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  • Break It Down: PAS/CAL

    Wed, 23 Jul 2008 11:04:24

    Break It Down: PAS/CAL - Stealing car radios, admiring the ordinary and turning the industry upside down; it's all in a days work for these pop troubadours

    Ever since the trio of founding members penned their first song in 2000, PAS/CAL has been steadily producing infectiously quirky tracks while adding more talent to their roster. Now numbering seven and brandishing a resume replete with EPs and singles, the band of pop minstrels is finally set to release their first full-length foray, I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura. The collection of hook-laden confections resembles an analog version of Of Montreal, with playful couplets replacing their electro-counterpart's dark subtext. On the eve of the album's July release, we were able to talk to head honcho Casimer Pascal about discovering The Cure, the benefits of poverty on one's figure and a shady past stealing car radios.

    What have you been listening to lately?

    This may seem strange, but I have just now discovered The Cure. I have a strong gang mentality when it comes to music, and I can be the most steadfast fan. So, when I was coming up, I became wholly committed to The Smiths and no other group seemed deserving of my attention. The Cure was one of those slighted bands; I found Robert Smith’s white high-top sneakers to be enough to hate his band. Any way, somehow I bumped into “Close To Me” recently and at once had a fondness for how the song was produced: not a guitar in sight and the warmest/loudest handclaps I’ve heard in a while. I quickly downloaded everything I could find from 1979 to about 1989 and discovered that most of the albums, as I suspected so many years ago, were quite bad. However, there is a lot to be loved in Robert’s poppiest moments like “Catch”, “Catepillar”, and “In Between Days”. I mean, the lyrics are all pretty silly, but methinks he means it, and there is certain very charming spirit in these songs.

    Where’s your favorite place to chill?

    Still searching…

    What’s the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?

    I purchased my first multi-track recorder by being a look-out for a kid that stole car radios. I still have one of the radios in a drawer somewhere that I had planned on installing in my own car, if I was ever able to steal enough car radios to afford one. It never happened, obviously.

    Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics?

    My own? If so, I like singing this passage from our track, “Well We Made Our Way, We Amtrakked”:

    Come on Craig let’s start some shit up, you wanna jump that kid up that bumped into your arm? If I was you the faggot wouldn’t get far and besides that I’m bored to ashes.

    If it is someone else’s lyric, I love Scott Walker’s words from “Hero of the War”:

    He's a hero of the war
    All the neighborhood is talkin' 'bout your son
    Mrs. Reiley get his medals
    Hand them 'round to everyone
    Show his gun to all the children in the street
    It's too bad he can't shake hands or move his feet


    What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?

    These are difficult questions… I am not virtuoso on any one instrument, but can get sounds out of many. I’d have to narrow this answer down to my actual recording space, i.e., my home studio. Without it I’d be a very sad man.

    If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?

    Great songs would be heard the most, while the worst songs would never get played. In other words, I’d like to turn the industry upside down.

    What never goes out of style?

    Fine taste.

    What’s the theme song to your life?

    I’m still working on it; I just need a bit more time.

    What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?

    In no particular order: Magnolia, Kafka, Egon Schiele, Breaking the Waves, Gainsbourg, Emily Bronte, Bowie, Bolan, Percy Shelley, Moz, Scott Walker, Stereolab, Broadcast, Bernard Levine, Night of the Hunter, Prince, Prince Paul, Paul’s Boutique, John & Paul & George & Ringo, Ordinary People.

    What's your favorite way to stay in shape?

    Poverty.

    What non-musician would you most like to meet?

    My grandfather, Marion, who passed on long before I was born. He came over to the States from eastern Europe to find work as a chemist. Unfortunately, his foreign credentials were never accepted so he died a penniless & drunken house painter.

    What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

    Although I generally work to keep my womanly figure I love food… and lots of it.

    MySpace or Facebook?

    Girlsvsboys.com

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff
    07.23.08



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