If you heard the future, would you recognize it? Deastro aka Randy Chabot is a man whose art challenges conventional pop at every turn. Whether it’s making his unique blend of swirling bleeps and bloops over driving beats or designing his many album covers, he definitely has a talent for creating a lot of interesting things. He recently self-released Incinerator last month, much to our collective delight here at VS. But what makes him tick? What inspires a mind to turn out such unique and beautiful material? Equipped only with a press pass and notepad, I did my best to find out as I followed him around Plum Market…
Violent Success: What was the first instrument you learned how to play and how old were you?
Deastro: Guitar 9 years old.
VS: I read that you used to be a Christian and even went to school to be a pastor. Did this influence your music or lyrics at the time or since then?
Deastro: Do you know what Bible Quiz is? It is a competition where kids memorize scripture and asked questions. The team I was on when I was a kid was like the 2nd or 3rd ranked team nationally. It’s a weird world out there. I might still use some kind of Biblical language but it is more a criticism of the current state of Christianity. The bible is beautiful and has a lot of great things to say, but Western Christianity supports McDonald’s more than it does the teachings of Jesus.
VS: You tend to have progressively varying releases… When you’re working on a new record, do you worry about whether your longtime fans will be into it?
Deastro: I am more worried about making something I can feel proud of more than how successful it is.
VS: Did you always know that you wanted to play electronic music or did it evolve from something else?
Deastro: I am interested in all types of music. I am working on a rock record called Vagrants right now for this post punk band I am putting back together called Mirror Image.
VS: People tend to define an artist by one release… Is this why you tend to release EPs yourself and leave the LPs to the label(s)?
Deastro: With an EP you can kind of just do whatever– make your own labels for jackets go to the college print shop and kick it out. With an LP you want it on vinyl and all that it is a lot of work and I work a lot already.
VS: I see. Assuming music is your first love, what form of art is second closest to your heart either as a maker or appreciator?
Deastro: Can’t narrow it down, there are amazing people creating everywhere.
VS: Was there a song, album or artist that really pushed you to synth music?
Deastro: Joy Electric: The Boy Who Never Forgot– This was me and my brother Mike’s favorite band when we were like 12 and 10 years old. I saw him play at Cornerstone Christian Music Festival in Illinois when I was 13. That same year I made my first synth record under the moniker Shield Wolf. It sounds like a 13 year old made it hehe.
VS: Yeah, they’re fantastic. Who would you want to sit in the studio with, even if it was just for one song?
VS: That would be pretty awesome, actually. Finally, when writing an album, who or what do you typically find yourself thinking of most?
Deastro: Heaven and hell