1) Please name your past & current music projects as well as what genre(s) you play. Solo acts/
bands? Describe your sound and maybe what inspirations you draw from.
Hey my name is Justin Paul Vallesteros I produce and write music as the band Craft Spells. I started out in a small bleak town in California named Lathrop and now reside in San Francisco. Most of my inspiration comes from isolation from friends and my love of literature. When I first started writing music as craft spells, it was more of a release from the oppression of living in a small suburban town. Since then I gained inspiration from changing scenery and avoiding the big city I currently live in to create other atmospheres away from the real world.
2) How did you start creating/recording music? Did you start with programs, etc? What instruments
do you mostly use?
I started playing guitar and piano (self-taught) at the age of 15 after hearing Oasis’ “wonderwall”. After that I used the DAW program called fruity loops in high school, which helped me progress into other programs like Reason, Logic and Ableton Live. My main source of writing comes from my first love of the guitar.
3) When did you start putting your music on the internet and through which sites/forums?
During the relevant times of Myspace, I recorded under many monikers, uploading music just to show to my close friends. My music caught the attention of a label called Captured Tracks, which naturally transcended me into writing my first full length record.
4) What kind of success/failures have you had from releasing your music online? (Reviews, labels,
It was cool to see the reactions to my music on blogs after just posting it on myspace; it was intended strictly for my friends to listen to. Being able to play all over the states, Europe/uk and Asia was something I never dreamed of. I try not to do vanity searches anymore; the internet is a huge open forum and sometimes it can be somewhat malicious. Reading reviews, whether it be pleasant or over analyzed can damage the creative mind. I find it really important to know yourself better than your listeners.
5) How do you believe the Internet has changed the music industry?
The internet has helped producers/writers/musicians gain a following straight from their bedrooms or studios; musicians who couldn’t afford PR in the past can now gain a following depending on the consensus of the listener/reviewers taste. There’s a huge downside to this, many bands are left in the dark cause of bad reviews and are forgotten so quick due to the internet’s attention span. Unsigned bands are sometimes taken advantage of and are compromised of their artistic control or “brand”. This creates some kind of monopoly with certain ad driven music blogs who are given the power to be the tastemakers, giving way to artists/labels that have the income to make whatever act a product. There is a fine proper line that separates the pros and cons of the internet and music.