worldbeatcanada radio INTERVIEW
Rupa & The April Fishes
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE
"Those of us who
did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach others what we
know, and to try
with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and meaning to this
Charlie Sheen (1965
- ____) US actor
"The closing line
in the film ""Platoon,"" 1986."
worldbeatcanada radio: Rupa & The April Fishes are celebrating
the release of their 3 rd long play
called Build. Indeed it builds on the intricate musical foundation that
precedes it; a cabaret of gypsy
jazz, Balkan beats, Indian ragas, Latin, Caribbean and African
references that delves into the breath
of human experience. And, if thats enough to make your head spin,
songsmith Rupa Marya can
probably help you with that too. Shes also a practicing internist
physician. She joins us by phone to
talk more about the album and the tour.
Congratulations on the album Rupa. Im looking forward to hearing the
tunes live when the tour
takes you to Vancouver. Youre heading for Pittsburgh as we speak yes?
Rupa: Thank you very much! Ya, I'm actually in Pittsburgh on the north
side, taking in the beautiful
architecture and visiting with some friends who are playing here
tonight. I'm very excited.
WBC: It strikes me that you must have a very disciplined mind or else,
creativity being the flighty
thing it is could take hold at inappropriate times. Like, youre saving
someones life and suddenly
realize, Hey, you know what? We should cover The Guns Of Brixton!
Does that ever happen?
Rupa: You know the strangest things go on in my mind. I'm glad there
are no microphones available.
The strangest things I'll see at those moments when there are paradoxes
that inspire me to think
WBC: Do you have a routine? Is there a certain time or place that you
allocate for the creative
Rupa: I usually make time every morning. On the road it's a little
harder but usually I wake up at 6
o'clock every morning and then write for a couple of hours.
WBC: The weave of musical references in your tunes is substantial but
not unbelievable when you
consider you spent some of your life in France? Was it Paris?
Rupa: The south of France actually. My father worked there when I was
about 10 years old. So we
moved out there.
WBC: Do you see that kind of cosmopolitanism building in America,
especially in San Francisco
where you live?
Rupa: Oh for sure! It's happening all over the world; in the urban
centers of the world. It's the mass
migration of people just searching for work and people coming for
different dreams or whatever they
are searching for but it's happening all over the world.
WBC: What are your thoughts on the title, Build?
Rupa: It's a command as in "Thou shalt build." For me, as we look at
the world waking up and
the disillusion we have in the institutions we have created even before
we arrive; our financial
institutions, health care, institutions of what I call 'false
democracy' - these things are not going to
able to give us those things we deeply crave and desire in our
communities; a deeper relationship
to each other, a new way of relating economically to each other which
does not involve exploitation
and divisive maneuvers with our society and the environment; our
different relationships with our
food and how we grow our food and how we share our food - all these
things require building.
WBC: worldbeatcanada radio is on the pod with Rupa. The April Fishes
have a brand new album
called Build. They are currently on tour and stop in at the Capilano
University NSCU Centre for
the Performing Arts in Vancouver on October 27th for the Global Roots
Series. All the details and
connections you need are at the playful new home page,
theaprilfishes.com. Write to us at our
contacts page, worldbeatcanada.com to win a pair of tickets to join
them at the show. Are there any
new sounds and concepts from this new album are you eager to show off
Rupa: For me it's just a different kind of songwriting that we have on
this album. A lot of it is coming
from the same space, mixtures of sounds but a different kind of
songwriting. It feels more direct,
pulling from different roots; more American and African roots.
WBC: I embedded a radio performance clip with our review at
worldbeatcanada which features one
of the fishes playing a slightly filled big jug of water. Thats
Rupa: Yes, that was part of one of the really delightful things in
making this album with producer
Todd Sickafoose was how willing he was to let me experiment with
sounds. One of my favorite
things is to find sounds that are evocative and complex, and one of
them is an office water cooler
jug. So, we hooked a microphone up to it and it makes a perfect and
exact slosh for the title track of
the album, Build.
WBC: In this frontloaded music world, its kind of refreshing to say
that for me, youve left the best
for last on Build. It also happens to be the name of your own label,
Electric Gumbo Radio. Can you
set this one up or us?
Rupa: Oh, thank you so much. That song is a very powerful song for me
when I wrote it. It's a call for
compassion in this world as we're witnessing people around the world
having the courage to speak
up against the abuse of power. We can call it the Arab Spring, we can
call it the Occupy Movement,
we can use all these different names to dissect and describe. But, if
we take it as a whole, I believe
in a hundred years people will look back at this time and see that this
is a critical moment in history,
where people are waking up and calling out the abusive powers and they
are demanding to be heard
and they should be heard. I hope for them, that they can exercise
compassion and not recreate the
architecture of violence that they are often speaking out against. So,
that song, Electric Gumbo
Radio is about that. If you open your ears and your mind you will hear
the delicious, beautiful gumbo
of sounds and voices rising up right now to ask for a different way of
doing things which we need
to build. And, we need to build it now, because our environment cannot
handle what is happening;
our food systems cannot handle it; our nutrition, our communities, our
economics, everything is
heaving right now. So, that song, Electric Gumbo Radio is a call. It's
a call for people to wake up and
wake up with compassion.
Rupa was interviewed by phone on October 10, 2012 for worldbeatcanada