- Words: Jennifer Marston
Sure, we're always curious to know about an artist's upcoming release, most recent tour, or arsenal of analog gear, but XLR8R's also got a curiosity for quirk. Thus, each week, we email a different artist and find out what makes them tick, in the studio and in life. Today’s installment is all about flip-flops, living in the woods, and playing 40-song sets. Introducing San Diego’s most eclectic maker of music, Rafter Roberts.
What are you listening to right now?
An Asthmatic Kitty compilation that I'm mastering–it's all electronic music inspired by architecture, two discs, all proceeds [going] to Habitat for Humanity. If I were in my car though, it'd be talk radio: Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura. Fuckers. If I was jogging, it'd be De La Soul, Buhloone Mindstate.
What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?
Oh man. I forget. Hard to beat the truth though... my real childhood often gets exaggerated and distorted when people talk about it, 'cuz I was raised with no electricity in the woods by off-the-gridders... no TV, no neighbors...
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
Worst live show experience?
I play in a band called the free*stars sometimes. When the lead singer, Dave, turned 40, he wanted to play a 40-song set. We are not an easy-listening band– more of an edu-tainment group–and it was a freakin' slog thru the night. We're lucky we didn't get assaulted. Even 30 minutes of free*stars can be trying for your average audience. This was more like five hours.
Favorite city to play in?
Anywhere but home–it's just more fun!
Would you ever do a song-a-day project again?
Hells yes. [I'm] about to start a new one, inspired by the original run of the Twilight Zone in the '60s... Lizeth [Santos] and I are picking 20 episodes to take titles and possible inspiration from.
What is your favorite thing you own?
My Gibson SG, I think. It's my guitar. I love it.
Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
Flip-flops... so easy, so nice. Life without t-shirts would suck too. I need a t-shirt.
What's more annoying: airport security, rush-hour traffic, or music-biz politics?
I hates the traffic.
What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?
Stealing candy, making kerosene rivers, reading too much, and leaving books around.
Which pop star would you most like to work with?
That's hard to answer... Madonna? David Byrne? Britney? Stevie Wonder?
What's the last thing you read?
David Sedaris’ Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
Complete this sentence: In the future...
I will jam it even harder, humans will put their consciousnesses into computers and live forever.
Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
Dropping my best habits–getting out of the song-a-day habit, stopping weekly dance dates, and stopping jogging regularly. No good for me.
New album, two new EPs, touring, and getting my aforementioned good habits back!
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