Randolph Chabot has been writing songs since early adolescence. Hundreds of songs later, he has developed into one of the more eclectic independent musicians of the early 21st Century. When Keepers was released — a culmination from the massive stockpile of demos he had lying around — it turned heads and got people dancing ecstatically to his blend of synth-pop and video game sounds echoing about.
Now with Moondagger, he has enlisted a full band to expand his vision. A vivid imagination, a lover of life, and one hopeful soul within the brooding landscape of Detroit, Michigan and beyond, Deastro hopes to reach out to the stars and pull one in just for you.
It feels like within your songs and in whatever you create, you reach out to the essence of life and human imperfection. How do you view that in your music and in your life? What do you feel is the most important ideology between that and being an artist?
When I write songs sometimes I have to stop midway because I realize I cannot sing about something if I do not believe in it myself or am unwilling to take the idea to its end. For me, the purpose of being an artist is to be somewhere between a cheerleader and a crazy bum yelling that the world is going to end and then asking you for 50 cents so he can get drunk. To me that is the point of being an artist to balance this matter of dark and light heartedness until a day hopefully comes when we can let the light invade the corners where darkness still hides and not in an absolute sense either but in this state of constant growth and discovery. I have no idea what the human spirit is reaching for, but I know it reaches, it is ever expanding. I read something once that said the hope for humanity rests in our ability to take the good leave the bad. To leave our untruths behind and remind our children of their fallacies.
What got you into creating sounds and the style of music you make? For someone so young, you have been writing songs for many, many years now. How has that changed and progressed through the years? What are some of your most memorable moments?
I have forgotten who I was a few times now through it all because you have to pour everything you have into writing a song and sometimes when you show someone that part of you it somehow makes you doubt that it exists for a minute. Until the day that you rediscover it and it exists with double the intensity of its previous state because you have seen its opposite in yourself. It is like some quite moment when you are really in need and a song you have grown up listening to your whole life comes on, but all of the sudden in seems almost holy, ancient, paramount. I make mixtapes for friends all the time but sometimes I forget to label them. there was one such in my car and the last song was ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys. It was early morning and the guys in my band were all asleep. I can’t explain how I felt in that moment or how it feels to make music everyday. I am in awe of the beauty of this world. My music changes according to my ears I am just trying to be a good listener. I want to write songs that I feel need to be written.
Ghostly International Presents. . . Deastro
Can you tell me about the recording and technique of Moondagger, verses the home recording of Keepers? How did it feel to record with a full band? Is this a direction that will continue for you? What draws you to the sounds you concoct?
Moondagger was recorded in three-and-a-half days at Whiteroom Studios in Detroit, Michigan. It was very automatic as opposed to the material on Keeper’s. Most of it was written in this spurt a few weeks before we went into the studio. I usually am very detail orientated when it comes to songs but on Moondagger it all came out at once, partially because I could tell the guys what I wanted from the song and they would just play it. I feel like me and my band members are slowly becoming like an any colony that communicates telepathically with each other. I don’t know what direction we will head in next. We are working on two EPs right now and they are polar opposites. I usually start a song with a feeling about something I have read or a story someone told me and I just try to imagine what it would sound like musically.
Moondagger is a celebration of the human race, and you have said that family and friends are very important to you. To me listening to something like this makes the human struggle worth it. Looking back, how do these songs and the lyrics reach out to you and your place on this planet?
I am just trying to make something that is going to inspire people to stick together. In these coming years as readily available fossil fuels start to run out and our leaders continue to live in a state of denial we will need each other more than anything else. We will need to be able to believe in the value of human life and in the strength of human resilience and spirit. In the song Moondagger I am begging myself and everyone to stop using each other for personal gain and to move on to some better way of trust and freedom. those words are so broad that they can almost negate themselves, we almost are afraid to use them, but I feel this pit in my stomach that longs for them to be true that looks back to virtue.
Deastro – Greens, Grays, and Noridcs
Detroit has such a bad reputation. Living in Detroit now, can you tell me good things about Detroit and why you decided to move there?
My brother has this painting called “the prettiest things hide in the darkest places.” If I had to explain the community and the people in Detroit I would sum it up with that title.
Can you talk a little bit about the song “Greens, Grays, and Nordics,” its classical liberal context (the idea of self and the concept to strive for a perfect society), as well as your fascination with feminism? To me, that song seems like a perfect example of the thought and determination you put into your songs on this album.
This song is funny. I took the title from a pastor I knew who had a vision and wrote a book about aliens being demons, but the topic is mainly used to explain that I am flying with these ideas that I have no answer to, I feel like only a collective effort of caring people working within the context of their local community can have any definite effect or impact. One of the lines says, “What can i sing brother what can I say to make you love one another.” I mean what will it take for people to lay down the privileges that separate them from others. I like feminist literature because women rule.