“I’ll blow out speakers. I don’t really care.” – baseball cap
Interesting words from an equally as interesting man, Christian Filardo, chief of Holy Page Records and sound enthusiast, talks with us about his most recent and anticipated musical endeavour under moniker baseball cap.
Latest album Idiots Smile promises a true and righteous plummet into fuzzier, wilder depths. Formerly known under Good Amount, Filardo has crafted his way to apparent dizzier heights - this effort only ably described as a true flirtation with a specific commotion.
How did baseball cap come to be?
Baseball cap came to be when my former project Good Amount dissolved after a few failed releases, and my outing as my given name came to a halt. It was jumping off point to become completely free musically. I wanted to minimize my maximized set up. So I started tinkering with pedals only, no instruments, and just took it from there.
So, would you describe your days under moniker Good Amount as restricting?
Not necessarily, but a lot of effort went into that project and it felt like it was less rewarding. I was really caught up in every part of that project and it just made me sad when things wouldn’t pan out. It seems that the project became moderately successful after that fact, which seems to be how it goes. I guess Good Amount has less focus and was really equivalent to attaining a tonal palette.
Do you feel now, with a new approach to sound and music, you’re receiving more of that reward somewhat instantaneously?
Totally. With this new project I have learnt that music, although personal, shouldn’t be taken personally. I find it more rewarding and fulfilling to just create and share in a raw sense. Nothing needs to be forced with this project because it works on its own terms. In a way I am not really making the music, I am just guiding the sound. I get to be there when it happens – it’s a fun job pressing buttons and twisting knobs.
How would you say this project differs from your previous?
This project is less concerned with the social consequences that come with making weirder music. I feel like this project is definitely more aware of itself. It moves and develops in a natural way. When at times, my projects in the past were quite forced.
Is there anything in particular you want your listeners to take away from this album?
For the listeners sake, I hope that listening to Idiot’s Smile can be therapeutic and a bit of an escape for them. I hope this release gets more people invested in the project. I am open and optimistic about it, but I know that the music is weird and not everyone and their mother is going to listen to it at all, let alone all the way through. If they take anything away from this release, I guess it would be that this is real and honest to me.
And being honest and real is something that echoes in your live performances. How do you find performing sets under Baseball Cap? Is it at all difficult to maintain those same sounds?
Luckily playing live is really similar to my recording style, except it’s just not recorded. I think my live sets are at least always endearing. What I do believe makes them special is the amount of sonic variety I cram into 10-15 minutes. To me, sound wise it is always interesting and tends to act like a sampler for the recording material.
Before I play live I feel really insecure. Even if I am playing to one person or one hundred people. To some extent I want people to like it, even in the slightest. If just one person takes something away from the set, that is cool, even if they hate it a lot, at least they feel something!
So would you say you are afraid of impartiality when it comes to your music?
I feel like all artists - I fear just becoming a “nothing”. So while I don’t feel being impartial to my music is bad, I guess I prefer a more radical response - If that makes sense. Even though I sort of contradict myself, because I don’t really expect many people to have any thoughts on my output.
Has a live performance or recording ever reached an extremely intense height of noise that you’ve stopped recording or playing?
No, dynamics are a big part of what I do sound wise so I try to have things fluctuate dramatically between really quiet and really loud. I’ll blow out speakers, I don’t really care, if it is time for the speakers to go, it’s time, I will replace um! There is a time and place for all frequency and sound. I wish I showed a better comprehension of low end!
You have a somewhat cultured history – having travelled to various destinations of the world, and connected with many artists and humans from all around the globe. How has this taken effect on the music you have made?
I think it probably effects how I live my daily life, and my art practice quite a bit. I took a test to determine what part of the country I am most likely from related to how I speak, it ended up being Louisville, Kentucky. Never been there, thought it was radical and odd. I think my nomadic upbringing really helped broaden my horizons of what could happen in my life. You can really go wherever you want and do whatever you want, at least in my mind. It probably influenced my intrigue with the freedom of experimental music and the Avant-Garde.
- Luke Bartlett, Christian Filardo