Six Questions With You Bred Raptors?
Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is New York-based indie experimental-funk-rock band You Bred Raptors?. We have not yet covered You Bred Raptors? here on the pages of Indie Minded, so it is great to get to them. If you’re not familiar with them, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
You Bred Raptors? is a NYC-based three piece band made up of 8 string bass, cello, drums and glockenspiel. The sound is a mix between post-rock, classical, experimental, funk and metal. It would be an amazing soundtrack to lose your virginity to on your wedding night.
We started in 2010 as a spawn of my solo 8 string bass project. I was getting a little tired of performing solo and felt my writing was suffering from stagnation. I wanted to challenge myself and make good on my internal oath to myself to move to New York and perform in front of as many people as possible. We auditioned for the Music Under New York program a month after forming and we were accepted to receive lifetime permits to perform in the metro system. We’ve put out 4 full length albums, including the newest release International Genetics that just dropped, toured nationally and internationally extensively and scored film and television.
As an artist, how do you define success?
Success is as involved as you want to make it. Some of the other bands in the MUNY program define success as just performing their show and using the money to survive. They are complacent with that and I’m almost envious of that bar. This band makes a living with writing and performing. But we keep side jobs and continue to hustle because we want the band to flourish. It’s almost unfathomable to annunciate what it takes to be “successful” in the music industry. It’s constantly evolving with fewer and fewer lifelines for young bands to breakthrough ceilings. There just isn’t resources available in a time when streaming is king and big labels are all but dead. Bands are now responsible for all of their marketing, PR, video and audio content, and everything in between. And there’s no guarantee that a reward awaits you at the end of the rainbow. The success is keeping a band alive that long and outlasting the shitty ones.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
I’d say doing everything you’re supposed to do, putting in the time to hone your craft, eating the shit, playing the game, traversing the politics… Only to be thwarted by some circumstances out of your control. We don’t have wealthy parents or financiers bankrolling us or nepotistic connections to get us in the door. We’re doing the grind and not taking shortcuts. Maybe that’s a sucker’s game these days. There are less and less opportunities for bands to support larger touring acts or to be put on regional tours. I love the DIY mentality but it’s hard for the rest of the industry to take that aesthetic seriously. Luck is the rare unicorn these days.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
There’s a song I wrote in college called ‘Crop Circles’ that was one of the first pieces written for 8 string bass and cello. It was the song that made me want to pursue this timbre in a full time band. It showed me that this set of instruments work beautifully together. I released it on a solo album first and then later on our album Hammond. It’s been on hiatus in the set amid constant member changes but it will always remind me to shuck the rules and to color outside the lines in my songwriting.
We don’t have that one, but check out “Pickpocket”
Who do you consider your greatest influences?
I’ve never thought of myself as an amazing bass player so my influences are expansive. They do of course include bassists like Les Claypool, Victor Wooten and Michael Manring. But it also includes anyone super nerdy about their instrument like Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, Explosions in the Sky, Detektivbyr, Shooglenifty and Russian Circles. I draw a lot of inspiration from film scores and music written for different media. Bands that don’t toe the line but still remain accessible and keep evolving are standards I want to strive toward.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I’m a juggling instructor and a dog trainer when I’m not on tour. I feel working in both of those fields has helped me understand the value of patience and dedication. With juggling, you’re at the whim of physics, weather, gravity and geometry. Learning new tricks seem daunting and you’re almost convinced you’ll never be able to do it. But you run the drills, build muscle memory and eventually your brain works it out. There’s an inherent rhythm in juggling and like music, it can get shaky at times. You rely on yourself to correct and listen to your surroundings.
When working with animals, you rely on non verbal communication and staying calm despite whatever bullshit you encounter. It’s a symbiotic relationship that both parties have to respect. I find that honesty, however difficult and varied, to be refreshing after dealing with music politics in tour booking. At least if a dog pees on you it’s easy to extrapolate why. I’m sometimes at a loss to try to explain some of the things that go on behind the scenes in the music industry. Either way, you’re still getting your leg humped and picking up shit until you assert your dominance. Maybe there is set beauty in that parallel.