Tony Kapel is a sun-bathed and tropical version of the Renaissance man.
He is a visual artist, writer, musician, scuba diver, and part-time animal wrangler for local cable access television. And he's also one half of the husband and wife band Pocket of Lollipops who'll be going on tour this summer. It's almost wondrous that he manages to squeeze meals and naps into his daily routine.
Crossfade recently had a chance to ask him five questions about his past, present, and future.
Crossfade: Who are you and where do you come from?
Tony Kapel: Born and raised in Miami. The middle child with much to blame on that position. Stock family setup: a single mom with three kids.
You are a visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and musician. How closely related are these disciplines for you? Anything else you'd to try your hand at? Surgery?
The books I've done are filled with drawings of mine. The first book was more of a phase of statements I would draw in bold letters, so the artist and writer blended. Also, the first book has a script built around it and a loosely done film that was shot back in 2008-ish and I am re-editing it now. It will be shorter than originally planned. But it will be complete, the actual script is still undone. And as far as other realms, I'd like to get into knife-making.
Your documentary Closing Time is a pretty good snapshot of an exciting era in South Florida's music and art scene. Do you have a follow-up project in mind?
Closing Time was supposed to be built around two specific artists. I realized they shared a studio with four or five other artists, so I started covering all of them.
I've been filming the music and art scene since 1998 or so. The next film will consist of footage from Slack Lounge, Bushwhacker, Poplife from Piccadilly and the Party Avenger. This footage will be a little more of the candid old stuff. Everyone's much younger, so it's a nice look even further back than the first one. These films are only going to make sense in five years or so.
Pocket of Lollipops paints a picture of saccharine harmony. However, knowing that it is a husband and wife effort, without prying too much, is there a wretched underbelly of marital competition guiding the machine?
Maite picked up the bass while I was playing with a former band. So when that disbanded, it only made sense for us to work with each other. We have a steady method of creating the songs: She takes MIDI tracks I make and puts a bass line to them. I add the drums. She takes writings of mine and takes what she likes and organizes them for our lyrics. And it seems as if the music is maturing. This is her first music project, so she's never had to deal with the "leader." It's nice.
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What projects can we expect from you musically, visually, or literarily? And where can our readers purchase your past work?
My latest project is my fourth book release titled "The Halls Ways." It's built around the school system and a half-paranoid security guard who fears the future as he witnesses minimal manners, little to no common sense, and the lack of parental control. I fear that when these last few and the ones ahead will have a great amount of knuckleheads in control, Neanderthal-style. The character has a hard time dealing with the reality that his new neighbors are not from here and they are able to squeeze nine people into a two bedroom apartment. It discusses our superintendent, our governor and [the fact that] the school system has become a business more than anything right now.
My work can be found at Books and Books in the Gables, the Bookstore in the Grove, and Sweat Records. The book should be done in the next few weeks. My personal deadline is end of April.