The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At The Sasquatch! Music Festival, held May 25–28 in George, Wash. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including indie pop/rock group Craft Spells and hip-hop duo Metal Chocolates.
Craft Spells vocalist/guitarist Justin Paul Vallesteros discussed the formation of the band, signing with a record label, performing at Sasquatch!, and recording Craft Spells' next album, among other topics.
"The second LP is going to be a studio record … definitely moving out of the bedroom pop thing," said Vallesteros. "I've always wanted to do a studio record but … I guess I was just nervous [because] when you're in your bedroom it's just you."
Craft Spells was formed in 2009 in the Stockton, Calif., home of Vallesteros. The independent release of an EP Beauty Above All led to a record deal with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based label Captured Tracks. A full-length debut album, Idle Labor, was released in 2011, and a six-song EP, Gallery, followed in May. Craft Spells currently features drummer Andy Lum, bassist Jack Doyle Smith and guitarist Javier Suarez. Craft Spells are currently on tour throughout the United States, Canada and the UK, with select dates scheduled through November.
Metal Chocolates' Otis Calvin III, aka OC Notes, discussed forming the group with Ricky Reams, aka Rik Rude, creative influences, and performing live, among other topics.
"I'm influenced by history of the past [and] what my parents and my family [have] gone through," said Calvin. "[Positivity and love] are my biggest inspirations. Sound is everywhere, you can't avoid music."
Based in Seattle, Metal Chocolates is the psychedelic hip-hop project of producer/rapper/singer Calvin and MC Rik Rude. In 2011 Metal Chocolates released a self-titled 13-track digital album featuring the single "Opium Of Love."