Dustin M. Krapes (vocals, synthesizer, tom drum, beats); Jon Navarro (synthesizers, vocals, cymbal); Scott Carrillo (synthesizer, vocals, cymbal).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Alta Loma, Upland, Los Angeles.
ANTENNAAA (2010, How To Be A Microwave).
“We dig bands like Devo, Gary Numan, OMD, Suicide, The Flaming Lips, Hot Chip, At The Drive-In and writers like Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson. And then filmmakers like David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky are really inspirational as well. Jon also likes a lot of prog and Scott also worships Metallica.”
“Former band van. Occasional top speed of 40 mph. Grille and radiator damage to due to deer collision. Headlights mounted by bungee cords. Previous ‘custom’ paint job of creatures removed.”
If you stumble across the aforementioned verbiage in a classified, you’re likely reading about the gasoline-propelled overgrown lunchbox belonging to Upland-bred synth-rock trio Halloween Swim Team. According to vocalist/synthmaster Dustin Krapes, it’s been the outfit’s rolling home, traversing the West Coast and Southwest over the years. But this home sweet well-traveled home is soon to be vacant.
Yes, the Team seems to have traded miles behind the wheel for days spent tracking their latest wares, resulting in a three-part EP release with the encompassing title of ANTENNAAA. (Two parts are currently available via the band’s How To Be A Microwave label; part three is forthcoming.)
“I suppose we’re doing this as an experiment,” says Krapes of the segmented release. “I figure no rules apply these days, especially with the record industry constantly changing and evolving. So, we’re taking advantage of that freedom.”
Krapes and bandmate Jon Navarro have been lounging in such liberty since the Team’s start seven years ago, morphing from experimental hip-hop to its current synth-showered fare.
But what about that pumpkin-inflected aquatics moniker?
“The name was given to us by the great Justin Pearson who plays in The Locust, All Leather and a bunch of other great bands,” says Krapes. “It came off the top of his head and doesn’t really mean anything.”
Perhaps there’s more meaning found in HST’s latest video, filmed around Mt. Baldy near an aqueduct overlooking the valley. (“It’s oh, sooo romantic there,” Krapes laughs.) And such outdoorsy scenery hasn’t escaped the Team’s gigography, including a Mecca (Calif.) generator show where they lugged equipment up flights of rocks in a canyon.
“Getting to the spot itself was the most work we’d done to get set up for a show,” says Krapes, fittingly not made easier by the van, which “started overheating on the way through the dirt to our campsite, so there was a lot of trouble with that.”
Halloween Swim Team at Back to the Grind, 3575 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 784-0800; www.back2thegrind.com. Fri, Aug. 20. 8PM.