Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking to an artist that is creating a buzz in the music scene, hailing from Long Beach, and bringing his sound to LA and the Inland Empire- Rudy De Anda- front man for the Long Beach psych group, Wild Pack of Canaries, is set to release his debut solo album, Ostranenie, on Porch Party Records, July 7th, and recently released his debut single, “Visions of Plumerias,” a dirty, experimental approach on a doo-wop love song.
With an incredible line of talented people in his band, drummer Zach Mabry (Forest Of Tongue), bassist Lily Stretz (Meow Twins), and multi-instrumentalist J.P. Bendziniski (Crystal Antlers, De Lux), a wide range of talented perspectives are brought to the table.
I ended up running late due to my inability to parallel park in one shot, and apologized to Rudy for the delay as I thanked him for his time. He seemed relaxed and unbothered by this and was ready to answer anything I had, letting me know he’s “candid” and wouldn’t mind any question.
Frontman for “Wild Pack of Canaries,” now you have your own solo project, what compelled the need to break away and focus on your own material?
It kinda happened naturally, I had no choice because the band went on a “creative hiatus,” I had a bunch of songs that had potential and lucky enough a rhythm section just fell in my hands.
So, obviously I would assume that ‘Rudy De Anda’ represents yourself better?
Yeah, it does. It’s like I created a monster (Wild pack of Canaries), and it was time to put my foot down. I mean we’re all still friends and I know I can speak for the band when I mention the “creative hiatus.” We play new material, (we) don’t want to be a tired shell of a former self.
Knowing that this is a solo-project, (not knowing the song-writing process if you can explain), does your band have a big input, and if so would this ever lead to a name change?
To a certain extent- I like their individual capabilities, and support the people in my band, everyone deserves the respect. The band can bring things to the table, like my bassist brought a riff, she will get copyrighted and credited for it.
Is it because of your experiences with Wild Pack that you’re so concerned about your band being very “democratic?”
Yeah, I mean like I said before we’re all still friends, (in the end), this (Rudy De Anda) is like a tribute. Wild pack was super DIY, we are doing the things Wild Pack of Canaries deserves.
As for the name it’s versatile. Say my drummer falls in love and gets married and leaves, that’s great, or if someone wants to jam with another band, I wanna eventually jam with another band too, take some months off, and also go to a different country- with all of this I’ll still have the name.
You’re also a part of a community in LA called Qvolé Collective, which represents Latino music, even in your own music – there’s a mix on English/Spanish- has this “idea” always been in the back of your mind personally, when producing material, to appeal to this community (audience)?
Honestly, yeah since day one. It started and I didn’t realize it till I was 18,19. My mom would clean and listen to Rock en Español, so it was in my background, but I didn’t think too much of it. Then I realized how much I loved it. It was just a natural idea; the syllables, the pronunciation. I would adopt Spanish lyrics that would make sense, and vice versa. There’s some things that can’t be translated- whichever way makes sense to send your message across- I’m also learning Catalan, I love that community.
Like the band, Blond Redhead, that’s a band I really like, the lead singer is Japanese, and they came across to me in their lyrics. That’s the thing with music, the sky’s the limit, there’s no rules, don’t lock yourself.
It says in your bio, you were approached by one of your musical mentors- Isaiah “Ikey” Owens (Mars Volta, Jack White’s band), what are things that you can attribute to Owens that successfully helped in delivering your message on this EP?
For starters we’ve already had an established friendship, we just had great chemistry, instantly bonded, both our dad’s passed away, everything just lined up, that’s how I see him. Then its like ‘Wow this guy won 2 Grammys,’ – balancing a great admiration for him- (then) it’s like he’s just my buddy, somebody I grabbed dinner with. But, general advice, (I) picked up a lot. Music, it’s not a physical piece, it’s a piece of audio. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and you have to be willing to let go of a piece- I don’t like to sit on an idea, it loses it freshness; it’s not yours anymore. I was lucky enough to have someone who believed in my stuff. The best way to describe the record would be ‘How would Rudy De Anda and Isaiah “Ikey” Owens sound together?’ That’s exactly how it would sound – we put our heads together.
Let’s talk about the EP, ‘Ostranene,’ which refers to a 20th Century concept when an artist presents something common in a new light- What are you presenting in a new light, to name the EP this?
All my songs are simple pop songs, but there’s more to discover, everything has been done already, and mainstream pop is not what it used to be, like Buddy Holly, I wanted to see if I could (re)create that- that modern society. Laying new ideas on old foundations, an allusion, if you look further what do you see?
Do you feel you succeeded in this?
Small battle won. There’s so much to learn, and this is a great representation of me. Went through a lot of rough times, and music helps you cope, it’s a snapshot of a year, like the next year’s music will be, and year after, and year after that.
I’m always looking for improvement. I wanna be successful and I look at the people who laid down the foundation, ‘what made them successful?’ You should always want to do better.
I was talking to someone about artists and people complimenting them too much, do you like to receive compliments, or find it annoying when people come up to you and gush, ‘omg I love your music!’
I mean that’s completely fine, all that, I use as fuel, that means I’m doing something right. Never wanna let that fact go to the head, it’s off putting, like some people I know, that I won’t name, and don’t talk to anymore and I’m thinking, ‘we use to split a cheeseburger together.’
Yeah some people are unfortunately dicks.
You have to be a certain type of superhuman to be a dick, earn it, like Prince, he can be a dick. Or the guitar player from The Roots.
(laughs) yeah, there’s some big artists that I wouldn’t mind if they were dicks to me because I love them. Besides this, Viva Pomona is coming up, are you stoked to play?
Yeah, I can’t believe I get to share a bill with the artists on there, I’m very fortunate, like Antwon, even though we’re not playing the same night, I have an extreme amount of love to the bass player.
Rudy De Anda was one of my favorites to talk to, for simply being so down to earth. No question was dumb or personal for his liking, and in the end this favorable personal trait left him with a welcoming invitation and left me with a better insight of the creative process through Rudy De Anda’s eyes.
Catchy Rudy De Anda on July 18th, at the Glass House for the Viva! Pomona Festival
Along with others Saturday July 18th- Sunday July 19th
4pm, All ages, $20-$22