The Columbia Spectator featured an article about us and our new CD, Genetics. You can read it online here, http://columbiaspectator.com/2008/11/19/defying-all-musical-expectations-agua-trip-s-music-holds-water, or below. The article was written by Arielle Concilio for the Arts & Entertainment section. We also had a really fun photo shoot for it. Keep your eyes open, you’ll soon see some more of those pics.
Music | November 19, 2008 – 8:52pm
Defying All Musical Expectations, Agua Trip’s Music Holds Water
With a name like Agua Trip, a wary listener might expect a ’60s psychedelic-experimental band straight out of Haight-Ashbury.
In actuality, Agua Trip’s music sounds nothing like this, but instead hints at a wide array of familiar genres, simultaneously sounding like a little of everything, and like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
“We don’t fit in any genre,” said Lindsey Boise, one of the founding members.
The band met in 2000 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., and consists of Boise, who was a student there, and Bill Carrasco, who was a professor. “I just went right up to him, started talking about music, and was like, ‘Let’s make a band!’” said Carrasco. The duo immediately began playing together and recorded their first demo, Baseado. In 2002, they decided to move to New York. Carrasco’s sister lived there, and her dance troupe was interested in buying and using Agua Trip’s music for classes. Agua Trip soon began playing at venues and benefits around the city, including a couple of gigs at Barnard-where Carrasco now works as a science-internship coordinator. They released their first album, Breakfast Translations, in 2005.
“Our music has a lot of layers to it,” said Boise, “it’s constantly shifting.” According to Carrasco, their sound ranges from “world influence” to alternative, pop, rock, and Latin, and their influences include the Beatles, Ben Harper, and Manu Chao. Much of this musical inspiration relates to the band’s musical experiences growing up. Carrasco first picked up guitar while living in Mexico, and cites Mexican culture as a major source of creativity. He grew up listening to Mexican folk music, while Boise grew up with a father in the music business who hand-made his first guitar. Both also have an affinity for foreign tongues-Carrasco speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese, and Boise speaks French, German, and even a little Ancient Greek. Their music captures this passion for foreign cultures, which may be heard in the melodic mandolin of the song “When the Furious Leaves,” and syncopated rhythm of reggae tune “Little Life.”
Both of these songs, from Breakfast Translations, are “less chorus-heavy,” said Boise, than the new album Genetics, released two weeks ago. On the new album, “we do these weird sound collages … We didn’t care about the bass being consistent,” Boise continued. As Carrasco put it, the album has a “more light and positive feeling.”
Though the band experimented with new stylistic techniques on Genetics, one aspect that has remained prominent is collaboration. “When we record, it’s mostly me and Bill, but after, we bring in other people and have jam sessions,” said Boise. Many friends and fellow musicians are also invited to perform at shows with the band. Some of them were featured at the album-release concert at the Sage Theater on Nov. 5. For the event, Agua Trip asked other artists to work with them in creating an individual piece of art for each song on Genetics to create a visual songbook and make the music “come more alive,” said Boise. Each piece of artwork is currently being auctioned off of the Agua Trip Web site, with half of the proceeds being donated to Connect, a New York City-based, non-profit organization dedicated to ending gender violence.
In addition, the band organized an event in 2006 called the Moveable Feast, a showcase of artists, musicians, and writers who all came together to support one another’s work. Agua Trip believes self-promotion is the best way to get music heard, and they apply this philosophy consistently. “We do all the songwriting, the recording, the mixing, the publicity, everything,” explained Carrasco. “We’re trying to create our own network,” Boise said.
While the band remains unsigned, Boise and Carrasco have differing opinions on obtaining a record contract. Carrasco would “love to [sign with a label] if given the opportunity,” while Boise believes the duo is “self-sufficient enough without one,” and would only consider signing “depending on how much creative freedom they would allow us.”
Either way, the two both hope that their music will inspire and satisfy its listeners. And, record deal or no record deal, Agua Trip has no plans to stop making music any time soon.