are all recorded, we just gotta get it mixed and mastered, but so far it's looking like we'll self-release it. Hopefully around July.

What was it like filming the video for the song Zaika? (Note: Their show at The Echo next Wednesday is a release party for the video.)

Every time I'd tell someone our ideas for the video, Lisa would smack me because we were all concerned if we could actually pull it off. We had no budget, so our friend Ryan Baxley basically did it for the love of it.

The worst part, but most memorable, was when we were seriously stranded in the middle of the ocean on a raft... in formal wear... for over an hour. The boys did what we had to do and jumped in that icy water and pulled the girls to shore.

I've heard you guys have had some label interest, eh?

Every now and then someone will contact us... an A&R person will ask for one of our EP's, i think they just want to get a cd without having to pay for it. I'm starting to send them to itunes. Bastards.

So, you've been keeping a blog? How's that been? Do you plan on updating "from the road?"

Ee're all pretty much addicted to the internet... maybe I shouldn't speak for everyone. Haha. But yeah, we love blogging and reading blogs and we don't care how nerdy that sounds.

What's next for you? You've done a residency at The Silver Lake Lounge. Any more planned? Any touring?

This time last year we couldn't get a show to save our lives. Then we met Devendra Banhart at an art show and he said it was all about surrender and being willing to play even the silliest of places and events. Maybe he put a special blessing on us or something cause things have finally started happening.

We're planning another The Silver Lake Lounge residency and we've been talking about putting together a west coast tour. Just trying to figure out a way to make it work financially.

What's a question that I should've asked, but wasn't smart or interesting enough to?

“What's Castledoor's favorite thing to do other than music?”


And then you could follow up with "What's your favorite food?” And we'd say Indian food and burritos and gelato!

Final question: What LA bands are you liking the most right now?

We recently saw the Explex kick off show with Earlimart, The Parson Red Heads, The Watson Twins, and Sea Wolf which was pretty sweet. We also love The Monolators. And we recently had a show with I Make This Sound and Sara Lov, which we quickly became fans of.

That’s it. Thanks for your words and time and stuff, Nate.

Castledoor play The Echo on (next) Wednesday, May 23rd; The Prospector in Long Beach on May 31, The Silver Lake Lounge on June 7th and 14th, Spaceland on June 19, The Silver Lake Lounge on June 21st and 28th.

- The Birds and the Fleas MP3
- Remember When MP3


Blogger Malcolm Sosa said...

Aaro is one of the raddest engineers to work with. Fun easy going and AWESOME. Can't wait to hear the castledoor stuff.

5:30 PM  

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