INTERVIEW: LA indie-rock/soul-pop band Under the Rug

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

Thank you! Casey Dayan (singer) here. We’ve been great lately. We’ve been cranking pretty hard on work and it feels nice to be nearing the finish line on a few projects. We’ve had this big influx of new listeners, too, so everything just feels like it’s moving.

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

Of course. We do this thing every year where we rent out airbnbs in remote places to track singles. It helps us keep it lively and stay inspired. “Raindrops” is from a recent escape to a funky desert town near Marfa, TX. We stayed in a wacky paper-crete (paper and concrete) structure, made some really cool local artist friends, and wrote a really neat tune.

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

Ha—sure. Dark, or, like, gallows humor has become a UTR staple. Some of our fan-favorites are songs like Hotdog at a Funeral, I Killed a Nun, and The Neighbor’s Dog, a song about a disgruntled man who kills his neighbor’s dog and then asks himself some hard questions about life.

It sounds awful when I put it that way, but . . . the songs come around and have some heart by their last choruses. 

Anyway! 

A couple of us are working through close friends or family passing away so we tried approaching the topic of death from a more serious angle—and it’s . . . good. I think it’s a really good song. Sometimes it’s hard not hiding behind humor. Just saying how you feel at face value. You have to let yourself take the risk of being vulnerable.

Could you tell us about the video for the track?

Yep. It’s a really simple video, just the actual takes of us tracking the song. We brought Noah Lhomi, a local video guy, along so we could focus on the music. It was nice to have some extra help capturing the recording process, and I think real tracking videos have more magic in them then lip-synced ones.

How was the recording and writing process?

We always try to push ourselves a bit. We ended up writing three tunes to record, but had to ultimately just record one. Win some, lose some!

The space was, like I said, paper-crete. It was built in a kind of dome shape, it had this big, curved ceiling. It was a trip micing things up in there. It took some jimmying, we learned that ribbon mics sound great in paper-crete, but we eventually got something really unique.

And we sampled and pitched around a train that screams by the property every night.

I think Raindrops came out neat. I love the product of our stuff when there are tricky time constraints. It puts you in a different mode. I like that mode.

Oh—and Ingrid. Ingrid and her partner run La Lloma del Chivo, the funky commune that houses all the paper-crete structures. Ingrid was a singer who escaped the iron curtain in the 80’s by way of touring with her band.

They call her the Goat Queen because her voice has a way of . . . arousing . . . goats. Ha! She’s awesome. So we got her to track some harmonies on the tune. You can hear her accent in the mix of voices. It’s really special. Those little details make a song special. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?

It does. The single’s a one-off, but it’s part of our ramping up to releasing a pretty wild sophomore album in February. It’s so close to being done. So close. And we’ve got three or four more singles coming out between then and now. It’s going to be a really fun 2021-2 for me and the boys—and girl! Leah, who’s playing keys in the “Raindrops” video, has been playing keys with us lately. Anyway, I’m so proud of how much work we’ve put in this last year, in the midst of all the madness.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The official public release will likely be Feb., but we’ll do an interactive launch for our fans before then. We always have a blast doing them. 

Interested readers can always sign up for those cool launches we do at www.undertherugmusic.com/email-sign-up

What else is happening next in Under The Rug’s world?

One of the artists we met out in the desert is a sort of Bukowski-ish painter that lives in a self-built art studio. He gave us free art of his to use for the “Raindrops” single cover and a shirt we’ve printed for the launch.

His work is pretty intense. It reminds me of dirty realism guys, Denis Johnson, Raymond Carver, Bukowski . . . dark . . . but with a western-americana twist. “Twilight of the male ego,” he called it. Also, in a very George way, “just cowboy shit.” Definitely recommend checking him out. I think he’s a genius! https://georgezupp.com

But, yeah, we’ve started working with artists we meet . . . other musicians we meet. Fans can look forward to some new fresh perspectives in the mix, especially on the record, Adeline. We’re all pretty excited.

Stream: YouTube

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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