By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
The illustrious, brilliant Dino Felipe is anything but musically predictable. He's also one of the most prolific and interesting Miami artists of all time.
Now, thanks to Tachyons Records, with a new record titled Rockettes (pressed on what Felipe calls "DIY vinyl, the finest"), he will have released more than 55 albums.
"I am very happy with this one," Dino admits. "This is a rare thing for a defeatist like me."
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Recently, New Times spoke with him about Rockettes, drums versus guitar, and "the transmission."
New Times: Your sound has gotten a lot more rock' n' roll lately. There are more instruments.
Dino Felipe: Yes, for the past six years, I have slowly gathered and was given instruments by friends who knew I can't afford them, really. And all my old guitars were damaged in the early 2000s. Yes, "rock" has been a theme for me these past five to six years. Like a snake biting its tail, I am regressing and listening to what I did 20 years ago.
You're getting back to your roots.
Yeah, I guess, and also doing the same ol' random genre comparisons. But this album, as a whole, is essentially rock. I don't wanna call it "psych rockadelic pop fusion." The root is rock.
You play drums and guitar. Which is your favorite instrument?
That's a hard question. I started drums at 9. I love beating the shit outta a drum set as opposed to someone's face. Guitar and drums have their own exorcism to them. Drums are physical; guitar is emotional — at least for me. I love those two instruments. I use my synth when recording, but that is its own alien.
What role does music play in your spirituality?
I make music for myself. It helps me. I am not selfish. I love, love to share this with close friends. And if they like it, it's even more of a phenomenon. Like a transmitter. If someone can feel, in an audience or via speakers or whatnot, what I am transmitting, that is a whole other phenomenon, which I am highly interested in. That's actually the reason I was drawn to music. When I was 6, I guess, I made some bad Madonna-meets-the-Shaggs songs on a tape recorder.
It's the connection that you love.
I think music is a form of communication, like any other art form. Of course, a listener can tell when there are emotional transmissions involved or not. But in my albums that revolve around the instrument or vocal theme, I make my voice an instrument. I don't raise the vocals so that people can tell what I am saying. I'd prefer them to make up their own lyrics that apply to them. But in the case of this release, there will be some lyrics on the insert of the LP. I consider my lyrics rather private, like a diary, but that is not the reason I lower their volume. I just want the voice to be an instrument.
What number album is this for you?
Wow, I lost track. Wiki might help. Perhaps 57 to 58? Well, this includes my old bands and collaborations. It's not, as you know, quantity but quality, and I ain't talking audio quality. Cheap software is my forte.
I've been stumped for a few years, as far as how much music I make. For me, that is like eating. I haven't eaten as much as I usually do in years. But I record when "able." Art, I doodle all the time, sitting in my room. And it's happy there. I've been playing more than creating, but I enjoy that too.