Randolph Chabot is Detroit’s new favorite son. His latest project, Deastro, released their first album with Ghostly International, entitled Keeper’s, released on November 18th. The album could play as an appropriate soundtrack to Jim Henson’s 1982 film The Dark Crystal, but is perhaps more fitting to a late fall house party. Chabot has found synthesizer sounds that seem unique to him, not falling back on the over used sounds that the likes of Girl Talk and Justice requisitioned from Daft Punk.
Deastro’s strong melodies and Chabot’s whimsical vocals make for an experience that is both new and otherworldly. In a year overtaken by indie folk heroes Deastro haven’t yet gotten their due, but it seems only a matter of time before Randolph’s electro-genius is realized. Keeper’s is the most underappreciated album of 2008, though don’t be surprised if you get to the end of 2009 and see that it’s one of your most played albums.
Randolph was kind enough to sit down with me and talk about his year, new music, and the album cover for Keeper’s.
Doug: The editors of eMusic.com picked you as their #2 album of the year, beating out both Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend, how does that feel?
Randolph: I guess it feels really good. It’s great affirmation for me to keep making music. I’m really thankful to have the opportunity to keep making music, and that people enjoy it and that people understand what I’m trying to say.
D: How long have you been recording music?
R: I’ve been making electronic music since I was 12, that’s when all this started. I made my first album when I was 13. I’ve been doing this project (Deastro) for about a year and a half now.
D: If you could tour with any band in 2009, who would it be?
D: What was your favorite album of the year?
R: Dragging a Dear Up a Hill by Grouper.
D: Are you working on a new album yet?
R: We’re working on a full length called Moon Dagger and it’s going to be out on Ghostly in April of ’09.
D: What’s it going to be like?
R: It’s a little bit darker than my past work. The concept of the album is taken from this dream I had that was about a young man who is in the midst of all this chaos and turmoil and he hears this legend of this mythical item; the moon dagger. He’s trying to bring peace and happiness back to the land, and he hears that whoever has the moon dagger can rule over the chaos. So he starts seeking this thing in hopes that he can bring about good. But by the time he gets it the pursuit of all this power has turned him into this completely different thing, this darkness. The album is about when we pursue things that harmful for us, even if we are pursuing them in a right state of mind, we have to seek what is true without bias or it is going to transmogrify us.
R: Definitely. I’m going to work on a Jr. Jr. album when all this Deastro stuff slows down, that’s always been the plan. Right now I’m working on a Powered album with my band that we should have out by the summer. I’m also working on a new Brother Megazord album called Love the Literary Lampost.
D: Where did you get the album art for Keeper’s?
R: Jesse Balmer, I’m really into his art. I saw a post of his on this guys page, I think Jason Gates, and just started talking to him. I had a separate Keeper’s cover that I did myself but I wanted to do something with Jesse.
D: Well it’s definitely a trippy album cover.
R: Yeah, he had this other one that was like three floating cat heads that were in this old school ink drawing, then he decided to try something else and we came up with the cover we have now. I liked them both alot though.
D: Randolph, thanks for taking the time to talk.
R: Have a God blessed Christmas.
D: Merry Christmas
Pick up a copy of Keeper’s for your favorite relative for Christmas, and a copy for yourself in case Santa neglects you.