Here at the Porch we’re into all kinds of hazy psychedelia. And though we’ve had a lot to choose from lately, South Carolina’s Toro y Moi has stood out from the pack. Chaz Bundick, the man behind Toro y Moi, melds together layers of washed-out samples and sings with an earnestness that places him right between Ariel Pink and Panda Bear on the musical spectrum. We recently spoke with the 23-year-old Chaz about his wobbly, nostalgic jams, being a music blog sensation, and his near future.
The Porch: How did you get started with music?
Chaz Bundick: I started with piano when I was about 7, my mom made me take lessons. Now I’m glad she did.
The Porch: What kinds of things inspire you?
CB: I’ve been making my lyrics as literal as they can be now, I usually write about what has happened like the day before or something. I used to try to make poetic or metaphorical lyrics but they just weren’t my thing. so, everyday life and actual events are the biggest inspirations.
The Porch: How does your song-writing process work? Do you work with samples and add lyrics or does the song structure come first?
CB: It depends on what kind of song I’m going for. If it’s a more guitar based approach I’ll do the lyrics last. And if it’s a sample-based song, the lyrics are second but then I sometimes change the programing afterwards.
The Porch: What kind of set-up are you using?
CB: Right now I’m running my samples from my computer and using a midi controller. Then I have a couple of vocal effects.
The Porch: You’re on tour with EAR PWR now, how has your stuff been going over live?
CB: It’s been going really well. My set has turned out more organic that I was expecting or trying to make it, it’s great!
The Porch: Do you plan on touring more in the future?
CB: At the moment: definitely. I like meeting people and seeing different cities.
The Porch: You have a really awesome blog with great photography. How important are visuals for you and your music?
CB: Thanks, for my photos I try to capture a timeless photo and try to get good natural light. I guess I like to think similar when it comes to the sound of my music except it doesn’t apply to one song, more Toro y Moi in its entirety.
The Porch: Do you feel like growing up in the South has influenced the music you make?
CB: Music wise, not at all really. But the lifestyle and people I’ve met here have really influenced the way I approach and execute songs.
The Porch: You’ve gotten lots of mentions on various blogs lately and lots of websites have been posting MP3s of your songs. How do you feel about being presented in that way?
CB: That’s fine with me. I just have to make sure I don’t lock myself down to one sound and always keep doing new things.
The Porch: We really love your 7″ – do you have a full length release planned?
CB: Thanks, my full length is about 80% done. It should be coming out early 2010.
The Porch: Do you have a favorite moment that you’ve experienced on a porch?
CB: On a porch…once I recorded a friend of mine, who goes by Say Brother. I recorded him playing harmonica at night while it was raining. It was a great way to remember that moment.
The Porch: What is a perfect day for you?
CB: Hmmm, in no particular order: finish a song, get my heart rate up, talking to my family in person or phone, and hanging out with friends.
BONUS QUESTION: How do you pronounce Toro y Moi and what does it mean?
CB: Haha, its TORO-EE-MWAH. It means the bull and me, half Spanish/half French.