MusicDish e-Journal - December 11, 2019
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Interview w/ Tim Rutili, Frontman for Califone
By Holly Day
(more articles from this author)
2000-09-24
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

The cover of the new Califone EP sports an illustration of a child of indeterminate sex clad in some sort of ceremonial garb, a beatific smile on its face, with the word "Chicago" written in faded letters beneath its sandled feet. Inside the CD jacket is a photograph of a similarly-dressed child posing next to a priest—the priests' face is blocked out by a large circle of light.

"That's my first holy communion," explains Tim Rutili, permanent frontman for the ever-evolving cast of musicians that make up Califone. "My dad's finger was over the lens when he took the picture, so the priest's face got blocked out. It looks like God' hand, but it's really only my dad's."

Read what you want into the symbolism. This initial, visual introduction to the 5-song EP sets the pace for the listening part of the experience: a collection of songs that mix images of Christ with lost love and redemption with sarcastic fatalism. "It's just a bunch of songs I pulled out of a ‘done' pile that seemed to fit together, and they turned out to all have this religious theme," says Rutili. "It's leaking into everything I do now, that whole, scary, coming to terms with being Catholic, and no longer being Catholic." It leaks into the conversation we have as well, with Rutili admitting to having a serious nun fetish at one point, traceable to his having attended Catholic school as a child.

Far from being the melodramatic, self-indulgent stock that much of the music inspired by religious introspection tends to be, Rutili's work is subtle and beautiful, full of complex, dream-like imagery and painful revelations. In "St. Martha Let It Fold," Rutili confesses to being "in lust with…silver ghosts and dirty pictures," delivering the lines with such resignation it's obvious that there's just no saving this boy, while in "Don't Let Me Die Nervous" he weaves lines like "the blinder you get/the more you can taste" into allusions made to children eating candy skulls and babies teething on rusty knives. Musically, the songs range from borderline backwoods bluegrass, complete with acoustic steel guitar, to painful shoegazer pop punctuated by quavery, aching piano lines.

The quiet arrangements that have been Califone's trademark are a bit of a departure from that of Rutili's previous band, the noisy, laid-back post-punk project Red Red Meat. "We were younger and more into rock then," says Rutili. "We used to drink Robitussin DM for fun." He laughs. "Califone is more about ballads and machines, and Red Red Meat was definitely more about rock." When Red Red Meat disbanded after their third album, 1997's "There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight," Rutili turned most of his creative energy into shooting and releasing videos under the name Perishable Records, the label he and bandmate Ben Massarella had originally started up in '93 in order to release the first Red Red Meat record (which ended up being picked up by Sub Pop instead). Occasionally, other musicians would drop the studio, and they'd end up sitting around and playing music. Some of these songs eventually ended up being Califone songs.

"After the last Red Red Meat record, I just kept working on music, even though I didn't really have a band," says Rutili. "Then Flydaddy Records called up and asked me if I wanted to make a record, and so I put together the first Califone EP. I'd been trying to make a record for a while anyway, but usually, for me to actually be able to really do anything, someone has to give me a due date—Flydaddy gave me the due date, and I found I was able to finish up a bunch of songs I'd been working on and put the album together." Wanting to name the new musical project after something than just himself, he settled on calling it "Califone," after the ancient, closed-play Califone record player he had been feeding the vocals through while recording the debut. "I didn't know Califone was even still in existence when we picked the name," confesses Rutili. "However, the company said it was okay for us to use the name so long as we don't get arrested for drugs, so we're using it until that day comes."

As well as recording their own material, Rutili and Massarella have started releasing other musicians on Perishable Records, including new albums by H.I.M. and Frontier, a percussion project featuring Califone/Red Red Meat drummer Brian Deck. Rutili also recently starred in an independent film called Life in Bed, where he played Rod Stewart. "I got to make out with models and do a bunch of fake coke for a couple of days," says Rutili. "I don't know what was in the fake coke, but it was nasty. It looked like coke, but it was made out of vitamins and powdered sugar I had to do it, like, ten times. By the end of the shoot, I was pretty buzzed."


Home » Music Spotlight » Interview w/ Tim Rutili, Frontman for Califone
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=1976
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Music Spotlight

» Hollywood Heavyweights Launch New Christian Music Label

» Round Hill Music And Zync Sign Madge To Joint Venture

» YG PLUS and Gracenote to Bring K-POP to Fans around the World

» Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017

» HBC Fall Festival Celebrates 12 years of HBC Fest

Music Spotlight Directory



» [2018-09-16] Live Nation Electronic Asia Inks Deal With Budweiser For Creamfields Festivals; Together, Creamfields And Budweiser Will Focus On Building Entirely New Content For Dedicated Electronic Music Fans Throughout Asia

» [2018-08-23] Andy Ma Appointed Warner Music China CEO; Andy Ma Has Also Been Appointed EVP, Commercial And Business Development For Greater China

» [2018-08-23] IndieOn Connects Music To The Blockchain; IndieOn Is Confident Of Creating A "music Miner" Who Listens More And Grow Their Token Value

» [2018-06-23] The 2018 MIDEM Silk Road International Music Alliance Signing; International Music Industries Signing Of A Mutual Resource Sharing Agreement With Shanghai Conservatory Of Music & The China Records Group

» [2018-06-06] Screen Music Connect To Explore The Music Of Film, Television And Interactive Media; Created By James Hannigan, Award-winning Composer And Game Music Connect Co-founder, Screen Music Connect Builds On The Success Of The Sold-out Game Music Conferences

» [2018-06-05] Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business; As Well As Building BMG's European Infrastructure, Casimir Was Instrumental In Developing BMG's Recordings Business

» [2018-06-03] 13 Music Label Sold To MTN; DSN Music Spins Off Record Label To Albuquerque Music Entrepreneur's New Group

» [2018-06-02] CISAC 2018 Annual Report; A Comprehensive Overview Of The Confederation's Work To Serve 4 Million Creators And 239 Authors Societies Across The World

» [2018-06-02] MusicDish Announces A Love Electric 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Crisscross Through China With 12 Shows In 8 Cities, Including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jiaxin, Wuhan And Beijing

» [2018-06-02] Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records; Renowned U.K. Music Executive To Join Universal Music Group's U.S. Label Leadership

» [2018-05-17] Avant-Garde Label Maybe Noise Launches In Beijing; The Official Launch Will Be On May 26 At Magnet Theater With A Performance Supporting Its First Vinyl Release: Píng Zè

» [2018-05-04] Award-Winning Lithuanian Rock Band Colours Of Bubbles "She Is The Darkness" 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Kickoff In Shanghai Where The Band Will Represent Lithuania During The Country's Signing To The Silk Road Music Alliance
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR


Micayla De Ette, Star Of The Upcoming Film Hold On, Releases Her New Single And Music Video "Write A Song", Featuring Flavor Flav

AWOLNATION Brings Fans "The Best" / Announces Tour With Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

Pianist Luo Tingyuan Actively Advocates Cultural Exchanges On Classical And New Music - A Review For 'Young Professionals On Stage' Recital Series

Deadline Looms For Musicians - The 16th Annual Acoustic Music Awards

C Z A R I N A Releases Samurai Music Film "BLAZE: Dances Of The Yokai"

Stephanie Ryann Releases Her Official Music Video For "Whiskey Regret"

New Jersey Rock Band Scores Endorsement And Big Shows



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships