Could you introduce yourself to our readers who do not know you yet?
Hey I’m Justin from Craft Spells. Full time recluse that loves shitty coffee.
How did you guys realize you were a good fit together musically speaking?
The band consists of really talented musicians. We just felt really comfortable with eachother from the very first time we started practicing in the basement area of Jack’s parent’s house in Seattle.
Justin, what does your hometown Stockton represents for you now that you left it
(considering that it is where you started to write Craft Spells
songs)? I guess that a city
like SF is way more (or differently at least) stimulating, right?
Stockton represents a certain comradery for the arts. When you’re in a shit town with nothing else to do, you find yourself expressing your boredom in many formats. I still visit home (stockton) often since it’s not too far of a train ride from SF. I find it hard to have that comradery here in the city. You really have to be social to get into groups of artists. I don’t see myself shimmying into established scenes here. I like being alone recording in my room.
We can feel in your music a definite 80’s influence; can you tell us
about other influences
I really love music from that time. I was heavily into the stone roses, new order and the field mice when I wrote Idle Labor. That was definitely a timestamp for what I was feeling at that point. The majority of my time I’m listening to Jazz; musicians like duke ellington, coltrane and a lot of lester young. Lyrically i’m fan of Joanna newsom. I read literature often so a big part of my influences come from whatever i’m reading at that time.
What genre would you say you belong to? A lot of journalists define
you as a shoegaze
outfit but regarding what shoegaze really was, aren’t you far from
this genre? Don’t you
think this genre has lost its meaning since 90’s bands like Ride, My
Bloody Valentine or
oh man i have no idea; definitely not a shoegaze band. We have plenty of elements on idle labor and gallery that would pay homage to one of my favorite music that came from early 90s jams. That was my first release so I can’t really say what genre we are, I’m constantly writing and trying new things for the new record. The solid foundation in all those bands though was the ‘pop song’. you strip most of those bands down and you have a catchy pop song, they were masters of dressing up the pop song and creating a vibe from their guitars and production. i’m completely in complete awe of the new mbv record; it’s been fucking my ears since the night it came out.
I think your song Warmth from the last EP has a really New Order sound
did you do it knowingly, or is it just part of your general influences?
Gallery was an EP of songs that didn’t make it on idle labor. I was obsessed with new order at that time in my life. I guess it’s just always been a thing since birth cause my father is huge NO fan.
Do you guys think the fact that Justin started the band by himself
will make it more
natural for the other members to follow individual paths in the
future? And how does
this affect the way the band works on a daily basis?
The rest of the band is in Seattle and NYC. Jack is now playing bass for beach fossils for the tours surrounding their new record. Javier has a band called gathered ghosts where he writes beautiful beatle/cure kind of pop songs. Our drummer Andy is playing drums and guitar in a lot of technical prog bands in seattle. They are keeping themselves busy while I write/demo the new record; at some point i’m going to be in a studio and have them come in to help me out. They will add atmosphere to the record effortlessly.
Are any of your songs on the Gallery EP going to be on your album? I
that you wrote this second EP while touring for Idle Labor, what is
the rest of the Second
album inspired from?
Gallery won’t be making it’s way to the 2nd record; probably won’t even sound like the past releases. The new record will be done in a studio for the first time. There will be more guitar, real drums, less synth, real pianos and more acoustic instruments. I’ve been touring for like 2 and half years with those records so when I started writing, I found myself gathering the memories that would help me write this new body of work. I was really naive during idle labor-i’m a totally different person.
One of your fans was wondering in Youtube comments:
I heard you were currently recording your new album in San Francisco,
any feedback on
your experience of recording your first studio album?
I’m demoing in my bedroom in San Francisco with a new set up; I acquired new gear over the last couple of years. I get writers block often so I really enjoy stepping out to skateboard. Brings me a lot of my joy to take my alone time outside and walk around to reflect on things. As for the studio, I haven’t really found a place in mind yet. I would like to continue recording in a studio here depending on producers.
What do you contemplate as future projects for the band regarding what you’ve
accomplished so far?
At some point I want to get back into graphic design. I also want to acquire a home studio where I can record my friend’s bands.
What were for you guys the most inspiring new comers band this year?
I’m really bad with new music but there is a band called archdukes: http://open.spotify.com/album/5LQa43vemYKZ2ldu7Stnle
Can you tell us if you are planning on touring Europe again soon? We
would really like
We all can’t wait to come back. Later this year early next year after the new record comes out.