Hi Pete! So, first of all, tell me about a little about how the band got together.
We’re a three-piece. I play a custom 8-sting bass, we have a cellist and a drummer. Sometimes there’s a glockenspiel. We started in 2010-so that six years now, that makes me feel old. We started out by auditioning for the Music Underground Project in NYC. It’s a program that chooses musicians to play in New York subways. So we play all over New York, in subway stations like Grand Central. Seven drummers and two cellists later, we’re still here.
What’s playing in the subway like?
It’s a big workload. You pack up fifteen pounds of equipment and schlep it up three flights of stairs in all weather. We used to play at Penn Station but that was a lot—no one stops and listens. People are in a hurry at Penn Station, I can’t blame them. But at other spots, people will just hang out with you and miss a few trains just to watch you play. And that’s such a great feeling.
After doing this for so many years I can really tell when performers are outside playing simply for the joy of performance, or when they’re just trying to make a quick buck. And I think the audience can too, on a subconscious level. For me, it’s all about making that connection. I live for it.
How often does You Bred Raptors? play?
We play about 150 shows a year. We’ve been touring a lot in addition to shows in the city. It’s a lot, honestly. We will sell out in a second. I am so ready to move to Japan and do Coke commercials. We’ll do a Tampax commercial, whatever. Anything. Anytime. If any of your readers call hook it up, just call me!
Who are you excited to see at MAGFest?
We’re always interested in seeing what (everyone at MAGFest) does. Last year was MAGProm and that was fun. There’s going to be cabaret type performance where a lot of the performers are just going to jam. I think that’s so cool, instead of just repeating last year they’re pushing themselves and trying something new. That’s what I’m really into. Most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing my brothers and sisters in arms in this nerdy-ass scene.
Anything big coming up after MAGFest?
MAGFest is actually kicking off another tour for us. The Post-MAGFEST Depression Tour is going to be nine shows with different video game bands through the Midwest and South. So if you couldn’t make it our to MAGFest, check our tour dates, we might be coming to you. I love being on tour. When I’m touring, I never want to come home.
What are some of your musical influences?
As a band, we are all over the map. My drummer comes from a hip-hop background, I like bands like Primus and Explosions in the Sky. Our cellist listens to Enya.
I get really stoked about bands like The Protomen, I love that people are willing to open themselves up and just be so nerdy. I love bands that try to do something different. I play my bass different and some people might think that’s not ‘how you play bass’ but I do everything different.
Ok, I have to know. What’s the story the masks?
I started doing it when I was a solo performer. I wanted to convey some kind of theatricality and I stuck with it. Then the band started and the concept evolved. I think it really helps in the subway, it helps us stand out and grabs attention.
What about your name, You Bred Raptors?
Dude! You should know this! It’s from Jurassic Park! (Author’s Note: Oh yeah duh-doy.) We have a whole theme. I just love dinosaurs and it’s an homage to something that meant a lot to me as a kid. All our albums are named after Jurassic Park characters. We’re saving Dr. Ian Malcolm for our big album, our magnum opus.