Houston Calling

Ten Questions for Tody & The Falcon

December 8th, 2003 · No Comments

A few Fridays ago, I ended up at Walter’s on Washington for a late-night show by The Damnwells. My friend and I really didn’t know what to expect from the opening act–could’ve been anyone. Much to our surprise, it was an incredible band from Houston called Tody and The Falcon. Every song was great, and the band was very tight. Great musicians, and nice guys to take the time to humor my friend and I after their set.

The band plays tonight, Monday 12.8.03, at Onion Creek Cafe in the Heights.

I somehow remembered Tody Castillo’s email address and he was happy to answer a few questions for Houston Calling. Enjoy.

Ten Questions for Tody and The Falcon

HC: How did Tody & the Falcon get started?

Tody: I actually started Tody and the Royals in 1994. Did that until ’99, moved to new york city for two years, came back and started tody and the falcon (duo) with paul who played with tody and the royals for the last few months before i moved off.

HC: What do consider to be your musical influences?

Tody: Musical influences…there are so many. Mainly songs that break my heart are my heros/musical influences. New artist Ron Sexsmith, Josh Rouse, Elliot Smith, Bedhead, Tom Petty (not so new), etc.

HC: I saw you play live recently (opening for NYC’s The Damnwells at Walter’s) and was blown away by your music. You guys were very tight. What is your approach to songwriting?

Tody: I like to keep my songs fairly short and focused, a la Beatles/Sexsmith/Tom Petty. I love dynamics! Really quiet with a lot of space where nothing is being wanked over! Love songs, heartache, new beginnings, nostalgia.

HC: What do you think of the Houston music scene? You guys have a steady Monday night gig in the Heights–has this weekly show helped you guys gain any local recognition?

Tody: I think the Houston music scene has a great deal of potential. There is no industry here so you don’t get the real competitive sense of urgency a place like NYC has, but, it’s a cheap, fairly quiet place to hone your skill and take it outside to make a buck. I like the fact that you can make a buck in Houston playing coffee shops/Irish pubs. Can’t get that in L.A., NYC or Austin for that matter.

Our Monday night at Onion Creek is a great gig for us to try our new stuff at low volumes really paying attention to dynamics and arrangement. It has helped us audience-wise as well. Not to mention some green for our pockets!

HC: Are you for or against the MP3 “revolution”? How are you (or are you) using the internet as a tool to market yourself?

Tody: MP3 revolution has passed me by. I try to use my computer as little as possible. I understand both sides of the MP3 thing. I can see how it would hurt album sales, but I also like the fact that it sticks it to the labels and their ridiculous album prices.

I’m 50/50 on it. I don’t download anything. I love to buy albums! I even hate burned copies. I want it all–credits, pictures. Records/CDs are like books to me. I have a great library, always growing.

I use the internet for our email list and I really need to get another web site up and running. Internet is great and the standard for those type of things. News, photos, concert dates–that’s all I look at!

HC: What is the one description that you hate to hear about your music?

Tody: I haven’t really heard anything about our sound I hate. I used to be bothered by the whole Jeff Buckley comparison, if I decided to sing in falsetto. It was almost like a trend, if you sang any part of your song in a falsetto you sound like Buckley. Let’s face it, that dude could sing and it ain’t such a bad comparison. Early on, someone described our sound as Richie Valens meets The Cure–I thought that was cute! In my opinion, I don’t sound like any of them!

HC: If you could have any band cover one of your songs, what song would it be and what band?

Tody: I had a few tunes that I thought would be great for Dwight Yoakum. I forget which ones now, if I remember I’ll let you know. I would be floored if
Ron Sexsmith sang one of my tunes!

HC: What’s your take on the state of the music industry?

Tody: Not really sure about the ‘ole music industry. It’s definitely changing. I wish the big companies would start investing more in the artist again. It makes me sad to know that the big bread winners of this business are kids that don’t really have tunes.

Hopefully, this is just the trend and maybe it’ll turn itself around again. In the meantime, all you can do is not wait for that to happen and bust your ass. Make records and sell them. Be your own label!

HC: What’s next for Tody and the Falcon? Planning a full-length CD anytime soon?

Tody: Yes, the full-length is next on the agenda. I want to get this long over due full-length out and start hitting the road again. Now a little older and wiser.

HC: What is in your CD player right now?

Tody: Right now I’m listening to a Bedhead LP, Transaction de Novo, 1998. In my car, is my lastest favorite, Josh Rouse, Under Cold Blue Stars.

You can find Tody and The Falcon every Monday night in December at Onion Creek Cafe, right down the street from Fitz’s in the Heights, at 9:30 p.m.

Come out and show your support for this great local band.

Hope to see you at the shows.

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Tags: Music