06 June 2012
Here's an interview I did with one of my favorite discoveries of this year so far, New York pianist FAVRTSM. Please go support him below. He's my favorite!
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Listen to his [awesome] album!
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Me: Please state your name, occupation and location.
My name is Rafael Grafals. I’m not working but I am starting college soon
so I’m a soon-to-be student living in Brooklyn, NY.
Me: What got you into playing piano?
Well I picked up violin in the 5th grade and there was a piano in the music
room that the orchestra would practice in. I would always goof off on that
without really being taught how to play. As an instrument the piano has
always fascinated me. I just feel there’s a lot you can do with it; a lot
of potential in sound. Switching from some beautiful chords to harsh
dissonance is really easy to do and I’ve always loved that. My parents paid
for lessons after they noticed my interest in piano but that didn’t last
long (since we moved out of the area soon after) and in Florida I took
piano classes for a year. Sadly, I didn’t learn much as it focused more on
reading music and I had already learned that in orchestra as a kid. We had
already bought a keyboard so I just continued on my own.
Me: What's this 2 Tracks/1 Hour/#Sad Wave album that's on your Bandcamp
The title sort of explains it. After seeing what I was able to do with Tape
I, I decided to challenge myself to see if I was able to record two
improvised tracks, each around a half hour in length. Like my first album,
this is really meant for a cassette tape release which explains the SIDE A
and SIDE B titles. This should be released soon (digitally). I finished the
first track not too long ago.
Me: Can you explain the recording of the brilliant Tape 1?
This was actually a straightforward process. Whenever I was inspired to
record something I’d take my laptop, set it on top of my piano, plug in my
microphone (just a cheap microphone I purchased at a garage sale a few
years back) and improvise a piece. I never wrote any of these tracks so I
would record until I made something I was happy with. The three bonus
tracks were just songs I felt didn’t perform as well or didn’t fit in with
the rest of the tape.
Recording this way (and this cheap) gave these tracks some interesting
sounds that I think fit very well with the mood and emotions I expressed in
my music. It was an easy way to put out an album and it allowed me to
release it for free so I’m pleased
Me: Who are your biggest influences?
Well classical music has definitely influenced the music I make; mainly
Mozart and Tchaikovsky. I also draw a lot of inspiration from Ricky Eat
Acid though bloggers have picked up on that one. I guess that’s a bit more
Me: What's your relation to Decoder Magazine?
I guess the relation would be through Living Room Visions. Living Room
Visions is this small collective of experimental musicians and artists that
I joined before I released Tape I. When I finally dropped that album, I
posted it in the group and we have some bloggers that are in there to keep
track of the releases. Dwight from Decoder is in the group so that’s how he
found Tape I. Soon after that he messaged me saying he was planning on
doing a write up for decoder.
Me: If you could have one larger blog promote you, which one would it be?
This one is tough. I have a lot of respect and love for blogs ranging from
small operations to bigger ones. I guess it’d have to be Stadiums and
Me: Do you have any projects?
I’m currently working with Public Spreads the News on a track as well as
recoding something for a Crash Symbols mixtape
Me: Is there any hopes of a FAVRTSM tour?
This is tough. I don’t really have the support to pull off any kind of
tour. I don’t even have enough support to do a local show haha. But who
knows? Maybe something can happen
Me: Will the 2012 apocalypse happen?
I’m more worried about a zombie apocalypse…
Me: Who designed your freaking awesome tumblr page?
That was all me so... thanks!
Me: What is #S a d W a v e?
I’m just a goofball and made a silly genre name (equipped with hashtag) for
myself. Kinda started as a joke but now I have been tagging it on
everything I do
Me: I've seen some Lil B references floating around you Facebook/Bandcamp
page. Do you like the Based God?
Indeed I do. I have a lot of love and respect for Lil B and the way he
spreads positivity. He also just seems like a fascinating guy. I’d love to
have a conversation with him.
Me: Do you play any other instruments?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve played violin since the 5th grade. I also
picked up clarinet in band and taught myself guitar.
Me: You're pretty good spirited about not being incredibly popular on the
internet yet, but you're incredibly nice to the blogs and people that like
you. Do you think that's the best way to go about things?
I feel it’s the best way I should go about it. Not sure if I can speak
for all starting artists. I never expected this to have any sort of
following so I don’t get bummed when I notice I have like 11 likes on my
facebook. This was all expected. At the same time I don’t think people
should just expect people to find my music. I haven’t emailed many blogs
but I should really pick up on that.
As far as being nice to the blogs goes, I feel it’s the right thing to do.
I mean, I’m incredibly thankful that people are picking this up and finding
that it’s worth sharing and I just want to be friendly with the people that
really enjoy my music.
Me: What goals do you have for the rest of the year?
I’m working on Tape II currently and would love to finish that by the end
of the year. It’s different from this first tape so the recording process
is very different. I’m messing with a lot of things I’ve never tried and
using new techniques, various microphones, and trying to create some new
sounds. Nothing else is really planned for the rest of the year though