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INTERVIEW: Rafael Vigilantics

Hi Rafael, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been riding the rollercoaster, ducking and dodging. Trying to keep out of reach of that downward spiral. In other words, I’m better than I’ve been in a while.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Ramblin Bones”?

(A) It’s the dark grit in the bottom of a fortune teller’s cup. It’s the sound a rattlesnake makes while it’s digesting a rat. It’s the feeling that the only fresh starts come from the most ugly and brutal of fires. It might just be Southern Gothic. haha.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

(A) The perpetual need to start over and what causes that.  I feel like I’ve left so many things behind and been left behind so many times. That pressure of being held back by the things you love and trying to embrace the things you hate; everything always switching sides. All of that I suppose.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

(A) Yes, the video just premiered.  The talented Sarah Remetch and the team deliver some beautiful images.  Water is often a symbol for baptism or rebirth, but the video shows how fire or a  hangman’s noose could also do the trick.

The single comes off your new album Orleans – what’s the story behind the title?

(A) Orleans is not just a city but an expression of faith and rawness; I wanted that to run through the entire record. So much has happened to me there. To me, it’s a symbol of life at its fullest and yet its ugliest.

How was the recording and writing process?

(A) It’s been the best I’ve had in my career. I bring these skeletons I’ve written to Noah Harmon– just sounds and ideas, snippets of verses and choruses — and he helps me breathe life into them. We sit and record — he plays almost everything —  adding flesh. Then we send them to Sanford Parker and he shines them up and mixes them down. Everything I’ve done in the past has been fully formed and written before I’ve hit the studio, but with this album, I feel much more creative while I’m in there. It’s better; it feels like we’re making a live album.

What was it like to work with Noah Harmon and how did that relationship develop?

(A)  I feel really fortunate.  We met at The Bigfoot Lodge, a small music venue in LA where he was DJing and I was slanging drinks. I had gotten invited to do some song pitches at Capitol Records and I invited him to come and work with me. Ramblin Bones actually came out of one of those sessions. I wanted to write something for TV and had an old acoustic song I loved but couldn’t seem to finish. I thought to myself “for TV they only need a minute or so anyways.” but he actually helped me finish it. I loved it and wanted to keep it for the record. We built the whole sound of Orleans around that.

How much did he influence the song?

(A) He really was able to hear what I heard and provide just that sound. I wanted this brooding sense of misfortune but cinematically interpreted. He’s been able to deliver. I feel like anyone else would have misunderstood what I had in my head. I’ve never had anyone understand me before. It feels really good.

Any plans to hit the road?

(A) Always.  Headed out for a five week run of shows in the beginning of April with Sadistik. It’s gonna be an important tour for people to see .

What else is happening next in Rafael Vigilantics’ world?

(A) Write, record, tour, rinse, repeat. Excited to see where these songs end up. Ramblin Bones just got featured in a cool Blue Microphones ad, and I want to see some more placements. Always hustling. Other than that, just trying to sharpen up my Kung-Fu for this next video.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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