Break It Down: Carlon
Wed, 08 Oct 2008 17:26:25
Speaking on their influences, New Jersey collective Carlon confide that the band, "embraces what they grew up listening to and every song their parents loved." Listening to the tracks from their latest album, Johari Window, it's clear that their classic tastes have paid off in spades. As the band slides between four-part folk harmonies and gritty rock distortion, they invariably recall a halcyon time when a musician's grain was actually caught on tap, before auto-tuning and studio tricks smeared recorded music with a tasteless sheen. We caught up with the four-piece to learn more about their influences, seedpod gifts from Zulu men and living off Quaker Oatmeal.
What have you been listening to lately?
Mike (Rhythm Guitar and vocals): A lot of wordless music or at least music with words I don't understand i.e. Sigur Ros, or Thievery Corporation. It's calming this time of year.
Jared (Bass): Fleet Foxes, M. Ward.
Ryan (Lead Guitar and vocals): I've been YouTubing Vieux Farke Toure "Bamako Jam" for my listening pleasure.
Milo (Drums and backup vocals): Ali Farke Toure, Dr. Octagon, Peter Tosh, Outkast, Tool, I am that I am!
Where's your favorite place to chill?
Mike: Jersey shore.
Jared: The beach.
Ryan: The roof of the Nueman Leathers Building.
Milo: In the woods, or in a room filled with different instruments. Lots of silence and lots of noise, I like both extremes.
What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?
Jared: Bring homemade sandwiches to band practice.
Ryan: Hahaha "save money."
Milo: Lived off of Quaker oatmeal and cup of noodles for a year. Hmmm. Not that dramatic I guess. I cried a lot though during this time because I was so hungry. That's drama for ya.
Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics.
Mike: "...with the architecture I'm taking in with my mind" – "Fair Play" off of Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison
Jared: "Listen the river, sing sweet songs to rock my soul" "Brokedown Palace" - The Grateful Dead
Ryan: "I'm a livin' man and I've got work to do." - Bob Marley
Milo: The vocal solo in "Great Gig in the Sky" by Pink Floyd. It shows that lyrics aren't necessary to express emotion vocally. "Maggie's Farm" by Dylan has great lyrics though. "I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them." Yes, Bob, yes.
What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?
Mike: I would say my 1970 Es. 335. A gift from my father. Or my custom American Tourister suitcase pedal board that I made with my grandfather.
Jared:1970 Music Man tube amp.
Ryan: My D 28.
Milo: A leg shaker made of seedpods given to me by a Zulu man in Africa. They tie them to their calves when they dance. It can be heard in our song, "Cantaloupe."
If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?
Mike: Ha ha.
Jared: A new business plan that allows the musician to make money!
Ryan: I would change our manager's name to Zeke Windswallow.
Milo: Pitch correction. If you can't hit the notes, you weren't meant to be singing.
What never goes out of style?
Mike: Nice people.
Jared: The weather
Ryan: Wearing pants on your legs.
Milo: Clean air and fresh water.
What's the theme song to your life?
Mike: "Jessica" by The Allman Brothers' Band
Ryan: "If I were a Carpenter" by Tim Hardin
Milo: Tupac – "Hit 'em Up." Ummm no, that's not true. My music tastes change so much, but maybe a Michael Jackson song? How about, "Off the Wall." I grew up listening to that shit; it was my first introduction to excellent song writing and production. It's also great to dance to when riding around on moving sidewalks.
What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?
Mike: Chris Pfie, Julie Goldstein, John Boyd
Jared: Jerry Garcia, The Big Lebowski, Jack Kerouac
Ryan: Lenny Bruce,
Milo: Camus is awesome, The Plague and The Stranger rule. Unfortunately I can't read the original French version, I need that shit translated. Also, on the French side of things, I like the movie Amelie. Music documentaries are awesome, too. I have a good Hendrix one and a bunch of Marley biographies.
What's your favorite way to stay in shape?
Mike: Surf or paddle board
Ryan: Not having a car.
Milo: Not watching TV and being a lazy man. Keeping my mind active helps promote doing things that are physically beneficial.
What non-musician would you most like to meet?
Mike: Sponge Bob
Jared: Anthony Bourdain
Ryan: Dave Chapelle
Milo: Hmmm. Probably Maz's brother, Tim. I never got the chance to meet him before he passed, and he is who our band is named after. The stories I hear of him will have to suffice and continue to inspire the music we make.
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Mike: Don't know that I have one
Jared: Paul Simon
Milo: My iPhone maybe? There are others but I'd rather not admit to them.
MySpace or Facebook?
Mike: I don't personally belong to either, but the band does. I guess if I had to choose, it would be Facebook. It's less overwhelming.
Milo: Myspace! Yeah!
—The ARTISTdirect Staff