Lead singer of alt-surf band Dante Elephante
Dante Elephante’s first e.p. German Aquatics has been out since 2012, and it was this and relentless gigging that got Ruben Zarate and his band the chance to record a full album with Jonathan Rado of Foxygen. That album’s in the bag, but the bad is searching for the right outlet to release it. During this limbo time, I sat down with Zarate and talked to him about growing up in Santa Barbara and Goleta and what it’s like to be a Santa Barbara in a time where there’s still very few places to play.
We recorded this podcast in my living room as his practice room was occupied. It turned out to be a super relaxed talk, and I hope you enjoy it.
Topics discussed include:
Listening to the new album and what they listened to when recording
Growing up in Santa Barbara and Goleta
His first riff and his first band
The IV scene: Hairbrain Scheme, Springtime is Wartime, OSO
What playing football taught or did not teach him
“Everybody in Dante is into sports” and why that’s rare-ish
The benefits of getting your band from Craigslist
The problems of playing around Santa Barbara and IV
The origin of the band name
What he writes and about where (hint: carbon monoxide)
The recording of the first e.p.
Touring and songwriting for others
Lessons learned from booking your own tour
How social media is working for the band
Ruben’s favorite albums
Geekin’ out about Warbler Records
Dante Elephante will be opening for Gardens & Villa at SOhO on April 2. (We hope to get them on the podcast soon!).
Meanwhile, I will be moderating the artist talk at MichaelKate, Friday, March 6, called “Psyched Out” where I’ll be chatting with Deborah Lee Baker, Joaquin Howard, and Elmira Lilic.
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