Dino Felipe, "Like a Snake Biting Its Tail," Returns to His Rock Roots with Rockettes

Categories: Interviews

So you worked with Ricardo Guerrero from This Heart Electric on a track here, too, right? What's your working relationship like with him?

Yes, the first track is a song Ricardo G. and I recorded here [his home]. We sorta planned the recording date, but we had no (as usual) "oh, let's do this!" It just came outta the womb. Actually, it's the first track. I was really excited to listen to what we both do when not trying to  do anything. We just recorded, and kept adding to it until we felt it was done. Ricardo! Man, He is my mental manager, and compadre! I can go on and on... Even for my gigs, he knows me so well, (well, after touring for 1.5 months, you get to know someone). He knows all the tech stuff that I am stubborn to get to know, he finds me when I'm absent before I am supposed to play. I am very thankful for the energy he applies to everything he loves, and thankful he believes in what I and we do.

How did that Midwest/Eastern US tour go? 

Ricardo had never seen the fall, so it was so wonderful to see his eyes light up and see the fall colored leaves, et cetera. I was honored to "drag" him along with me for that one, or vice-versa, because without him, I wouldn't have been able to "go" anywhere. And we played back-up for each other. it was a very symbiotic tour.

And getting out of Miami was good?

Always, change of scenery saves me! I miss my friends that live elsewhere, so it was a quite magical tour, to be honest. Meeting kind faces, people making us breakfast and housing us. So kind. Made me remember there is kindness out there. Both of us.

Are you planning any other tours?

(Cough) well, the last tour was made possible by my friend Ember Schrag. Spur of the moment/luck thing. She offered to help arrange the whole thing. Without her, it wouldn't of happened. Ricardo and his skills also helped. I am not good at that stuff. I need a manager. But, we often think of mini-tours in the future.

What's your favorite thing about this album?

What I like most about this release, is the fact that I have luckily found good friends (Manny Gonzalez - GTR, Rick Fantasies on bass and back-up vocals, Ricrado Guererro - Drums, mental management) who were into the idea of learning my songs, and now it has materialized. It's a good change for me to play this as a "band" with friends who believe in me and what I do. I am again thankful. And the songs on the album are what we are playing as of late, so that rules. Proper timing. I also think the collection of tracks gel well with eachother as a whole. Ricardo agrees. Makes me happy. It's a steady, musical (instrument-related) "rock" encounter.

Your performance the other night (at Death to the Sun) was really awesome. I think people responded to the whole band and kind of organic nature of it.

Really? I totally forgot what the reaction was. I sorta black out as a self-defense mechanism (stage fright). Yeah, when we play the songs, it sounds very different than the home recordings. I do alot of processing, and such to the home-recorded versions, which when done live with four people cannot sound the same. Yes, it is more organic and stripped down when heard live, in a nice early '90s way,I suppose. I'm fucking old. Wah! Thanks, though.

I'm old too! But I think it's nice and your sound is always evolving in a way that is natural and jives. It's always cool.

Geez, thanks... In retrospect, when I listen to stuff from, let's say 2005 now, I notice how I started a yearning to involve instruments into this 100 percent digital phase I was going through. I wanted everything to be inside the computer, as a rule, or form of discipline. Now, I notice, I was slowly shoving vocals, and guitars and percussion into these digital recordings, and throughout the years. It is what it is now. I still process my guitar to my taste when recording at home.

Right. You're still the boss. It seems like your music is breathing with the instruments, in a way.

That is a wonderful compliment, Liz! Because, I do actually think of music as a living organism.

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