Q&A with Asthmatic Kitty’s Cryptacize


This past Monday night, September 21, 2009, Cryptacize began their tour with the forerunner of indie music, Sufjan Stevens. A monumental tour for this band indeed, they will soon enough see the effects of touring with such a world renowned musician. After having been signed to Asthmatic Kitty, Sufjan Steven’s label, Cryptacize began to nestle their feet in the sand a bit by discovering their own sound– a sound that is, in many ways, “forsaken.” Before jumping on Sufjan’s tour bus and touring the world, we got a chance to sit down with Cryptacize. After reading the following interview, you should subscribe to Cryptacize’s blog, as they never fail to post some awesome, downloadable mixes.

Blue Indian: Huge fans here. Great to chat with you.

Cryptacize: Why thank you!

BI: I find the first half of the first sentence of your bio on Asthmatic Kitty very accurate: “Cryptacize deals in the unforgettable melody, the forsaken chord. . . .”

Cryptacize: Yes, all of our chords are forsaken. They have been forsaken, by us, and then you feel forsaken. But that’s our music! Just kidding.

BI: So, I was a fan of Nedelle’s solo stuff and The Curtains before Cryptacize came along. Is there a little bit of all of it in Cryptacize?

Cryptacize: We’re throwing in everything we’ve got.

BI: You’re either about to start your tour with Sufjan Stevens or are already on board. What’s this like?

Cryptacize: Well, I’m waiting around at home in LA, Nedelle’s out there in NY rehearsing and playing her first show in Sufjan’s band. My life is very peaceful, hers is kind of chaotic and more exciting at the moment. We have high hopes for the next few weeks, it’s gonna be awesome.

BI: How does it feel to be in the Asthmatic Kitty family? Some pretty amazing acts on the label.

Cryptacize: It’s great, they look after us well and we really appreciate that. Our friend John Ringhofer from Berkeley aka Half Handed Cloud was on it before us, and then I was friends with label honcho Mike Kaufmann from way back, so it felt really natural.

BI: If you could it have your way, would it be staying at home and just promoting/selling records off the internet? Or touring/promoting to sell your records

Cryptacize: Both – we love playing shows and making records.

BI: Explain to us how Michael Carreira (drummer) came along?

Cryptacize: Well, Mike sent us this really formal email – he was looking for bands to join as a cowbell player -and it had a link to these amazing youtube videos he made of just his hands playing the cowbell. We loved it. Now, a few years later, Nedelle and I have moved to Los Angeles, and our bass player, Aaron, is about to also – but Mike wasn’t up for making the move. So, we’ve parted ways. It just seemed impossible to do what we do long-distance… our old friend Corey Fogel lives here, so we’re playing with him now. He was in the Curtains with us before, and we love his drumming too. He has a very different approach from Mike. He’s good with colors… I think he likes ‘mauve’ especially I think, or colors in that area… he can play drums and knit scarves simultaneously too.

BI: What’s it like touring in a Toyota Corolla? Is this still the deal?

Cryptacize: Well, it remains to be seen. We did do a tour in July with my mom’s SUV but that was a one time thing… the Corolla is such a great car, it gets like 35mpg, and it came in this awesome shade of teal – it’s hard for me to let it go. But it just doesn’t fit for four people and a drum set. ¬†We fit the 4 of us in there on one tour this year, but that was only because Aaron from Haunted Graffitti was nice enough to let us use his drums. This tour we’re about to go on we’ll be on board Sufjan’s tour bus, so we’re off the hook for a little while longer, but I guess we’ve gotta figure something out eventually… couldn’t clubs just supply drums like they do in Japan? That would mean all the bands could travel in Corolla’s.
We don’t like the waste that rock music is generating, but here we go adding more people to the band and stuff. We’ll have to find a reasonable solution.

BI: What is one thing Cryptacize MUST have while on tour?

Cryptacize: Bathroom breaks.

BI: While on tour, would you prefer to stay in hotel rooms or the living room floors (& couches) of the hospitable people who open their homes to you guys?

Cryptacize: We like both, it’s good to mix it up.

BI: What’s something Cryptacize fans would be surprised to know about you?

Cryptacize: My dad named all the songs on Herb Alpert’s “Second Wind” album (1996):
track listing:
1. Second Wind
2. Flirtation
3. Wherever You Are
4. Sneakin’ In
5. Drivin’ Home
6. Can’t Stop Thinking About You
* not this one7. Flamingo – Herb Albert
* or this one! 8. My Funny Valentine – Herb Albert
9. Side Steppin’
10. Rendezvous
11. Across the Bridge
12. Sugar Cane

BI: What’s playing on your iPod/iTunes/mp3 player right now?

Cryptacize: Stuff on our new mixtape ! – see cryptacize.blogspot

BI: Who is the most fascinating act/artist you have seen live?

Cryptacize: Many artists fascinate me – just one is Grace Jones who played here in LA recently at the Hollywood Bowl. Her costumes were so beautiful, like one that was all reflective and they shot it with a laser beam and crazy patterns went everywhere.

BI: Ever thought about writing a soundtrack album for a play? I’ve noticed an interest you all have with drama.

Cryptacize: I’d be up for that – no one’s ever asked.

BI: Off the new, “Mythomania” album, which is your favorite song to perform live and why?

Cryptacize: I like to play em all, but especially the song “New Spell” – I don’t know why, just a good tempo I guess.

BI: Describe the typical Cryptacize fan.

Cryptacize: Like a dead-head but with tail and whisker implants, dressed in rags and dancing alone in the corner.

BI: What’s it like touring with WHY? They’re pretty rad…

Cryptacize: They are. we liked it – it was very educational and fun. They put on a great show every night.

BI: So, you mainly hit Athens and Atlanta when you come to GA. Think you could do something in Macon, GA sometime?

Cryptacize: Sure we would.

BI: Any last words to your fans, or better yet, your new fans that will come trickling in from reading this interview?

Cryptacize: I’ll just say thanks for reading this and maybe see you around.

BI: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule.

Cryptacize: Thank YOU!