Sugar Ox release date: July 22, 2014 (ALLY052) Captain Baby is a NYC band. Sugar Ox is their 12-song debut. PR contact: email | phone See the Sunset Alliance PR page on Bandcamp here! -
Captain Baby | Sugar Ox promo vid
Olive In the Ocean (Official Video)
CAPTAIN BABY ‘Q & A’ w/ Asher Rogers.
When did you start with your current project? Could you tell us a little bit about it?
I think somewhere in 2009 but its hard to say. My former band Cactus’s ended and the bassist, Will Hooper, and I continued to play which was the earliest incarnation with all sorts of horrible garageband drum loops. Around that time we met Adam Sobolew who quickly became a principal player and co-writer. Eventually Adam and I moved to San Francisco and lived in his car for a couple months before exploring NYC.
After a couple months in San Fransico we were unable to find work or anywhere to live so we ended up in NYC by accident. I initially moved to NYC to take a job as a janitor at a comedy club. I heard Bill Cosby did that in his youth so I thought I’d try, although I have no stand up comedy ambitions. While in San Fran I reached out to a couple comedy clubs and asked to clean their toilets. Luckily one of the obliged.
We know that you’ve done “the music thing” for a while now. Tell us about Cactus’s. How long did you do that? What kind of band was it/music did it make?
Cactus’s was a 3 piece tropical-thrash rock band. We played for few years, toured in America and Canada a few times and played some shows in South Korea. Our sound was somewhere in between The Police and Fugazi so needless to say, it wasn’t well received in this brave new DJ world.
Where did the name Captain Baby come from?
One of the band members is my brother Ben who’s 10 years younger than me. When he was around age 9 he suggested “Captain Baby” as a name for the group is was in at that time. Eventually I gave into his 9 year old demands.
What is a Sugar Ox?
I think a Sugar Ox is a habit or choice that sounds desirable but will eventually crush you.
One of the things we really loved about your music the first time we gave it a listen was that it didn’t seem derivative of anything…it felt like a completely original sound. Once upon a time, you described your music to us as “Halloween Hindi-pop.” Do you stick by that classification? Could you describe what that means?
We still call our sound Hindi-Halloween music and I think thats accurate although no one outside the band has agreed so far. We try to play music that isn’t defined by a time period or geographical location. I think our chord progressions and general song layouts are heavily influenced by certain hindi-pop and traditional spanish elements that always end up being bent towards an ominous enchanted woods vibe.
What kind of gear do you use to get your sound?
I think our sound is more based on what we don’t use. We don’t use much distortion and we avoid cymbals. That seems to be repeating theme that defines our sound to some degree.
Can you describe your typical recording process?
So far our recordings have been through an ever crashing macbook via garageband. I have a 57 mic that I plug in to an amp and take a line out directly into the macbook. It’s a drastically mobile setup.
Did you stray from that process during any of the Sugar Ox tracking?
Not all the songs were recorded at the same time but the same process was used. Because the setup is just my laptop and a small mic it can be replicated anywhere.
Care to introduce your live band? How did you meet? What are you up to?
We have a revolving cast of our dear friends in both NYC and Nashville that play with us whenever available. Adam Sobolew – guitar/vox/keys, Haldane McFall – bass, Alex Feldman – Drums, Ben Rogers – guitar/sounds, Asher Rogers – guitar/vox, Kevin Johnston – percussion, Gabe Pigg – drums/percussion, Will Hooper – guitar/bass/vox, James Childress – drums/percussion
What would you call your own musical influences? In a way that is not necessarily related, what do you normally have playing in your earbuds?
XTC is the only band that really matters in my opinion.
What’s the music scene like in NYC? Is it as cynical as it seems it would be? Can a band create an audience without killing someone on stage?
I wish I knew the music scene was like out here. Nowadays you have to kill someone just to get onto the stage, then you gotta find a way to top that. We’re still working on getting booked anywhere which is tough cause none of us want to murder anyone.
What has been your favorite venue to play at so far?
We are always excited and honored to play any shows in NYC. Playing in the nicer places is always fun but usually our best shows are birthed in malnourished dive’s that are falling apart. I think the element of danger and unpredictability is more fun for us while we play.
Where’s your favorite place to go for pizza?
There’s some really amazing Papa John’s out here. Gotta go for the authentic stuff.
What inspires your songwriting?
Obviously direct and initial inspiration comes from artists we like. But I don’t want to take credit for something I’m not truly making. Music is like a stream you can tap into and allow to do what it is meant to do but we never control it or truly define it, at least good. You can feel when a spirit or emotion is in a song or melody or chord progression. I think one of the worst things someone can do is try to define it, especially lyrically. The melody and the notes will tell you what to say if anything. The universe of music doesn’t need us to put our microscopic point of view on it to make it art.
Where there any particular events that drove you to music?
My parents playing XTC all day everyday my entire life.
Have have a number of comedic videos on Youtube under a different name. How do you go about developing those? Who do you work with? How often are they created?
I think much like music, comedy can be a form of rebellion as well as social commentary and sometimes its just because its fun. Some videos we’ve done have come from sheer boredom, some as a reaction to situations or circumstances but they’ve always been generally light hearted and something done purely for our friend group. We’ve never had true comedic aspirations. Most of the time musicians think they’re funny cause they think everything they do is amazing ala the megalomania condition that puts you in the position to want to perform in the first place. I’d hate to be that, so tell me that I’m not!
You are also quite a visual artist. We love the artwork you created for Sugar Ox. Did you receive any formal training? Could you tell us about your style? What do you look to for inspiration?
I unfortunately have received no formal training. I could probably cut my work time in half if I had but too late now! When it comes to physical art I’m not into many styles, I know what I like and focus on that. It can evolve but for the most part I work in a very simple minded and ignorant fashion.
How did you come by Sunset Alliance?
I injured myself at work about a year ago and was stuck on my back for a few months. Because I wasn’t able to do much while layed out I finally had time to reach out to labels and focus on the least exciting part of music, attempting to convince strangers to sit down and listen along with a million other groups. I think a better question is how did Sunset decide to give our music the time of day? The sheer volume of impersonal submissions labels get is daunting.
Tapioca or pudding?
Tapioca 4 life.
Do you like sports?
Absolutely not. I cannot stress this enough.
Do you like Star Wars? Are you offended if someone doesn’t?
Of course the originals are classics, who doesn’t like those? But on the other hand, if your introduction to Star Wars was Jar Jar Binks I’d hope you’d hate it.
Would you sign a petition to make tomatoes a vegetable or Pluto a planet?
I’d sign anything. But since we as humans made up the words that are used to describe these tangible things, it seems like we shouldn’t have to convince ourselves. We already believe incorrectly, just keep believing!
If you discovered a star, what would you name it?
I’d probably name it Dog so there would be an actual Dogstar. Hopefully Keanu would give me some credit for the ultimate galactic marketing scheme.
If you had a chance to hang a celebrity past, present or future, who would it be? (And you can’t say Chuck Norris, even though he fits all 3 categories)
Kim Jong Ill or Kim Ill Sung, maybe Mao?
Are people basically born good?
Good is one of those moral words we shouldn’t apply to beings that are too young to have morals. Babies are lovely beings, but they don’t understand when they scratch your eyeballs out or rip food out of one another’s hands. I think how we are born is like every other living thing, with every molecule struggling to stay alive which is not a conscience choice. So if forced to define it through a moral lens I’d have to say people are born closer to the evil side.
Which band/artist would you choose to cover a Captain Baby track?
Brad Mehldau or Daler Mehndi
What would you say you’ve come to learn about yourself through music?
For me I learned pretty quickly that music will reflect to yourself how much you suck. The ideas you thought were clever when you were 16 can really make you look at yourself in a brand new and shameful light. That being said I think you have to go through that type of naked evaluation of yourself for years and get the poison out of your system. Once you’ve covered all areas of bad there’s nowhere to go but up!
Do you believe albums should be a replication of live performance?
I used think like that and some music I still think calls for it. Bands like Shellac got me into
Which person on earth would be least likely to receive an invite to your birthday party/ cd release show?
I’m having a hard time imagining more than 5 people I would invite. So I guess the majority of the world.
Who’s you favorite Beatle? Why?
I didn’t grow up listening to the Beatles so I really only know there biggest radio hits and even those I’ve never been into. I’ve gotten shit for this my whole life.
In the last couple years a number of ‘emo’ bands have played reunion tours. Mineral is next on that list. How do you feel about this? Did you ever like cry-core?
I can’t say I’ve ever heard of Mineral but based on the question it seems like that might be a good thing? This is coming from a guy who never gave the beatles a try so you can’t expect much. Is cry-core a real genre? I think if you’re old enough to understand the word “genre” you have nothing to cry about. Terms like cry-core make you really proud of the youth of the richest and most privileged country in the world. They’re the only ones with the guts to talk about how hard it is to have no problems and a life of pleasure.
What do you want people to take from Sugar Ox?
Download Sugar Ox from Sunset Alliance PR-page or stream below. Pre-orders available thru iTunes (7/1) & Bandcamp (now).