(PCM) Los Angeles rock band, CANTO, have now released their brand new EP titled Ride Away. The EP is available as a free download via the band’s official Facebook page. Fans can also listen to the entire EP streaming through the band’s YouTube channel. The EP includes “Dirty Water,” Canto’s interpretation of the 1966 garage band classic by another California rock band, The Standells. Fans can check out the official video now.
PCM’s Kristyn Clarke had a chance to catch up with CANTO to discuss the new EP and more!
Q: You have just released the video for “Dirty Water” and it is receiving a ton of positive feedback, how happy are you with the completed video and feedback?
CANTO: We are really happy with it and the cool part is that we really didn’t have an intention to do that song, we just decided to do that song while we were in the studio. Actually, someone asked us to cover it for a TV show, so it wasn’t really our idea. We had a friend in there who was taking photos and the whole time we didn’t realize that he was actually filming too! The next day, he was like ‘I have this video, you guys want to check it out?’ and we saw it and thought it was awesome so we put it out there.
Q: That’s great! It seems like everything has been really positive and I was curious to know what led to your decision to cover The Strandells. In general do you enjoy that decade or era of music?
CANTO: Yeah, definitely. I would say that 50 % of our influences come from that era alone so it was a lot of fun doing it, and am truly glad someone asked us to!
Q: Can you talk a bit about the recording process for the new EP “Ride Away”. Was there anything particularly challenging about it?
CANTO: Overall the whole experience was really fun! There weren’t really any challenges. We had to push ourselves in some regards, but it wasn’t painful. If it was hard at all, it was more in the sense of a learning experience which we enjoyed.
Q: What has been one of the most important lessons you have learned so far?
CANTO: (laughing) I guess, maybe, patience. This is the first time we had recorded to a click track and our style is more of like a live band, so we are normally not playing with a metronome and there’s lots of time changes in our songs but we wanted to have these songs be really tight so we played them to a click track which was pretty tough in the beginning but we caught on pretty fast and it turned out nice.
Q: Do you have any types of touring plans for this summer?
CANTO: Yeah, we will be doing some shows. I believe our next scheduled show will be at The Mint on 4/19, that is all that is scheduled for right now, but we definitely plan on playing out to promote the new EP.
Q: Absolutely! What is your favorite aspect of playing live?
CANTO: Just seeing other people having fun. As long as we see people dancing out there and singing along that is probably the most enjoyable part of the live experience.
Q: How is it working with family? Do you have any sibling spats or anything like that?
CANTO: A lot of people ask that, but if anything I think it is just more beneficial because I think brothers know how to hash it out better than anyone else. We don’t have a problem telling another person, meaning being honest, telling someone ‘hey, that sucks’ and taking that as an honest opinion. For example, if I was in a band with a friend, I would be a little more hesitant to say ‘you can’t play that because it sucks’ or something like that but we don’t really have a problem telling each other that which is constructive and it is definitely a lot easier to communicate.
Q: I can definitely see that! So, if you were to describe your music to a first time listener, what would be your three best adjectives?
CANTO: It is kind of like a classic rock with more of a modern sensibility.
Q: I can see that. I think so many times that genres were put in place by media to try to box a band into one specific genre or another and I think there are often times a lot more than just those general categorizations. So, for you, who are some of your major influences?
CANTO: At the moment I have been listening to a lot of The Strokes and The Killers. On this EP it’s hard to say because we are always listening to tons of different stuff. During the EP we were listening to, as I said before, a lot of The Strokes and The Killers so I think that had a little bit of an influence. We are always listening to tons of stuff and it always varies.
Q: Do you remember the first album you purchased with your own money?
CANTO: Yeah, I believe it was Led Zeppelin’s “IV”.
Q: Good choice!
CANTO: Yeah, shortly thereafter I think I bought “Sam’s Town” by The Killers. I think it was Led Zeppelin’s “IV” first and then about a week later after saving up a few more bucks from mowing lawns or something like that I ran out to pick up “Sam’s Town”.
Q: In what ways has the rise of social media been a tool for the band?
CANTO: It has definitely helped us! Our fan base would not be half the size if not for being able to promote on the internet. I was just thinking about this today, about how band’s before the year 2000 must have had to work ten times as hard in order to develop a fan base before getting signed or anything like that, so it is definitely an advantage that we have now.
Q: What are some of your goals for the rest of 2013?
CANTO: Promote this new EP, get out there and play shows and hopefully get some offers to plays some festivals and things like that and hopefully get back in the studio before the end of this year to finish up our second album.
Q: Do you have a lot written for the second album?
CANTO: We have a lot of stuff left over from the EP sessions and we are working on a lot of material and always coming up with a ton of new ideas. It should not be too far off that we have enough for a full LP.
Q: So, the target release for that should be sometime later this year?
CANTO: Yeah, that is the plan.
Q: Great! We will be looking forward to it!
CANTO: Thank you very much!