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Interview:
The Upbeat: Deastro
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Name: Deastro Started: Spring 2007 in Sterling Heights

Sound: Electronic/dance/future rock Members: Randy Chabot — vocals, laptop and various instruments with Mark Smak on guitar, Brian Connelly on bass and keyboards and Jeff Supina on drums.

Influences: Chabot grew up in a religious family (both parents are pastors) and was influenced by church music and the Christian rock band Starfire 59, as well as by “whatever I heard on (WOMC-FM) 104.3,” including Brian Wilson and the Zombies. He also says he listened to “a ton of classical music. My mom would buy me classical CDs all the time. I love Bach more than anybody — it’s simple, but at the same time really amazing.”

Day Job: Chabot has worked in a variety of places before devoting himself to music, but his favorite was a two-year stint cutting hair at JJ’s Barber Shop in Sterling Heights. “It was this old, tiny barber shop. I can’t count how many flat-tops I cut. And everybody had all these great stories — a guy who was a Green Beret in Vietnam, old guys who had been friends forever ... I felt like I learned how to be really connected to people through that job.”

What’s in a name? Chabot initially adopted the name of the “G.I. Joe” villain Destro but “didn’t know what copyright laws were ... It stuck with me, but I always kind of wanted to change it.” An Internet correspondent pointed out that d’astro means “of the stars” in Portuguese. “I liked that. Between space and G.I. Joe — that kind of explains my personality.”

Man or band? Chabot has handled most of Deastro’s work to this point as a one-man band, but he uses a full band for the first time on his new album, “Moondagger,” which comes out June 23 on Ann Arbor’s Ghostly International label. “I would see it as a band, even when I was just playing as myself. We all grew up in the same neighborhood. There’s no egos flying in our band at all, which is good. I hope that eventually (Deastro) will grow and we’ll have like 15 people, with a horn section and singers and be ... a lot more active, more in your face.”

Hear Him: While fans wait for the release of “Moondagger” next month, Deastro is currently distributing a free EP, “Grower.”

See Him: Deastro will perform as part of the Ghostly International 10 Year Anniversary Party, being held during the Movement 2009 festival on Saturday (May 23) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www. majesticdetroit,com. Deastro is also slated to perform at the Summer Pledge CD Release Party at 8 p.m. June 5 at The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac and at 8:30 p.m. July 3 at City Fest in Detroit’s New Center Area.

Surf Him: www.Deastro.net

Web Site: www.Deastro.net

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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