Interview with trip hop instrumental duo ‘hERON’

We are sharing our recent interview with hERON a trip hop instrumental duo. It is a long-distance, Seattle-slash-San Antonio collaboration between Progeny of Chisme/Ghost Palace (MPC, guitar, records) and Rob Castro of Grayskul/Chisme/Ghost Palace (bass).


Twist Online : Tell us about the start of your professional career?

Castro: I started playing bass in 1987, and was in a couple punk bands…then I got into Stanford Prison Experiment…our guitarist Mike was Tom Morello’s guitar tech, so when Rage started performing we ended up opening for them a ton…Like in between the demo tape and the album release…SPE signed to World Dominataion, Dave Allens label at the time, and i thought i was set…band differences and a move to seattle led to collaborations w/Oldominion/Grayskul and Silent Lambs Project…that’s kind of how I met Erick..He was on tour w/ Ceschi and Graves, with his band Chisme and Onry Ozzborn and I did a show with them…Led to us being friends and me doing bass on some Ghost Palace tracks…which led to us wanting to do just a dope instrumental album together…

Erick : really can’t. I’m just trying to do more music and just keep creating new sounds. That’s really where I focus my professional part in my music

Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?

Castro : I think growing up in LA and being in around so much industry, I bought into the “rock star” idea, that I would play in front of big crowds and party and all that…but really the love of music and music engineering/production is what has sustained me.

Erick- I would say my parents. I grew up listening to everything they heard and later in life I would end up finding new music through skateboarding videos.

Twist Online : What’s hERON? Our readers would also like to know about your collaboration.

Castro : We have two different in studio and one live… studio erick does all the beats on MPC Live or 1000, and then I start laying bass…then we usually add layers (guitar, synth, keys, effects)each of us contributing what we can and still be tasteful…sometimes we have people come in and session synth and keyboards live erick is a madman live drumming on MPC, playing guitar and effects, and then also playing the SP404 and doing live effects on there as well, while I play bass, triangle, and lay in samples from my SP404 to tie songs together and keep the show cohesive.

Erick: pronounced “Her-On” is rob Castro and I. I produce all the beats and Castro plays the bass over them. We sometimes get new people to add synths keys and what not. Then I take them and chop them up and just try to make them sound sad. Our music is Pretty sad but it bangs! Sad Bangers is what we call our music.

Twist Online : Tell us about your recent project ?

Castro : We have 5 songs were mixing right now for a digital EP…were releasing it for free while we wrap up our sophomore album and get ready to put that out on vinyl…were excited about both and at the same time both Erick and I have other side projects that were nurturing…Big Kids Run(Barfly of Oldominion and Progeny), and Blak Wizard(silas blak and specs wizard) are two records we made here at the compound last year, and were working on those releases thru Concuss Music as well. We’re equally proud of those…

Erick: well we are close to finishing up our Ep and our 2nd album. The ep should be finished by the end of this month. Very excited to put that out there for a free Digital download.

Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?

Castro : all of the response has been great! people love the music and they love the effort we put into the packaging…we have all favorable reviews so far from blogs as well…we just need to keep getting it out there and to continue to drop dope new tracks.

Erick : The response we have been getting have been really great. We intend to keep making good music and keep putting it out and have new listeners hear about us.

Twist Online : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?

Castro : I love performing on stage, but this project in particular i really got to do some crazy stuff in the studio…I run my own space and was just able to set up and really drop bass line after bass line…things that cant necessarily be reproduced live by just erick and myself…although we really try..adding the percussion and Ericks guitar to the live set up makes that a whole different kind of fun and I enjoy that tremendously, we kind of improvise every night, so the highs are great, but its a whole ‘nuther thing…

Erick : I like both. I think for me when I’m in my studio it more personal digging through vinyl, searching for the right melodies and knowing what we need it to sound like. Performing is fun as well. Where you go out and share it to the people and having them experience what we do live. Castro on bass, triangles and a sampler. I do the beats live on the Mpc, play the guitar and move the knobs and pedals. We collaborate very well and like to do that live.

Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?

Castro : I mean is there an answer? what day is it…i listen to beats more than anything, but without jazz or metal or 80’s English pop like the Smiths, I wouldn’t be here, I make music and am around music everyday…my favorite genre is the music my dope ass friends are making

Erick: I like all genres of music. I can’t just stick to one. I have to listen to all to create the music I make. So my favorite is just everywhere really.

Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?

Castro : Without goals you have no focus…i would say play Europe in 2019…totally achievable…get our 2nd album out on vinyl…that’s happening….sustain concuss and concuss music and the art and music and clothing thing were doing…working on that…long term? stay healthy and do more in my community to foster the local hip hop scene and art in general thanks for asking, and i hope you enjoy our music and what we do in general..we live this rob

Erick: Yea I set goals for this year and the following years to keep music flowing. But if I was to say I’m working on a instrumental album that will consist of my favorite rappers. That’s one of the goals I would love to achieve.

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