Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 3:06PM by Cam Lindsay
Describe your sound in your own words.
Somewhere in between electronic and psychedelic tape music. Something like that.
How did your band form?
It all started when I took acid with my friend Alicia. Some time shortly after it kicked in I woke up and has this jarring moment. So I texted her about it and she ended up responding and asking if there was something I wanted to do. We set aside some time over the holiday break to try some hallucinogens but that fell through. So a month later I wrote this tongue-in-cheek apology in the form of a song that was based on mutual influences, stuff that we were both listening to at the time, like Ariel Pink and Magnetic Fields' 'Holiday'. And the song that came out was 'Should Have Taken Acid With You.' The rest is history.
What are your musical influences?
Well, aside from Ariel Pink, if there's any kind of musical constants I'd say Todd Rundgren. He's the perfect conglomeration of really great pop songs with these incredibly imagined sounds with these fantastic modular synthesizer sequencers. I always love it when someone can inject some bizarre electronic gibberish into crappy pop songs. Aside from that, Yellow Magic Orchestra, the Japanese Kraftwerk. But I'd definitely say Ariel Pink all the way.
How did you come up with your band name?
It's kind of the one band name I can't take credit for. Some time shortly after high school I started Ghosthustler, which was my first stab at making real music. Alicia said, "Oh, if you're gonna have a project called Ghosthustler, then I'm gonna have one called Neon Indian. What about that?" She didn't know how to write music or play any instruments so her MySpace page just sat there for years. Once I started writing music that would eventually become Neon Indian it kind of made perfect sense to name it after this make believe, mock band from high school that never existed.
What's your biggest vice?
I guess sleep deprivation.
What's in your festival survival kit?
I think for the most part it would be my synths.
Who was your first celeb crush?
You played Late Night With Jimmy Fallon recently. Was that the craziest thing you've experienced on tour so far?
Yes, absolutely. It was pretty phenomenal. They were really nice. If anything it was this very surreal experience just being at Rockefeller Plaza and seeing where they shoot the show. It's funny because I remember coming back from commercial break and Jimmy's holding up the record and as soon as he started talking it just went completely blurry. It was like I tapped into some weird, animate adrenaline where it's fight or flight, like you're body's saying, "You're gonna die!" And you're trying to hit this chord or remember which sound your sequence triggers... it became this huge massive blur.
Is it safe to say that Neon Indian took off accidentally?
Yep, it would be very safe to say that.
What expectations did you have for 'Psychic Chasms?'
Zero. Absolutely none. It was the first time I've written music where I had no expectations, which is what got it that sound. I wasn't trying to hone in on an influence or have any idea of performing it live. It just birthed from this notion that I wanted to write and not get convoluted and focus on the songwriting.
What's the status of VEGA now that Neon Indian has become such a big thing for you?
VEGA is still around. These next three months I'm going to be writing the first VEGA album, which I'll be putting out on Fool's Gold. These past six months have been more about giving Neon Indian time to shine!
What's your take on this glow-fi/chillwave sub-genre you're lumped in with?
It helps people discover artists, but at the same time it's mildly insulting when this thing has being placed upon you and you're immediately forced to identify with artists that you maybe hadn't heard of before. But yeah, chillwave express all the way!