Deastro: Voice of angels

21 Feb

Indie pop artist Randolph Chabot, aka Deastro, creates the sound of his vivid dreams, which are like space symphonies of sweeping shoegazey guitars and synths, electronic bleeps and New Order-style melodies. On his third album, Moondagger, everything is majestic and full, travelling so fast it feels he might not be able to contain it, or fit it all in.

On the phone from his home in Detroit, the 22-year-old Chabot tells me his music is half-way between out-of-space and his grandma’s basement. But while he might make light of his work, he admits that this space symphony appeared in his head after praying.

“It just kind of happened,” he laughs. “I started seeing things when I was 13 and having really weird dreams and stuff and it’s never stopped since.

“I recently had one where this angel came to me and explained that I had been losing words, that the meaning of words had been stolen from me. She said, ‘I’m going to give you back this word, and you’re going to realise when I give it back to you, how important it is to remember what it means.’

“She gave me back the word ‘devotion’ in my dream and it was amazing. I realised I had completely forgotten what devotion meant. It’s interesting when stuff like that happens.”

Talking with angels and regularly receiving fantastical visions might be difficult for some people to comprehend but, after talking to Chabot, it’s apparent he’s a gifted and intelligent individual who is still in the early stages of exploring his musical talent.

“When I was younger, I was very afraid of my dreams, because a lot of it was really negative and I think it stemmed from an over-developed sense of guilt,” he explains.

“I’m a very conscious person and I developed this guilt complex that everything I did was wrong, and so I had nightmares for the longest time. But recently I’ve come to terms with that and I believe that the majority of the world is good and the things that we do that are wrong, are more from a point of ignorance and manipulation by forces bigger than people know… but I think we need to institute better ideas.

“The standard in the law is the bare minimum of what people should be doing for each other. We need new standards by which to operate. That’s a lot of what Moondagger is dealing with; it’s saying it’s time to do something different – to build something different.”

One can’t help but admire such altruistic motivations behind writing music and when you listen to the album, you can hear its purity and jubilance. It’s an uplifting listen.

“Actually, it was something that needed to be uplifting for myself,” Chabot says. “I was going through a hard time when I made it. So I just took all that frustration and said regardless of everything that’s happening, this is a great opportunity to broaden my perspective. In that sense it was a good thing to make because it brought me out of a pretty dark time, so I’m happy with that.”

[Edited version published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 21, 15.10.09]

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