Music  |  Features

Artist of the Week: Deastro

January 19, 2009  |  8:00am
Artist of the Week: Deastro
Band of the Week: Deastro

Hometown: Detroit, Mich.

Fun Fact: The name Deastro is a take on the infamous G.I. Joe villain, Destro, the “A” being added to avoid copyright infringement. Although Chabot had intentions of changing the name, after a kindly e-mail from a fan in Portugal explained that the name meant “from the stars,” Chabot decided to keep it.

Why It's Worth Watching: Catchy, clever synth jam gems combined with a traditional approach to power pop results in a melodic car wreck of texture, tone and tenacious tendency for dipping everything electro-fueled in a wide range of flavors.

For Fans Of: Of Montreal, Animal Collective, Late Of The Pier


As synth-soaked electronic pop attacks the entire world, Detroit musicians have the distinct advantage of being surrounded by the click, whir and constant hum of factories and automobiles. This industrial music acts as a sort of subconscious education, resurfacing as thick symphonies of bouncing beats and slick keyboards, complemented with a historic disposition for jagged, jangling guitars.

Band of the Week: Deastro

Deastro is a student of just such a school, rising from post-industrialized art collectives and recently signing to Ghostly International, a label that resides just west of a city that is widely recognized as the electronic music capital of the world. While Randolph Chabot, sole proprietor of Deastro, falls within the fad, his potent blend of the proven past and the passing current is what will leave him standing when tongues become numb and tastes begin to change. Moondagger, Deastro’s debut on Ghostly due this spring, is a genre-defying adventure with electro-pop roots, complete with a ferocious one-two punch that comes along with a live band—a refurbished outing for a guy who initially quit playing in bands out of frustration, choosing instead to chase his own musical ambitions and ideas.


“When I first started doing what I was doing, not a lot of kids were into it,” explains Chabot as he sips on a cup of diner coffee, regularly humoring an older woman a few tables away who can’t help but interrupt the interview in well-measured intervals. “I tried playing in a bunch of different bands in college. I moved around on instruments—drums in one, bass in another—and I could never get the ideas out because not everyone was in the same place [musically]. That’s great if you connect with the right people, but it doesn’t always happen. So, I just started layering my own music and making it myself. [The sound] wasn’t really there for a long time because…I was still hearing it with a full band.”


Deastro’s pre-band era catalog runs deep with a multitude of tracks that stem from Chabot's theory that you “have to write a hundred songs before you write a good one”—dozens of rusted hooks with potential, bouncing along with crisp, captivating homemade beats but always missing a certain something. After fostering an introverted music machine year after year, his ability to craft intricately structured yet viciously eruptive, spontaneous songs seems to have been fully realized, culminating in a ticking time bomb finally able to be set off thanks to the army of talented musicians now backing him both live and in the studio.


“Parallelogram,” the first single from Moondagger, is a Polaroid reflection of the upcoming album and an upgrade from his solo pursuits, spinning rapid-fire drums, a nursery rhyme vocal styling and a dreamscape collision of guitar and keyboard into a web of infectious hooks and sticky rhythms that can only come from a collection of likeminded musicians. Deastro will be bringing his delicious take on electro-pop to SXSW this year to tell the people of Austin that while Detroit remains a one-act smokestack in the public eye, innovative artists like himself are reinventing the wheel underneath the haze.


Listen to Deastro's "Parallelogram" from Moondagger on MySpace.

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