Psych folk wonders Prince Rama have been one of the industries favourite post AnCo bands out there for a while now. From their ethreal sounds to their fascinating back story, they've been courting fame and making it huge for their whole career, and we decided it was high time to pop round and chat to them about exactly what makes them tick and where they come from, physically and musically. They tell us about how they bumped into Avey Tare without knowing, being inspired by the universe and ley lines. So what have you been up to in the last few months? Back to being road dawgz... You've got a huge connection with Animal Collective. How did that come about? It is kind of funny actually. We hopped on this show last minute at SXSW last year and it turns out Dave (Avey Tare) was in the audience. We'd all listened to Animal Collective since high school, but none of us had any idea who he was. He came up to me after the show and we spent awhile talking to each other, then somewhere in the conversation he said, "You guys remind me a bit of Gang Gang Dance," and I said "Oh yea, I saw them awhile back when they were on tour with Animal Collective before they were like, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE," and he kinda laughed and softly said, "Oh yea, I'm in that band." A few days later, he asked if we wanted to release anything on paw tracks. What's it like being on AnCo's Paw Tracks? We don't really think about it as "being on paw tracks", but rather getting introduced to a whole new group of genuinely amazing souls who have been kind enough to help us out. Everyone who is part of the label has been so great to work with and spend time with. It has been like getting a new family. More importantly, your music. What are your biggest inspirations? Oh my gosh, you can't ask a question like that! If I am not hugely inspired by something on a weekly basis, I feel like I'm not doing something right. This week my biggest inspiration is dark matter. I just read that 95.4% of the universe is a complete mystery, even to scientists, and that to me is one of the most inspiring things I've heard all year. Your music is a really heady mixture of psych and electronics. Who came up with that? Was it an evolution? None of us came up with it really, it just sort of evolved that way. We started off playing just acoustic instruments, but have had a sort of natural inclination towards more and more electronic spacey sounds. The human body is electrical, so I feel like electronic instruments in a way come the closest to mimicking human emotional responses. Your music has something of the spiritual about it. Is this deliberate? Are you spirtual people or is it just an influence? I'm glad you hear something spiritual in it. It is definitely not deliberate. I feel like most music has a spiritual quality for me, even if it is merely because it's base composition is so ethereal. Even though music exists on records, cds, and tapes, the sound itself is totally immaterial, un-harnessable... what we hear as music is simply a vibration of air molecules... it is so magical to me! I can't say that I am a spiritual person or influenced by spiritual things because I don't really try to separate the spiritual from the material in this way. An immaterial sound can have a material form, like a record, but when it is played, the sound is released and automatically assumes an ethereal, invisible form. This is how I think of humans too. I think human beings and sonic beings simultaneously coexist in the material and spiritual realms, and playing music helps to make the transgression between the two very real for me. What's it like being where you are now compared to your Hare Krishna upbringing? Are there still connections there? The connections are still there, but they have taken very different forms for sure. The music, for instance, is something I still feel very close to. I can't speak for Nimai and Michael, but I feel like my upbringing has taken a more internalized form... it is something I can carry within me, but not necessarily something I need to seek outside of myself in temples or ashrams anymore. It is something a bit more personal now. There's a real image to everything you do, and you describe yourselves on Myspace as "Visual/Visual/Visual". Do you do your own artwork? Is your music about the performance as well? Yea, we do our own artwork... we all went to art school, so we gotta do something with ourselves! I think an important part of making music is making an environment for people to enter into, and constructing an environment means paying attention to all the details. Music, visuals, aesthetics, and performance are all part of the delicate ecological balance. Just from the nature of your music, people will presume drugs were involved. Were they? Surprise! None at all. You're now based in Brooklyn - what's going on over there? Why are they producing so many good bands do you think? Ha! More like why do so many good bands move to Brooklyn? Not many people are from Brooklyn. It isn't like a homegrown scene really. A lot of bands move to Brooklyn because there are a lot of good opportunities, and we all kind of feed off each other's creative energy. It is really an exhilarating place to be creating. Must be a ley-line convergence or something. Do you think your location plays a large part on your music? Always. Sound lives in the air around it, so you always have to be tuned in to the air you breathe.
You can visit the band by heading to http://www.myspace.com/princeramaofayodhya