Craft Spells

"I told my fans to bring their Nintendo 3DS to the show"

Mandy Sharabani ,

As Indiestad Festival is happening in Amsterdam as we speak, we're bringing you fresh new sounds as a warm up. Craft Spells is a five piece pop group from Seattle, Washington. Wonderkid and lead singer Justin Vallesteros shared his inspirations, dedicated fans and Tweet concerns with us.

Genre: Sophista-pop
Skype Location: Bedroom in Seattle ,Washington
Last record you've listened to: Talk talk – Spirit of Eden

How do you write your songs, do you have something specific in mind?
I use a lot of visual references while I'm writing. I like to find photographs or moviesclips. I take them from Youtube or print out the photos and attach them to my wall. From there I create a lot of the instrumental parts of the music. Sometimes I pick a phrase from my journal which has a lot of free writing and I built the atmosphere around them.

Can you describe a picture that you have used as an inspiration for a song?
For the song “Komorebi” from the record “Nausia” I was filming with an iPhone in downtown San Francisco. I pointed the camera up rather then in front of me. I filmed the trees and the light shining through it. There's a word for it in Japanese: “Komorebi”, which means sunlight filtering through the trees. From there I built the song around that picture. This approach helps me not to write all the time about the same shit.

How does living in Seattle influence your sophista-sound?
The weather here always makes sense for my music. Although I do all my writing alone in California, the summers are unbearable there. I stay indoors and work a lot, it does really effects my introverted music. I make sure there's no light coming in, except when I'm recording. When I start that recording process, my guitar player Javier Suarez comes in and adds new guitar lines to the songs. That's when I can be in the producer's chair and orchestrate, I do enjoy that part. 

You're a 5 piece group; would you say you are good friends?
These guys are my favorite line-up so far. We're all best friends and pretty sensitive, subtle people. We make sure we're all ok ourselves to make a strong bond. The last tour has been like a summer vacation for us, we get to do all the stuff we like. Being on the road we like to read a lot, that's what we share and enjoy while traveling together.

If you could cover a song which one would that be?
There's a song from Blur named Blue Jeans, it's a B-side I'd like to cover. The vocal melody is so good and the chorus makes me feel some kind of way. I'm a big Blur fan, I also like his Gorillaz project. The singer Damon Albarn is just the man, he rules.

Describe an average day of your fan.
Often I notice my fans are introverted kids who play videogames, read books and stay indoors a lot. On the last tour, I told everyone to bring their Nintendo 3DS. They could do spot passing: when you walk by another person with a Nintendo 3DS, it will add them to your friends, show you where they're from and which videogames they're currently playing. It's cool to spot pass a lot of people on the road.

Can you describe a dance style you think would be suitable for your music?
There's a little famous kid named “Lil Terio”. If you don't know him, he's gonna make your day. He made up this cool ass dance, you just can't deny it. Also, Audrey Horne from the TV series Twin Peaks does this dance by herself. That would be a good one. 

If you could put a (craft) spell on someone, who would that be?
Amanda Bynes, just to make sure she goes through life ok. She's always been crazy, but recently her tweets have been insane. I would put a positive spell on her in which she can figure her life out. Cause I'm worried about you Amanda. So if you're reading this: I'm

Anything special you have in mind coming to Amsterdam?
Last time I didn't get to see the canals in Amsterdam. I'd like to do that alone and sit there for a couple of minutes. One of my goals while being on the road is to take everything in deeply and to take time to think. Perhaps we as a band can all sit on separate sides of the canals and look at each other, that would be a funny sight, actually.

Showtime: Craft Spells at Indiestad Festival, Paradiso Amsterdam, November 4th.